American citizens are detained in Hebron for wearing hijab on a ‘Jewish street’

US Politics
on 132 Comments
Wearing the wrong clothes in Hebron
Wearing the wrong clothes in Hebron

Three young women, ages 22, 21, and 20, were detained on Tuesday, July 3 for walking on Shuhada Street. Their crime was looking Arab, wearing the hijab, and having been born Palestinian. 

We were a group of ten traveling to al-Khalil/Hebron, all U.S. citizens, some of Palestinian descent and some with the Palestinian hawiyya, ID card. The initial plan, as I understood, was a benign tour: take some pictures at the Hirbawi kuffiyeh factory, visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and turn around back to Bethlehem, where most of the group volunteers as summer camp counselors in Duheisheh Refugee Camp. 

We passed through the checkpoint that leads on to Shuhada Street, telling the soldiers on duty that we were only trying to get to the Palestinian neighborhood behind the checkpoint. They let us in, allowing us to walk a few yards on the road before we turned up a narrow flight of stairs into the Palestinian neighborhood, bypassing the Jewish settlers’ area. 

We strolled past the abandoned Palestinian shops and houses, graffitied with Zionist slogans and Jewish symbols uncomfortably reminiscent of photos from Kristallnacht. From the Palestinian neighborhood, we looked down at the busloads of tourists streaming in and out of Beit Hadassah, built by the Jewish community of Hebron in 1880 and now home to a museum of the Jewish history of Hebron. None of us would be allowed in the museum that day; most of us wouldn’t have been allowed in on any day. 

The other end of the Palestinian neighborhood opposite the first checkpoint also leads onto Shuhada Street. Palestinians are very clearly not allowed there, though the definition of “Palestinian” is vague. Anyone seen as Arab, Muslim or sympathetic to the Palestinians is considered a threat. 

The separate but unequal system that Israel has created throughout the West Bank, with its legalistic foundation of IDs, permits, and “official” citizenships, is irrelevant on Shuhada Street. The settlers don’t recognize the existence of “Palestinians” no matter the color of their ID card, and the soldiers and policemen are complicit in maintaining this system of unabashed segregation and discrimination. As one soldier explained to me that day, “We’re not racist. It’s just Arabs who can’t come here.” 

As soon as we wandered onto the street, the settlers and IDF soldiers noticed us, particularly the young women in the hijabs. They screamed at us to stop, under pressure, of course, from the settlers. “We’re American citizens, and we’re walking down this road,” some of us said. 

“No,” said one of the women who was later detained== a U.S. citizen and West Bank resident with a Palestinian hawiyya– “I am a Palestinian, and I am walking down this road.”

Our act wasn’t a planned protest, and it wasn’t clear what specifically we were protesting. Was it the fascist and racist nature of the law – or lack thereof – in Hebron, where anyone seen as looking Arab or Muslim can be detained or beaten for no good reason?

This was the case with the international and Israeli women who marched down Shuhada Street two weeks ago wearing hijabs and kuffiyehs, and were detained and beaten by the IDF. Their action was not an act of nonviolent resistance against the law – as Noa Shaindlinger wrote in +972, their action was “perfectly legal.” Instead, their action exposed the lack of law in Hebron and the arbitrary use of force, both from settlers and the IDF.

But the young woman’s statement yesterday – “I am a Palestinian and I am walking down this road” – was a more fundamental act of resistance. Though Shuhada Street lays bare the religious-nationalist fundamentalism that fuels the Occupation and the antidemocratic, military rule this ideology necessitates, there is little difference between “this road” and the countless other roads that are inaccessible to Palestinians, in both ‘48 and the West Bank. 

The settlers and soldiers did not take kindly to her statement or her hijab, and the scene quickly turned chaotic. The settlers – many of them armed – attempted to block our path. The soldiers targeted the women in the hijabs, leaving two other non-Muslim American women, two Palestinian-American men, and myself – a white U.S. citizen – alone. The three women were detained for disturbing the peace in a Jewish neighborhood. 

“Come over here,” barked the police chief to one of them, pointing ambiguously to an area behind the car, away from the rest of us. She refused, and was detained. 

While this was happening, I was taken aside with a Palestinian-American boy, who the police mistook for just a ‘regular’ American. He kept his hawiyya tucked under the sole of his shoe. 

The soldier told me to calm down. He told me that he was American, too – from Manhattan, no less, the same city listed as the birthplace on my U.S. passport. He told me I had the right to be there, “but the Arabs don’t.” 

“They’re Americans,” I told him. 

“So what?” he responded. “The army decided they’re not allowed to be here.” The army decided, and so it is. 

The day after this incident, citizens of our home country – including Jews and Arabs – barbecued kosher and halal hot dogs, watched fireworks, and sang songs about freedom and democracy. Our country has its problems, and patriotic tunes won’t whitewash our racist and imperialist past – and present. 

But at least we’ll say those slogans, and occasionally take them to heart. In Hebron, the IDF soldiers know rhetorical appeals to democracy are hopeless; even the Americans have stopped trying.

The three women were released around midnight, without arrest. There was only one condition: that they would not return to Hebron for 15 days. The army decided they’re not allowed to be here.

Or, as the one woman so courageously made clear, not in Jerusalem, Haifa or Tel Aviv either.

132 Responses

  1. Scott
    July 7, 2012, 10:10 am

    What an interesting piece. Good for Brandon, Princeton should be proud.

    • Ellen
      July 7, 2012, 11:23 am

      Based on the characters and history of the Woodrow Wilson Institute at Princeton, I’d say they now have Brandon’s number.

      • Citizen
        July 8, 2012, 7:18 am

        And we all know who had Woody Wilson’s naive number.

  2. Dan Crowther
    July 7, 2012, 11:19 am

    That israeli soldier from manhattan should be stripped of his US citizenship; brave kid, patrolling empty streets, harassing civilians with a machine gun.

    We might as well remove the US embassy from Israel – its not like they do anything for US citizens over there.

    • Avi_G.
      July 7, 2012, 11:41 am

      {Nodding in agreement}

    • anan
      July 7, 2012, 4:08 pm

      Pray for the Israeli soldiers and send love to him. Maybe he has been given bad orders or is confused but really compassionate and well intentioned.

      • Citizen
        July 8, 2012, 7:22 am

        I guess that “American” IDF soldier is the de facto US embassy there; delegated to fish out who is, is not a real American.

      • Theo
        July 8, 2012, 11:19 am

        ” Pray for IDF soldiers…….. he has been given bad orders……”

        Yes, the Al Capone gang were all innocent citizens, just were given wrong orders!! We should jail all those americans who join the IDF, worst bunch of gang than Al had. They are traitors to their country!!!

    • Daniel Rich
      July 7, 2012, 6:59 pm

      Bingo!

  3. biorabbi
    July 7, 2012, 2:39 pm

    The dastardly Israelis are almost as bad as the Syrian government and Shabiha fellow travelers. But what’s 15,000 dead Sunni Syrians when the killers are members of good standing in ‘the resistance’ to the zionist project.

    I wonder what the reaction would be if Americans traveled to Syria to question state sanctioned ethnic cleansing, rape, and murder? I’m sure they would be treated well by Assad. Moving right along… nothing much to see here.

    • elephantine
      July 7, 2012, 4:25 pm

      May I remind you that Syria is not nor has never claimed to be “the only democracy in the Middle East”, is not using US money to brutalize and oppress part of its population or crying to the world that its existence is threatened and that it is unfairly singled out or unjustly criticized.

      I gather from your comparison that you are willing to drop the charade and lies and own up to the undemocratic, racist, oppressive and abusive policies? You are willing to acknowledge Israel’s deliberate and institutionalized discrimination and routine mistreatment/abuses as crimes rightfully condemned around the world? You’re just satisfied knowing that as long as someone else “is still worse than you”, no one should say anything about Israel?

      Does this describe your position correctly? Or are you also still claiming Israel is democratic?….”just not for Arabs”, as this quote absurdly claims that:

      —As one soldier explained to me that day, “We’re not racist. It’s just Arabs who can’t come here.”–

      How does someone even manage to say that and keep a straight face? “We’re the only democracy. But don’t bother pointing out why you don’t think we are. We’ll just find another country doing brutal things to its citizens and claim that makes it okay for us to.” 

      Well, what can I say? Nice company you choose to keep. 
      “Isreal: we may not actually be democratic but as long as Syria does very brutal things, we really can’t be faulted because we’re still just a little less brutal!”

      *shaking my head at this nonsense*

      • biorabbi
        July 8, 2012, 4:47 am

        Nice company? Was Assad and his father friends of Israel? I say the following with a straight face. If Palestinians are butchered by Syrian government forces, it does not appear to count at all in many ‘resistance circles’ who claim deep love for the Palestinians. Does it matter to a maimed or murdered Palestinian that his murderer is Jewish or Alawite? that his jailer is Israeli or Syrian? The claim of good and evil and black and white seems clear enough when some detail the evils of Israel and the occupation, but when torture, rape and murder against Palestinians comes from Syrian armed forces or irregular Shabiha, then it doesn’t count. Why is that? If America eliminated support to Israel, then the Syrian 15,000 dead would be worth mentioning? Shaking my head back at your nonsense.

      • Citizen
        July 8, 2012, 7:27 am

        biorabbi, is Syrian regime getting $4.1 Billion in direct US foreign aid this year? $3 Billion in loan guarantees? A pocketful of UNSC US vetos? Is that regime pressuring our POTUS and POTUS candidates to attack another sovereign state in the ME that is no threat and a member of NNPT and that has not initiated a war in centuries?

      • Basilio
        July 11, 2012, 10:52 am

        What you’re saying is ridiculous. Of course, people care when Assad kills Palestinians or Syrians. People want Assad removed from power. His anti-Israel stance is a facade. Israel has been brutalizing the Palestinians since the beginning. Syria’s secret police has been killing some Palestinians only last year. People mention Syria all the time. I guess you need to know how to read. The problem is Russia is protecting Syria just like America protects Israel. No one should protect Israel or Syria with such behavior coming from them. Israel has been protected for decades in what it has been doing.

      • AllenBee
        July 10, 2012, 8:16 am

        elephantine wrote: “Syria . . . is not using US money to brutalize and oppress part of its population.”

        In fact, US money IS being used to “brutalize and oppress part of Syria’s population.” Nearly a year ago, when the protests in Syria were highly localized and involved only a few poor towns around Homs, Hillary Clinton took to the airways to say that the protests needed to expand to the middle class and business class that still strongly supported Assad. So, Clinton engineered sanctions to drive wedges between businesspersons and the Assad government, followed on more recently with attempts to wedge off Syrian military leaders.
        US is playing Turkey like a fiddle — Turkey is now supplying, arming, and harboring rebel/mercenaries.

        Ironically, Franklin Lamb on PressTV and
        Daniel Pollock of WINEP, appearing on C Span, agree — the United States is behind the hiring & funding of mercenaries who are intent on overthrowing Assad.
        If WINEP likes it, Israel & Dennis Ross have fingers in the pie.

      • anan
        July 13, 2012, 10:21 pm

        AllenBee:
        Thank God that Turkey is helping freedom’s cause in Syria.
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        Basilio wrote:
        “Of course, people care when Assad kills Palestinians or Syrians.” 100% true. This has become the number 1 issue in the muslim world, even larger than Israel/Palestinian. Almost all the world’s sunnis are backing Syrian freedom.

        “People want Assad removed from power.” True.

        “His anti-Israel stance is a facade.” True

        “Israel has been brutalizing the Palestinians since the beginning.” You mean 1948 or 1967? Want to clearly understand what you are saying.

        “Syria’s secret police has been killing some Palestinians only last year.” Wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Assad has murdering Palestinians for decades. Palestinians are terribly mistreated inside Syria. It is only now that a few people seem to care.

        “People mention Syria all the time.” True.

        “I guess you need to know how to read.” Inappropriate language. No doubt he/she knows how to read. :-)

        “The problem is Russia is protecting Syria” Not Syria . . . Assad. Big difference. Also Sayyed Khamenei and Sayyed Nasrallah. Both of them have large numbers of occupation troops inside Syria mass murdering Syrians.

        “just like America protects Israel.” How does the US protect Israel? Israel does what it does and US seems to have little influence over Israel.

        “No one should protect Israel or Syria with such behavior coming from them.” Do you mean Assad and any specific Israelis who are behaving inappropriately rather than all Syrians and all Israelis?

        “Israel has been protected for decades in what it has been doing.” How so? Israel is a tiny country with one thousanth of the world’s population and limited regional and international influence.

        +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        Brother elephantine, respectfully your post has factual errors.

        Syria is not nor has never claimed to be “the only democracy in the Middle East”, True. The middle east has many free democracies:
        Turkey
        Israel
        Iraq
        Tunisia.

        Let us pray that with Yeshua ben Yoseph’s and Allah’s grace that Libya and Egypt evolve into successful countries too.

        Please support freedom and success for everyone, not only Palestinians and Israelis.

    • seafoid
      July 7, 2012, 4:34 pm

      What was it the Nazis said in 1944? “Don’t bother looking at Auschwitz- look at what Stalin did to the kulaks. ”

      And how did that defence go down at Nuremberg?

      • biorabbi
        July 8, 2012, 4:48 am

        Your point? That mentioning 15,000 dead Syrians is a taboo subject because the zionist hand is missing? Ok. Message received.

      • Citizen
        July 8, 2012, 7:33 am

        Did Americans fund Syrian regime’s murders and block accountability for them via the UNSC veto? Does anyone in America claim Syria is not a despotic Arab government?

      • Theo
        July 8, 2012, 11:28 am

        bio

        That so called free syrian army is a bunch of paid mercenaries supplied with arms and money by those who are interested to destabilize the ME!
        Now guess, which country has the most interest to do just that? The old divide and conquer strategy, as old as the human race.
        I know that the CIA and Mossad are very active in Syria, trying to cause as much havoc as they can. The dead syrian civilians count just as much as the dead palestinians do. NOTHING!!!

      • seafoid
        July 8, 2012, 12:34 pm

        Your relativity – it doesn’t matter because it is worse elsewhere- is a sad reflection of how low Zionism has stooped. By the same logic anyone can argue that it is irrelevant that 6 million Jews died in ww2 while the Soviets lost 19 million.

        Never again means never diminish the suffering. Never turn away from human suffering.

      • biorabbi
        July 8, 2012, 1:53 pm

        Theo, your writings mirror Galloway and even some here on Mondo. Quite interesting. The so-called Free Syrian army as you call it is composed of tens of thousands of defectors from Assad’s army. So it is the CIA and Mossad stoking up trouble in Syria, so are they the ones shelling the camps? Is Turkey joining the zionist-CIA alliance to aid the so-called Free Syrian Army? Pretty soon the Free Syrian army will liberate their country.

        Your response is truly classic. And if the CIA/Mossad and other foreign hands are aiding the ‘so-called’ Free Syrian Army, then what of Assad??? Are the Iranians helping their friend? with troops? how about Lebanon? You make it seems it’s Assad against the so-called Free Syrian army, Israel and the US. Interesting perhaps after bath salts.

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 8, 2012, 6:58 pm

        Forgetful (or is it hypocrite?) rabbi. How is the Syrian regime worse than the Israelis’ 2 weeks fish barrel shooting nicknamed Cast Lead? Did the Syrian regime use air and naval forces in addition to ground forces?
        — 1,205 Palestinian killed, including:
        — 410 children (under 16)
        — 108 women
        — 113 elderly men
        — 14 medics
        — 4 journalists

      • seafoid
        July 9, 2012, 4:20 am

        Biorabbi

        Syria is a cockpit for foreign interests just like Belgium in the 1800s and early 1900s. The Yanks , the khaleejis and the bots want the Alawis out and the Iranians are backing the Alawis.

      • biorabbi
        July 9, 2012, 9:05 am

        If I remember correctly, Cast Lead was brought on by tens of thousands of rockets fired on Israel after they left. Does is even matter that there is a ten fold differential in the confirmed kill count? Let alone the greater number of tens of thousands who have ‘vanished’ into the Syrian penal system???? I see you have nothing whatsoever to detail the Syrian kill count; why is that? Isn’t that a war about ideas in the middle east?

      • Theo
        July 9, 2012, 12:39 pm

        bio

        Not to misunderstand me, I think Assad should be hanged, the sooner the better, with all his henchmen. Their hand are dripping with the blood of their compatriots.
        However, two wrongs do not make a right! I had the pleasure to meet and listen to a great journalist who spent several weeks in Syria. According to him, (he was there and you not), mercenaries from many nations give the ton and the orders in that civil uprising, paid by western powers. He talked 4-5 dissatisfied “syrians”, coming from other countries. The same powers supply all that expensive weaponry. Yes, there are many syrian followers, but the leaders are not from that nation. Just think, how did the FSA get all those heavy weapons, through eBay?
        Turkey plays a double game, whatever happens, they want to profit. Usually it doesn´t work, so let´s wait and see.

      • German Lefty
        July 9, 2012, 1:10 pm

        @ Theo:
        I think Assad should be hanged, the sooner the better, with all his henchmen. […] However, two wrongs do not make a right!

        You totally contradict yourself. If you think that two wrongs don’t make right, then how can you advocate murder in revenge? If you want to see Assad murdered, then you are not any better than him. Both of you are human rights violators who don’t respect other people’s right to life.

      • Shingo
        July 9, 2012, 5:46 pm

        If I remember correctly, Cast Lead was brought on by tens of thousands of rockets fired on Israel after they left.

        You don’t remember correctly. Cast Lead began with Israle breaking a 4 months ceasefire when they used the day of the US presidential elections to attack Gaza and kill 6 Palestinians. They chose the day to ensure minial new coverage.

      • Theo
        July 10, 2012, 11:24 am

        Lefty

        Thank you for your nice preach.
        I personally believe in a capital punishment, killers, murderers, traitors to their land, war criminals should be put away for good. Why should the taypayers pay millions of their hard earned money for their upkeep, until someone gets the idea to let them lose?
        For your information, there is a great difference between killing innocent people to suppress them to keep your power, as Assad and other dictators do, or being sentenced to death by a proper court.
        Only the fittest will survive and we in the West are getting soft and indulgent, consequently criminals take over our country.
        You step on a cockroach without hesitation, right? Doesn´t it, according to your beliefe, have the same right to live as you do?

      • German Lefty
        July 10, 2012, 1:07 pm

        @ Theo:
        Why should the taxpayers pay millions of their hard earned money for their upkeep?
        Because a person’s life is invaluable. It must not be a question of cost. Otherwise, one would have to conclude that chronically ill people should be killed instead of treated, because killing them is cheaper. Besides, life imprisonment is actually less expensive than death penalty.

        there is a great difference between killing innocent people or being sentenced to death by a proper court.
        No, there is no difference. The thing is that human rights are granted to ALL people, not just to law-abiding people. Therefore, killing a guilty people is as wrong as killing an innocent person.
        Also, you have to consider that a state should lead by example and practise itself what it preaches to others. How can a state teach its citizens that the killing of people is wrong when the state itself kills people? Such a hypocritical state looses all its credibility and can’t be taken seriously as authority. A country that doesn’t respect human rights will produce citizens who don’t respect human rights. Hence the high crime rate in the USA.

        we in the West are getting soft and indulgent, consequently criminals take over our country.
        OMG, you sound like a stereotypical American. Are you a Republican?
        Death penalty does not work as a deterrent, because when criminals commit a crime, they usually don’t expect to be caught.
        People in the USA become criminal because of a lack of social justice. They are desperate. Also, loose gun laws foster the high crime rate.

        You step on a cockroach without hesitation, right? Doesn´t it, according to your beliefe, have the same right to live as you do?
        Since when are cockroaches people?

      • Theo
        July 11, 2012, 10:09 am

        Lefty

        I do not follow any political party or line, I act accordingly to my own belief of what is right or wrong!!

        Cockroaches are living beings, just like humans, so who gave you the right to make yourself more important than one of them.
        Besides, there are a lot of humans on this globe who are less worth than a cockroach, if I may voice my own oppinion.

        Your comparision of bloody criminals to disabled persons is simply stupid, so I defer from any comment.
        Death sentence is only more expensive when you keep them 16-20 years in a cell. Try them and if they deserve it, hang them and use the same rope several times to save expenses.
        Death sentence should not be a deterrent, but a just punishment for a hideous crime. Capish?

      • Mooser
        July 11, 2012, 12:52 pm

        “That mentioning 15,000 dead Syrians is a taboo subject “

        Oh, heavens no! You just keep fighting it out along those lines. As long as Israel doesn’t build gas chambers you’re in the clear!
        BTW, are you a real Rabbi, or a “biorabbi”? I’m not trying to insult you. I’m of the opinion that faith and a desire to help are more important than high intelligence for religious service. But Rabbi is a specific title, and implies you have been ordained as such. Infers, even!

      • German Lefty
        July 11, 2012, 6:14 pm

        @ Theo:
        I do not follow any political party or line, I act accordingly to my own belief of what is right or wrong!!
        So do I. However, this doesn’t keep me from voting.

        Cockroaches are living beings, just like humans, so who gave you the right to make yourself more important than one of them.
        The people who came up with human rights.

        Besides, there are a lot of humans on this globe who are less worth than a cockroach, if I may voice my own opinion.
        As I said, human rights are granted to ALL people, regardless of their behaviour or views. Just because some people don’t behave like human beings, doesn’t mean that they aren’t human beings.

        Your comparision of bloody criminals to disabled persons is simply stupid
        No, it’s not stupid. Either you believe that people’s lifes are a question of cost, or you don’t. Decide for one.

        Death sentence is only more expensive when you keep them 16-20 years in a cell.
        What about all the innocent people who are falsely convicted? Doesn’t this bother you? What if one of these innocent people were your child? Also, don’t you think that the state should lead by example?

      • Theo
        July 12, 2012, 8:36 am

        Lefty

        Here is a nice example of german stupidity when it comes to dealing with major criminals:

        A short time ago they let a raper/killer, who raped and killed several women before, on a “vacation” from jail, after serving only half of his sentence.
        During the first days of his freedom he raped and killed two additional women, two innocent human beings who would still be alive today did not an idiotic head shrinker decide to let him walk around.
        That animal, and I think here I insult animals by comparing him to them, now killed and raped a total of 4-5 women, will sit in jail another few years until another idiot lets him out so he can kill a few more.
        Did those two women not have rights to live?

        He should have been hanged the first time, saving the lives of two women he killed later.
        Germany has no money for kindergardens, schools are in terrible shape, yet it spends about 40,000 euros a year per prisoner to keep animals like that killer in a comfy jail, with TV, some newer jails have swimmingpool.
        You bleeding hearts should decide what is more important, your children or your criminals, as you do not have money for everything!

      • German Lefty
        July 13, 2012, 1:00 pm

        @ Theo:
        “A short time ago [Germany] let a raper/killer, who raped and killed several women before, on a “vacation” from jail, after serving only half of his sentence. Did those two women not have rights to live?”
        Of course, these women had the right to live, just like their rapist/killer has. I disapprove of parole in such cases.

        “He should have been hanged the first time, saving the lives of two women he killed later.”
        How about life without parole? Then there wouldn’t be any further human rights violations.

        “Germany has no money for kindergardens, schools are in terrible shape, yet it spends about 40,000 euros a year per prisoner to keep animals like that killer in a comfy jail, with TV, some newer jails have swimmingpool. You bleeding hearts should decide what is more important, your children or your criminals, as you do not have money for everything!”
        Bleeding hearts? Funny expression. I have never heard of prisons with swimming pools. Anyway, a state must not murder its citizens, but it has to represent them. All people are equal before the law. Human rights are not a question of cost. Period. I think that Germany should save expenses in other fields, e.g. no free stuff for Israel, no troops in Aghanistan or elsewhere, no lifelong honorarium for former Federal Presidents, no “Herdprämie”.

      • Averroes
        July 13, 2012, 5:15 pm

        I think there is an argument to be made that life imprisonment itself, perhaps even more than torture or the death penalty, is a repulsive and form of cruel and unusual punishment. Many studies and books have been written on this subject by sociologists and criminologists for at least the past few decades. There is a marvelous passage, by that defender of the underdog Charles Dickens, that drives my point home quite vividly and eloquently:

        “In the outskirts, stands a great prison, called the Eastern Penitentiary: conducted on a plan peculiar to the state of Pennsylvania. The system here, is rigid, strict, and hopeless solitary confinement. I believe it, in its effects, to be cruel and wrong.

        In its intention, I am well convinced that it is kind, humane, and meant for reformation; but I am persuaded that those who devised this system of Prison Discipline, and those benevolent gentlemen who carry it into execution, do not know what it is that they are doing. I believe that very few men are capable of estimating the immense amount of torture and agony which this dreadful punishment, prolonged for years, inflicts upon the sufferers; and in guessing at it myself, and in reasoning from what I have seen written upon their faces, and what to my certain knowledge they feel within, I am only the more convinced that there is a depth of terrible endurance in it which none but the sufferers themselves can fathom, and which no man has a right to inflict upon his fellow-creature. I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain, to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body: and because its ghastly signs and tokens are not so palpable to the eye and sense of touch as scars upon the flesh; because its wounds are not upon the surface, and it extorts few cries that human ears can hear; therefore I the more denounce it, as a secret punishment which slumbering humanity is not roused up to stay. I hesitated once, debating with myself, whether, if I had the power of saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ I would allow it to be tried in certain cases, where the terms of imprisonment were short; but now, I solemnly declare, that with no rewards or honours could I walk a happy man beneath the open sky by day, or lie me down upon my bed at night, with the consciousness that one human creature, for any length of time, no matter what, lay suffering this unknown punishment in his silent cell, and I the cause, or I consenting to it in the least degree.”

        Charles Dickens, American Notes

      • anan
        July 13, 2012, 10:25 pm

        Not directly.

        But note that some Americans have worked with the Assads and even supported them. Nixon/Kissenger liked Assad. GW Bush worked closely with Assad and gave him Lebanon. The US saved Syria from certain defeat in 1982 and worked to keep a Syrian role inside Lebanon.

        Bill Clinton tried to make friends with Assad and said nice things about him.

        I think that the Assads were pieces of smelly deformed Khera and that the world world should have recognized that all along.

    • SimoHurtta
      July 7, 2012, 4:44 pm

      What has the present Syrian situation to do with Israeli decades long occupation and ruthless religious racism? Nothing as even you pro-Israelis say,when somebody blames Israel for the violence in Syria. Does what happens now in Syria make everything alright with what Israel has done and is doing? Jewish settlements on Arab land are “nothing” because in Syria people are killed.

      It will be “interesting” to see one day how the Israeli Jewish leadership and the Haredi army will behave, when Israeli Arabs one day get fed up with their low status and bad treatment in their own country. Only then can we make real comparisons and it can be predicted that Israeli Jewish side will not “loose” in the brutality and amount of bodies.

      • biorabbi
        July 8, 2012, 4:51 am

        The ‘Syrian situation’ as you call it involves rape, torture, true evil, ethnic cleansing, murder. If that’s ‘the situation’ than I stand chastised. And more thing, where the fu$# is the flotilla, the international outrage, demonstrations, where is the left, where the hell is Phil Weiss regarding Syria and her treatment of the Palestinians?

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 8, 2012, 6:24 am

        “where the fu$# is the flotilla”
        If you have so much concern (my derriere) why not organising one, biorabbi?

      • Citizen
        July 8, 2012, 7:36 am

        biorabbi, Phil is an American, striving to make his own government accountable for making rogue Israel the #1 beneficiary of American largess in all of US history.

      • Theo
        July 8, 2012, 11:29 am

        Nice french word, derriere!!! The last and the one behind.

      • anan
        July 13, 2012, 10:27 pm

        biorabbi, remember that the muslim world really is uniting behind the Syrians. They are trying to help. Unfortunately the Europeans and even more so the Americans (and even more so the Israelis) are not helping the cause of Freedom in Syria as much.

    • Roya
      July 7, 2012, 4:49 pm

      @biorabbi: Alas, I was expecting some sort of comment like this. But why stop at Syria? Don’t forget Iran, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia–or are you rotating?

      • biorabbi
        July 8, 2012, 4:55 am

        Don’t forget Jordan and Kuwait. Are Palestinians treated well in Kuwait, or were they rotated out of the country. Did the Jordanians rotate 3,000 Palestinians out of existence during Black September?

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 8, 2012, 6:32 am

        biorabbi. Don’t play dumb. This site was initiated by Jews who were not comfortable, (actually outraged), with what the Zionist Jews ere doing in their name in Palestine. The reason why this site is not particularly focusing on Syria is because nothing in the name of Jews is done over there. In other words, it’s only logical to clean in front of one’s door before attempting at cleaning the neighbour’s. Comprendo?

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 8, 2012, 6:40 am

        And by the way, let’s focus on what’s relevant here. How much of the West Bank you’re happy to keep? Or is it all that you want to gobble? I really don’t know. Don’t get me wrong, I value your noble sentiments (my backside!) towards the Syrian population but how about the Palestinian population living under occupation and subject to ethnic cleansing and apartheid as we speak?

      • biorabbi
        July 8, 2012, 1:58 pm

        What about the war of ideas in the middle east? but I catch your drift. But if your neighbor is Charles Manson, as a citizen of the world with an ounce of humanity, you have a moral right to speak out. Loudly. Isn’t it possible to speak out loudly against Israel and against the genocide in Syria at the same time. This is not 100 dead in Egypt under the last days of Egypt. This is hundreds dying each day in a brutal fashion.

      • Roya
        July 8, 2012, 10:12 pm

        Biorabbi, Black September is just another unfortunate example of how Israel has plagued the entire region since its inception. And to compare Israel with Jordan, Kuwait, Iran, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, etc. is to compare apples and oranges. In Israel/Palestine you have a colonizer-colonized problem that is absent in other Middle Eastern countries. If the Syrians, Jordanians, Iranians, Kuwaitis want to resist or overthrow their governments, that is their choice and their right as sovereign peoples–if you as a non-Syrian want to comment on the Syrian situation, then by all means do so. But if you are suggesting that as Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, etc. we should be organizing flotillas and demonstrations against Syria in order to overthrow Assad then you are saying that Syrians are non-sovereign people and need the help of the ‘white man’ to run their country.

        Furthermore, the “rape, torture, true evil, ethnic cleansing (by the way you need to look up the definition of ethnic cleansing), murder” happening in Syria right now has been exacerbated, if not to a large part resulted from, foreign intervention in Syria. American troops have been in Turkey since May 2011 training Syrian “rebels” and it is by no means a secret that foreign arms have been flooding into Syria. What does this do? This causes the Syrian regime to amp up its military efforts against the people. This is not to say that Assad’s regime is not violent on its own, but a persistent threat of regime change from the United States et al is not going to make Assad any nicer. My point is, the brand of interventionism that you are so happily advertising here does not work. I can talk about lots more examples of interventionism backfiring–from the Iranian revolution of 1979 to America’s founding of al-Qaeda–if you like.

        Anyhow, Israel-Palestine is inherently different from Syria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc. (1) because it is a colonizer-colonized situation; (2) because of the level of foreign (namely American, British, French) complicity in upholding the apartheid regime. This as an American makes me complicit in Palestinian suffering and makes it relevant for me to do something about it; (3) and because Palestinian civil society has asked me, as a member of the international community, to intervene. If you find leagues of Syrian civil society groups asking the international community to intervene, do let me know.

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 9, 2012, 6:47 am

        “But if your neighbor is Charles Manson.”

        You surely mean Israel! Haven’t heard of the Syrian regime doing half of what Israel did in Lebanon, Gaza and Jenin (remember Jenin?). Assad is an amateur in comparison to the professional thugs at the highest level of the Israeli occupation forces. Go peddle your “humanistic” concerns somewhere people with no knowledge of history will let you get off the hook on such crap.

      • anan
        July 9, 2012, 12:11 pm

        “Israel/Palestine you have a colonizer-colonized problem that is absent in other Middle Eastern countries”

        100% wrong. Everyone deserves justice, whether they are Palestinians or any other Arab.

        For example Assad is a colonizer backed by Russian, Hezbollah, IRGC Kuds force occupation armies . . . which serve as combat enablers, embedded advisors, trainers and financiers.

        Assad himself belongs to a small ethnic minority in the middle east (Allawites), similar to Druze, Jews, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Shias, Kurds, Turkmen, Sufis and many other middle eastern ethnic minorities.

        BTW, the “colonizer” word is deeply offensive. For example are the twenty some million Asian Americans all “colonizers” in America? Maybe you don’t think so. But some Americans think so and are extremely offensive to listen to.

        Are the 35 million Mexican Americans all “colonizers” too?

        All the racists need to be quiet. And that includes any middle easterners who like calling the children of immigrants (or their grandchildren or their great grandchildren) “colonizers.”

      • Roya
        July 9, 2012, 5:01 pm

        Anan, to colonize is to send settlers to a foreign area to establish political control over it. By that definition, Israel is a colonizer, and it’s laughable to label Assad, Mexican Americans, and and Asian Americans as colonizers.
        Offensive? Only if you personally add an offensive connotation to the word. Facts are facts, regardless of opinion.

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 9, 2012, 7:48 pm

        “BTW, the “colonizer” word is deeply offensive. For example are the twenty some million Asian Americans all “colonizers” in America? Maybe you don’t think so. But some Americans think so and are extremely offensive to listen to.”
        Are the 35 million Mexican Americans all “colonizers” too?”

        Here we go, haha! I hate to say it but I told you so.

      • Mooser
        July 11, 2012, 12:56 pm

        biorabbi, given the actions of real Rabbis in Israel, is Charles Manson somebody you really want to bring up? Naturally, in a situation of this type, you have to make your arguments catch-as catch-can, all Helter-Skelter, but still….

    • Cliff
      July 7, 2012, 5:33 pm

      Israelis did their bit of rape and murder during the glorious ‘War of Independence’ – killing fathers and then raping their helpless daughters.

      Or raping and then killing pregnant women.

      And apparently, you’ve forgotten Gaza 2008 aka Cast Lead and the assorted variety of war crimes committed by your racist apartheid country club in the ME. But if it’s Arabs being murdered by Zionists – you don’t give a shit.

      As for the verbiage about numbers – spares us. Israel and its supporters whine about thousands of rockets fired on S’Derot since there are no comparable casaualties to the Palestinian side (who suffer more naturally, given the brutality of the Israelis and the power differential and the nature of this relationship – master and slave).

      I’m sure there are people suffering more in the world than in X, Y, and Z – but it’s only natural for us to care about the things we care about for the reasons we care about them.

      Notice that no one of the MW anti-Zionist regulars nor the founders state that Israel is the epitome of evil. It is simply a historical anachronism that conflicts constantly with our psyche culturally and socially and ideologically and ethically. We are NOT the same – as much as a worm-tongue like yourself would have us believe, biohazzard.

      But this is not about the lesser of two evils. Israel would still be an evil in any case as well!

      But enough of the philosophy.

      Short-answer to your usual shtick – we don’t support Syrian atrocities. We support and promote Israeli criminality and atrocities and have done so for decades.

      Israel can carry out crimes on a smaller scale but at a longer more devastating period of time in which it erases a people by colonizing their land. What’s worse? It’s not the same conflict that is going on in Syria.

      But dishonest trolls like you and your cult of hasbarats on the web will use the gut-wrenching violence next door to white-wash decades of slow-creep ethnic cleansing and if people like you continue having your way (your way being that people like us stop standing up to liars like you) – then Israel will eventually finish stealing all of Historic Palestine and run out the clock/eat the whole pie/whatever metaphor exists to explain the situation of underhandedness.

      Go take your 2nd grade hysterics elsewhere loser. It doesn’t work here.

    • strangefriend
      July 7, 2012, 5:51 pm

      Assad never claimed Syria was a democracy. That is the standard hasbara line for Israel –‘the Middle East’s only democracy.’ But the democracy is only for the Jews, not the non-Jews.

      • Citizen
        July 8, 2012, 7:42 am

        Yeah, I’m really sick of American politicians telling us Americans how Syria is the same as the US, has the same values. And why do we continually give Syria so much cash and enmesh Syria in our own defense and security system, and underwrite Syria’s debt?

      • anan
        July 9, 2012, 12:15 pm

        strangefriend, the US has never said that.

        Turkey is a free democracy of long standing. Iraq is also a free democracy. Tunisia looks like it is becoming a free democracy. There is hope that Libya will move in that direction. Egypt might be falling off the rails, but we can pray that Egypt rights itself.

      • anan
        July 14, 2012, 1:16 pm

        Don’t 23% of all patriotic Israeli citizens belong to a faith other than Judaism?

    • Daniel Rich
      July 7, 2012, 7:03 pm

      (1) Theory influences observation. Heisenberg wrote, “What we observe is not nature itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” Our perception of reality is influenced by the theories framing our examination of it.

      (2) The observer changes the observed. The act of studying an event can change it, an effect particularly profound in the social sciences, which is why psychologists use blind and double-blind controls.

      (3) Equipment constructs results. How we make and understand measurements is highly influenced by the equipment we use.

      (4) Anecdotes do not make science. Stories recounted in support of a claim are not scientific without corroborative evidence from other sources or physical proof of some sort.

      (5) Scientific language does not make a science. Dressing up a belief in jargon, often with no precise or operational definitions, means nothing without evidence, experimental testing, and corroboration.

      (6) Bold statements do not make claims true. The more extraordinary the claim, the more extraordinarily well-tested the evidence must be.

      (7) Heresy does not equal correctness. Being laughed at by the mainstream does not mean one is right. The scientific community cannot be expected to test every fantastic claim that comes along, especially when so many are logically inconsistent. If you want to do science, you have to learn to play the game of science. This involves exchanging data and ideas with colleagues informally, and formally presenting results in conference papers, peer-reviewed journals, books, and the like.

      (8.) Burden of proof. It is the person who makes the extraordinary claim who has the burden of proving the validity of the evidence.

      (9) Rumors do not equal reality. Repeated tales are not of necessity true.

      (10) Unexplained is not inexplicable. Many people think that if they themselves cannot explain something that it must be inexplicable and therefore a true mystery of the paranormal.

      (11) Failures are rationalized. In science, the value of negative findings is high, and honest scientists will readily admit their mistakes. Pseudoscientists ignore or rationalize failures.

      (12) After-the-fact reasoning. Also known as “post hoc, ergo propter hoc,” literally “after this, therefore because of this.” At its basest level, this is a form of superstition. As Hume taught us, the fact that two events follow each other in sequence does not mean they are connected causally. Correlation does not mean causation.

      (13) Coincidence. In the paranormal world, coincidences are often seen as deeply significant. As the behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner proved in the laboratory, the human mind seeks relationships between events and often finds them even when they are not present.

      (14) Representiveness. As Aristotle said, “The sum of the coincidences equals certainty.” We forget most of the insignificant coincidences and remember the meaningful ones. We must always remember the larger context in which a seemingly unusual event occurs, and we must always analyze unusual events for their representiveness of their class of phenomena.

      (15) Emotive words and false analogies. Emotive words are used to provoke emotion and sometimes to obscure rationality. Likewise, metaphors and analogies can cloud thinking with emotion and steer us onto a side path. Like anecdotes, analogies and metaphors do not constitute proof. They are merely tools of rhetoric.

      (16) Ad ignoratum. This is an appeal to ignorance or lack of knowledge, where someone claims that if you cannot disprove a claim it must be true. In science, belief should come from positive evidence, not a lack of evidence for or against a claim.

      (17) Ad hominem and tu quoque. Literally “to the man” and “you also,” these fallacies redirect the focus from thinking about the idea to thinking about the person holding the idea. The goal of an ad hominem attack is to discredit the claimant in hopes that it will discredit the claim. Similarly for tu quoque. As a defense, the critic is accused of making the same mistakes attributed to the criticized, and nothing is proved one way or the other.

      (18.) Hasty generalization. In logic, the hasty generalization is a form of improper induction. In life it is called prejudice. In either case, conclusions are drawn before the facts warrant it.

      (19) Overreliance on authorities. We tend to rely heavily on authorities in our culture, especially if the authority is considered to be highly intelligent. Authorities, by virtue of their expertise in a field, may have a better chance of being right in that field, but correctness is certainly not guaranteed, and their expertise does not necessarily qualify them to draw conclusions in other areas.

      (20) Either-or. Also known as the fallacy of negation or the false dilemma, this is the tendency to dichotomize the world so that if you discredit one position, the observed is forced to accept the other. A new theory needs evidence in favor of it, not just against the opposition.

      (21) Circular reasoning. Also known as fallacy of redundancy, begging the question, or tautology, this occurs when the conclusion or claim is merely a restatement of one of the premises.

      (22) Reductio ad absurdum and the slippery slope. Reductio ad absurdum is the refutation of an argument by carrying the argument to its logical end and so reducing it to an absurd conclusion. Surely, if an argument’s consequences are absurd, it must be false. This is not necessarily so, though sometimes pushing an argument to its limits is a useful exercise in critical thinking; often this is a way to discover whether a claim has validity, especially when an experiment testing the actual reduction can be run. Similarly, the slippery slope fallacy involves constructing a scenario in which one thing leads ultimately to an end so extreme that the first step should never be taken.

      (23) Effort inadequacies and the need for certainty, control, and simplicity. Most of us, most of the time, want certainty, want to control our environment, and want nice, neat, simple explanations. Scientific and critical thinking does not come naturally. it takes training, experience, and effort. We must always work to suppress our need to be absolutely certain and in total control ands our tendency to seek the simple and effortless solution to a problem.

      (24) Problem-solving inadequacies. All critical and scientific thinking is, in a fashion, problem solving. There are numerous psychological disruptions that cause inadequacies in problem solving. We must all make the effort to overcome them.

      (25) Ideological immunity, or the Planck Problem. In day-to-day life, as in science, we all resist fundamental paradigm change. Social scientist Jay Stuart Snelson calls this resistance an ideological immune system: “educated, intelligent, and successful adults rarely change their most fundamental presuppositions.” As individuals accumulate more knowledge, theories become more well-founded, and confidence in ideologies is strengthened. The consequence of this, however, is that we build up an “immunity” against new ideas that do not corroborate previous ones. Historians of science call this the Planck Problem, after physicist Max Planck, who made this observation on what must happen for innovation to occur in science: “An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out and that the growing generation is familiarized with the idea from the beginning.”

      link to conradaskland.com

      • biorabbi
        July 8, 2012, 5:06 am

        Daniel. Points 8 and 9 are quite interesting.

        “(8.) Burden of proof. It is the person who makes the extraordinary claim who has the burden of proving the validity of the evidence.

        (9) Rumors do not equal reality. Repeated tales are not of necessity true.”

        But it’s also a catch 22. I mean it’s not that easy to get full access in Syria is it? One of the advantages of a police state is to make it harder to quench the news. Are those tens of thousands of protests on you tube , the endless dead children, tortured corpses all just rumors and tales? At what point, do they equate reality?

    • MLE
      July 7, 2012, 7:28 pm

      Totally, if it weren’t for the Assad regime, the Syrian people would loooooooove the state of Israel.

      I can’t wait until Assad falls, and the new Syrian government starts demanding the Golan back. The Israelis will be longing for the days of Assad once again.

    • Shingo
      July 7, 2012, 10:13 pm

      I wonder what the reaction would be if Americans traveled to Syria to question state sanctioned ethnic cleansing, rape, and murder? I’m sure they would be treated well by Assad.

      Couldn’t be any worse than being crushed with a bulldozer.

      • biorabbi
        July 8, 2012, 5:13 am

        If the treatment of activists in Israel or the West Bank deserves ink space here, what about the treatment of Syrians in Homs? If Rachel Corrie’s death deserves our attention, what about 15,000 innocents in Syria?

        Phil’s banner talks about ‘The war of Ideas in the middle east.” But what about the idea of genocide on a massive scale a few clicks north of the Golan? That idea is not so popular with the left. You see eloquent writers and speakers like Annie here on Mondo or George Galloway getting into weird mental contortions regarding Syria since it doesn’t fit their template.

      • Danaa
        July 10, 2012, 9:18 am

        Hey biorabbi. what about the support given by Israel and it US/Nato stooges to the so called “rebels” in Syria, who are apparently perpetrating horrific killings in areas under their control of anyone not agreeing with their salafism? the massacres in Huma were apparently perpetrated by the “rebels” and where is the apology for the earlier libel? what about the fact that your “rebe;s” are apparently resisting any attempt by the UN to deliver humanitarian aid to Homs? what about the kidnappings and the wanton murders of people who do not support them?

        Listen there, the gig is up – people know what and who is behind the
        rebellion” in Syria and why. Right now hopefully Assad can take care of the unrest the same israel would have done were some Mizrahi to rise up suddenly because they don’t get no respect. The rebels is Syria = a rebelion armed and paid for by a coalition of Gulf states, Nato and Israel – are apparently quite cozy with al-Qaeda like tactics and that, of course, would never bother you since you believe israel can eventually take care of that.

        Israel is by far the most horrific violator of human rights in the world and is the cause behind the attempt to de-stabilize Syria too. What is going on in Syria has nothing to do now with “Arab Spring” but has everything to do with an Israel Winter which is the gambit against Iran.

        Your concern for the “people of Syria” is really quite touching. What’s next for your concern – Tibet? Mali? Darfur? Is that what’s called a concern troll?

    • thankgodimatheist
      July 7, 2012, 11:24 pm

      I’m sure the Palestinians are going to feel much better knowing the Israelis are killing much less than the Syrian regime, bio.

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 7, 2012, 11:25 pm

        Apartheid and ethnic cleansing are going to feel much less oppressive too.

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 7, 2012, 11:42 pm

        This business of ‘look! Syria is killing much more than us’ is becoming ridiculous! I’m surprised that some on Mondo still think that such lame deflections can still work.

    • Djinn
      July 8, 2012, 12:05 am

      Does Syria pretend to be a democracy? Do western politicians fall over themselves to praise Syria? Do US taxpayers fund Syria to the tune of tens of billions of dollars a year? Do refuse to oppose ANY injustice because there is injustice elsewhere?

      Are you really this dim?

      • biorabbi
        July 8, 2012, 5:19 am

        Hey, without Youtube, you might have a point. Assad’s father wiped out 30,000 Sunnis in a few weeks in Hamma before the age of Facebook. Is the scale of injustice of any merit? That Assad butchers his own people does not excuse the Israeli occupation, nor does the occupation excuse the ethnic cleansing going on as we bicker July 8 2012 in Syria.

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 8, 2012, 5:45 am

        I’m just intrigued by your sudden concern for the Syrian people, Biorabbi. If you were to hold such noble sentiments why not talking about the illegal Israeli occupation/theft of the whole Golan plateau while we’re at it. Considering that a lot of the Syrian Golani population are still living under Israeli occupation, it’s as relevant a matter to discuss as any other, don’t you think?

      • biorabbi
        July 8, 2012, 9:44 pm

        I would completely agree. Do you believe the predominately Druze population on the Golan wants to revert back to Assad’s control, or might they wish to stay put for just a little bit longer… what do you think?

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 9, 2012, 6:58 am

        Let’s talk about it, rabbi. Heard of Quneitra? Watch and weep if you have a shred of humanity:

        “Quneitra had survived the Romans, the Arab caliphate, the Seljuks, the Mongols, the Crusaders, the Ottomans and the British Empire, among others. But nothing could have prepared it to the viciousness of the Zionist invader, that which views the people of the Middle East as no more than weeds that need to be removed and its towns and villages as no more than ant colonies. The Zionist project of erasure stretches as far as the Israeli war machine can take it.

        In the long list of Israeli war crimes and violations, Quneitra stands unique. It would take a great historian to find a rational explanation for the systematic destruction of Quneitra by retreating Israeli forces. The most often cited explanation is that Israel simply repeated the Nakba war crime of 1947-1949 when it razed to the ground over 400 villages and towns to prevent their residents from returning to their homes. But such an explanation falls short since Israel was evacuating Quneitra and relinquishing it back to Syrian control. Others claim it was a revenge for the Arab affront to Jewish supremacy during the early days of the 1973 war. But that too fails to explain what sort of revenge should be meted out on an empty pastoral town standing since ancient times. A psychologist would perhaps be better suited to explain this recurring theme of aggression against property and infrastructure, a common practice of Israeli warfare, most recently employed in their second Lebanon war and the Gaza assault.”
        link to dancingwithpalestinians.wordpress.com
        Charles Mason indeed!

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 9, 2012, 7:01 am

        “It was in Quneitra that the Syrians realized that the Zionist invader was unlike any other before him. Yes, they had known about the Nakba, about the massacres, the rape of women by Jewish forces, the execution of POW’s, the cold blooded murder of refugees and peasants, the wholesale destruction of villages and confiscation of property. But the destruction of Quneitra by retreating Israeli forces could not have served any other purpose but a display of sheer malice, a venting of collective bile and hatred. To the new Barbarians, the history of Palestine or the Middle East means nothing as the Zionist narrative is frozen in time like a clock on a sunken ship, some time about 2500 years ago. They were brought up on a mythological tale of a glorious Jewish kingdom and were made to believe that they are the returning rightful owners of the land and all other dwellers are “squatters” who deny them their rightful claim to the entire land.”

        You make me feel like puking, rabbi!

      • biorabbi
        July 9, 2012, 10:09 pm

        Mom’s family is Sephardic from Lebanon, but originally from Syria. It is not a freaking sudden concern. I have other connections to Syria through friendship with Muslim and Alawite docs, but even if that were not the case, can’t one still be moved from the holocaust and not be Jewish, or be moved from the ethnic cleansing in Rwanda and be from the mid west. BTW, there was also a well developed form of communication between Syrian and Jewish and Israeli bloggers specifically discussing the Golan and bringing peace to the region but this was shut down by Assad’s clan. I’ve read every news dropping about Syria since the arab spring began. The best news sources are Josh Landis’ Syrian Comment, Juan Cole, and Enduring America.

        I have no problem with the marked anti-Israel bias by Professor Cole since he actually looks at THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST, calling a spade a spade as he sees it. Same with Andrew Sullivan. But with the Mr. Weiss not too much at all regarding Syria. I’m going to freaking stop posting here because it is fucking making quite angry, jacking up the old blood pressure.

        Talk about the religious nut job Jews in Israel, talk about the occupation, talk about the Golan, talk about the Nakba, but don’t forget to talk about fucking mass murder on a fucking daily basis in Syria.

      • Shingo
        July 10, 2012, 4:36 am

        I’m going to freaking stop posting here because it is fucking making quite angry, jacking up the old blood pressure.

        Please oh please don’t leave Bio. Your contributions have been so profound and game changing that I don’t know how this blog will cope without you.

        …but don’t forget to talk about fucking mass murder on a fucking daily basis in Syria.

        This blog was here long before any mass murder taking place in Syria, so don’t waste you faux outrage, it doesn’t convicne anyone. If you were seriously concerned about the “mass murder” taking place in Syria, your outrage would be directed at the FSA as well as the Assad government.

        Tell your acting coach you’re obviously struggling to find a convincing motivation.

      • ritzl
        July 10, 2012, 5:51 am

        @biorabbi You seem reflective enough to know that the Syrian atrocities have near universal condemnation, from the very highest levels. I think most (if not every one) here share that condemnation. Assad is a murderous thug.

        But the Palestinians have no such voice. Over the decades, Israel has been just as murderous. You seem to disagree enough to believe Israel’s actions (including perpetual impunity for them) to be of secondary importance in the grand scheme of ongoing regional atrocities. Arguably (but not very) that is not the case.

        Your concern for Syrian victims means that you are able see injustice. Given that, your seemingly shunted/diminished concern for Palestinians is the definition of the problem that this site, imho, seeks to address.

        So when you come here, to a site focused on trying to give Palestinians and Jews who support justice for Palestinians a/that lonely voice, and start bitching about how no one here mentions Syria, you have to see that that would be/is taken as pure deflection. And rightly so.

      • piotr
        July 13, 2012, 10:56 pm

        Wikipedia: The United Nations established a Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories, which concluded that Israeli forces had deliberately destroyed the city prior to their withdrawal. The report’s conclusions were subsequently adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It passed a resolution on 29 November 1974 describing the destruction of Quneitra as “a grave breach of the [Fourth] Geneva Convention” and “condemn[ing] Israel for such acts,” by a margin of 93 votes to 8, with 74 abstentions.[5] The United Nations Commission on Human Rights also voted to condemn the “deliberate destruction and devastation” of Quneitra in a resolution of 22 February 1975, by a margin of 22 votes to one (the United States) with nine abstentions.[43]

        The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants has reported that: “Before leaving, however, the Israelis leveled the city with bulldozers and dynamite.”[44]

        Biorabbi,

        can you name a single country doing such repulsive stuff: destruction with no other purpose but spite, after, say, 1950? One can add bombardment of Lebanon AFTER ceasefire was agreed upon in 2006, the destruction of Gaza in 2008, and all the spiteful demolitions until now?

        Is our friend Israel mentally competent?

        PS. The investigation about the destruction of Quneitra was needed because of Israeli denials. This devotion to lies makes Israel quite special among democracies.

      • anan
        July 14, 2012, 1:37 pm

        “This blog was here long before any mass murder taking place in Syria, so don’t waste you faux outrage, it doesn’t convicne anyone. If you were seriously concerned about the “mass murder” taking place in Syria, your outrage would be directed at the FSA as well as the Assad government.”

        Shingo, as you know Assad has repeatedly oppressed and mass murdered Syrians since the 1970s. What is different now is that it is being captured by social media.

        To put the Turkish backed FSA at the same level as Assad is beyond disgusting. Shame on you. :-(

      • anan
        July 14, 2012, 1:45 pm

        piotri wrote: “can you name a single country doing such repulsive stuff: destruction with no other purpose but spite, after, say, 1950?”

        As you well know piotri, there are examples beyond count of countries doing this recently. Saddam repeatedly did this to the Iraqi people. Perhaps most spectacularly in 1975, 1980, 1991. There are extensive videos of the genocide Saddam organized in Najaf, Karbala, Kurdistan and many other parts of Iraq in 1991.

        7 million died in the great Congo war of the late 1990s. Rwanda was part of this.

        More horrible things that this happened in Sudan. Maybe 2 million died. Mugabe in Zimbabwe is another example.

        Pakistan in Bangladesh 1971.

        The Pakistani Army COAS (dictator of Pakistan) Zia helped Osama Bin Laden organize a genocide in Gilgit Kashmir in 1988.

        The communists killed about 1/3 of all Cambodians in the late 1970s. The North Vietnamese did horrible things to the South Vietnamese in 1975. Creating over 6 million boat people, putting over a million into concentration camps and killing over a hundred thousand.

        The USSR repeatedly did horrible things to its own people. And against Afghans in the 1980s.

        The Pakistani Army helped Osama Bin Laden organize another genocide in Mazar e Sharif Afghanistan (against Shia) in 1998.

        There are too many more examples to cite.

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2012, 10:55 pm

        Shingo, as you know Assad has repeatedly oppressed and mass murdered Syrians since the 1970s. What is different now is that it is being captured by social media.

        No, what is different now is that it is that Washington and the GCC have decided it’s time for Assad to go and have suddenly dscovered their moral outrage, while comtonuuin to turn a blind eye to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Palestine.

        To put the Turkish backed FSA at the same level as Assad is beyond disgusting.

        Yeah right, the Turkish backed FSA, crammed with mercenaries and jihadists, and the band of opportunistic exiles known as the Syrian National Council (SNC). The FSA who Al Qaeda has given it’s unqualified support? The FSA who National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCB), the main indigenous opposition movement in Syria, composed of 13 political parties, mostly from the Left, has firmly denounced for it’s militarizm?

        You’re beyond delusional.

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2012, 11:00 pm

        Saddam repeatedly did this to the Iraqi people. Perhaps most spectacularly in 1975, 1980, 1991. There are extensive videos of the genocide Saddam organized in Najaf, Karbala, Kurdistan and many other parts of Iraq in 1991.

        So when does Israel get the Desert Storm treatment Anan?

        More horrible things that this happened in Sudan. Maybe 2 million died

        No they didn’t. Less peopel have died in Sudan that Iraq since 2002.

        The communists killed about 1/3 of all Cambodians in the late 1970s.

        The US killed half a million during the secret bombing campaign. Don’t forget that.

      • Averroes
        July 15, 2012, 4:41 am

        “The US killed half a million during the secret bombing campaign. Don’t forget that.”

        A lot more than that if you add Laos to the picture. And Vietnam, of course. But the crimes and atrocities of the official enemy, i.e. Communist Russia, or Al-Qae’da, or whoever it happens to be at any moment in history, are the only ones that merit any type of criticism or concern. It matters not to people like anan that Saddam, called “the Butcher of Baghdad” after he fell out of favor with his imperial masters in Washington, was at one point in time “an SOB, but our SOB”, specifically when we were arming his military machine in his war of aggression against Iran. This is the pinnacle of hypocrisy. Our crimes, i.e. US crimes and those of its allies, are side-lined, shunned, marginalized, nay even denied completely, or at best justified, because the official ideology states that we are benevolent, peace-loving, civilized, democratic nations who could never stoop to the level of those horrible and barbaric “others”.

      • Averroes
        July 15, 2012, 5:00 am

        The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?

        The media have been too passive when it comes to Syrian opposition sources, without scrutinising their backgrounds and their political connections. Time for a closer look

        link to guardian.co.uk

      • Roya
        July 15, 2012, 12:46 pm

        Correct, Averroes. The “rebels” have been behind many of the massacres but that seems to slip by the MSM.

      • anan
        July 15, 2012, 4:36 pm

        Shingo wrote: “No, what is different now is that it is that Washington and the GCC have decided it’s time for Assad to go and have suddenly dscovered their moral outrage, while comtonuuin to turn a blind eye to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Palestine.”

        Ha! What is different now is that the Syrian people are empowered enough to take Assad on, and the international expectation is that the Syrian people will kick Assad’s butt, perchance back to the deepest of the 7 Jahannam pits. Although, probably that isn’t fair. Saddam was far . . . far worse than Assad. A shallower Jahannam pit might suffice.

        The country that has done the most for the cause of Syrian freedom is Turkey . . . may Yahweh (or Allah if you prefer to call HIM by that name) bless Turkey. The Arab League has also helped. Europe has helped less than the Arab League. the entire Sunni world backs Syrian freedom. The US has helped less than Europe or the Sunni world so far. But maybe America will help more in the future, inshallah (Yahweh willing.)

        Unfortunately, Israel has been slow to support the free Syrian Army so far. For some mentally insane reason some Israelis still harbor the illusion that Assad is Israel’s potential ally. Let us hope that Israel sees the light and does right . . . backing Syrian freedom shoulder to shoulder with the Free Syrian Army and Turkey. May Yahweh bless Israel!

        Whatever happens Shingo . . . know that Assad’s time is almost up.

        After the fall of Assad, Bahraini freedom is also important. Saudi, UAE and Pakistani Army occupation forces should leave Bahrain. But who has the courage to stand up to the Gulf extremists and deep state within the Pakistani Army, especially now that they might have a new ally in Morsi?

        Bahraini freedom will be tougher. But congratulations to you Shingo; it takes courage to support freedom’s cause in Bahrain.

        Saudi freedom . . . we can dream. The greatest security threat to all 7.1 billion of us comes from Gulf extremists and the GHQ within the Pakistani Army. But who has the courage to stand up to them?

        We should pray to Yahweh to bless the Palestinians. We should send the Palestinians love in our prayers and thoughts. And send love to Israelis through our prayers and thoughts . . . and may our love for our beloved Israeli siblings inspire then to do right.

      • anan
        July 15, 2012, 10:39 pm

        “the Turkish backed FSA, crammed with mercenaries and jihadists, and the band of opportunistic exiles known as the Syrian National Council (SNC). The FSA who Al Qaeda has given it’s unqualified support? The FSA who National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCB), the main indigenous opposition movement in Syria, composed of 13 political parties, mostly from the Left, has firmly denounced for it’s militarizm?”

        Some FSA are scoundrels, some are patriots. That is why it is important to work through the Turks and support the better elements. Would you rather the Gulf extremist and Morsi backed parts became dominant?

        Assad’s people claim that the FSA includes 50,000 Syrian salafi fighters who use to fight as the “Iraqi Resistance” inside Iraq 2003-2008. Assad has managed to confuse the Iraqis and PM Maliki with these claims. Iraqis are deeply confused and divided about the FSA. Is your criticism of the FSA motivated by your love of Iraqis and PM Maliki? [If that is your motive, it is honorable.]

        Basically almost every Sunni in the world supports the FSA, including rhetorically Al Qaeda. Obviously Al Qaeda is trying to use the Syria situation to strengthen itself and to attack the hated muslim minorities (Shia, Sufi, Allawite), Christian Crusaders, Jews, and nonmuslims. All the more reason for the nonmuslim world and decent moral muslims lead by Turkey to solve Syria and make Al Qaeda less relevant. Much the way nonmuslims, NATO, Turks, muslims united to solve Bosnia and Kosovo. [At that time Bosnia and Kosovo were one of Al Qaeda’s top international priorities, with many top AQ leaders fighting in the balkans.]

        Al Qaeda and her fellow Takfiri travelers aer Turkey’s enemy. Trust the Turks to ween the FSA away from the Takfiri.

        What other alternative is there?

        Do you really think Assad will allow free and fair elections run by the UN? If he does, that would be great. But is this realistic?

      • Shingo
        July 16, 2012, 4:46 am

        What is different now is that the Syrian people are empowered enough to take Assad on

        What Syrian people might they be Anan? The Alawaites? Nope, they are behind Assad. What about the Shia? Same story. The Christians? Nope, same issue. The business class? Nope.

        Anyone who hasn;t their heads stuck up their rear ends for the past 12 moths knows that the opposition is not the Syrian people. The FSA (the ones with the guns) have pushed their luck and have burned theri bridges with the legitimate Syrian opposition. Car bombs adnsuicide atatcks that kill 50 people at a time tend to have that effect.

        And who are the FSA anyone, other that a bunch of Al Qaeda backed Jihadists foreign fighters and mercenaries armed by the Saudis and the US, who have no regard for Syrians anyway, and see this conflict purely as an opportunity to weaken and isolate Iran.

        The country that has done the most for the cause of Syrian freedom is Turkey .

        Again who’s freedom? Do you seriosly ecxpect us to believe the Arab League, headed by the tyrants in Saudi Arabia, interested in freedom? The same peope cruching their own uprisings on their own soil?

        Unfortunately, Israel has been slow to support the free Syrian Army so far.

        And for good reason. Even the Clinton has admitted that there is a danger that far worse people than Assad could succeed him.

        The bottom line is that you re a complete fraud. One minute you’re baying for Assad’s blood while the next your praying for both ides of the I/P conflist.

      • Shingo
        July 16, 2012, 5:24 am

        Would you rather the Gulf extremist and Morsi backed parts became dominant?

        Duh, the Johadists and Muslim Brotherhood types are running the FSA show genius. This fantasy you have that the Turks are going to make it all turn out perfectly is pure delusion. They have no way of being able to dictate the outcome. Just look at the disaster that unfolded in Lybia. Al Qaeda affiliates are now the Lybian government.

        Assad has managed to confuse the Iraqis and PM Maliki with these claims.

        Yeah right. If only Malaki over there, across the border from Syria, had the access to the high level intelligence you’re accessing on the internet. LOL

        Your argument is like a slow motion train wreck. It’s been openly reported that the FSA are largly made up of the mercenaries that took part in Lybia, who;ve been shipped over to Syria by the Saudis. How many Shiites do you think make up the FSA?

        All the more reason for the nonmuslim world and decent moral muslims lead by Turkey to solve Syria and make Al Qaeda less relevant.

        You mean like the US spolved in Iraq and Afghanistan? Here’s a news flash for you Forrest Gump – no one is going to solve this, not the NATO and not the Turks. Ergdogan can’t even win over the support of his on consituents to support any such action. Even NATO don’t want a bar of it, which is why theyt smacked down Erdogan’s attempts to exploit the situation when the Phantom F4 was shot down.

        What other alternative is there?

        Stay the fuck out of this FUBAR and let the Syrians sort it out.

        Do you really think Assad will allow free and fair elections run by the UN?

        Right, so how many human lives are you prepared to sacrifice to get free and fair elections in Syria? I love how you chickenhawks area alway so anxious to fight to the last drop of other people’s blood.

      • anan
        July 16, 2012, 5:33 am

        Most Christians oppose Assad–the seditious traitorous pile of Khera. Although some Christians support Assad. Most business people also oppose the anti business, anti globalization, protectionist, big government, incompetent Assad.

        Iraqi Shia at least hate Assad. Although they are suspicious about the FSA.

        How many Sunnis in the world (out of over a billion) can you name that support the hmar Assad.

        Al Qaeda is operating on its own, mass murdering Syrians. Don’t blame the FSA for it. In fact some of the attacks have been organized by Assad and blamed on Al Qaeda. Assad backed AQ on a large scale against the Iraqis 2003-2008.

        The US hasn’t armed the FSA yet. So far the Turks, Arab League and Sunnis have. [Some Europeans maybe.]

        If you think the FSA is primarily fighting Assad as a way to weaken Iran . . . you are insane.

        Why do you hate the FSA so much?

        If there was an election between the FSA and Assad, who would win?

      • anan
        July 16, 2012, 5:50 am

        Turkey rocks!!!!!!!!! Go Turkey!

        Shingo, quit being so jealous of Turkish success. Trust the Turks to lead the way on Syria and follow their lead.

        We will see. But you watch. Turkey will inspire NATO. NATO must rally under Turkish leadership.

        “look at the disaster that unfolded in Lybia.” What planet do you live on? Things are better than under Qaddafi. Many thanks to Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and NATO for freeing Libya. [And even thanks to Lebanon and Hezbollah . . . long time enemies of Qaddafi.]

        “Ergdogan can’t even win over the support of his on consituents to support any such action” 100% wrong. Turks are behind Syrian freedom.

        “Phantom F4″ Intentional lie. Assad–the piece of subhuman scum–shot down a Turkish air force jet in an unprovoked attack against a NATO country. An attack on one is an attack on all.

        What is not moral about giving money and weapons to the FSA? And letting the Turks send them embedded combat advisors?

        “Stay the fuck out of this FUBAR and let the Syrians sort it out.”

        For shame. You support nothing of the sort. Russian, Nasrallah and Khamenei occupation troops are not letting the Syrians sort it out, as you well know. Assad is not letting the Syrians sort it out.

        Regarding Iraq . . . at least Iraq is a free democracy now. And the fastest growing large economy in the world. The war was won by Iraqis and their 650 thousand Iraqi Security Forces. Yes the UN and MNF-I helped, but the victory belongs to Iraqis.

        Regarding Afghanistan . . . the problem is the deep state and extremists in the Gulf. But then you already know that.

        I have the deepest respect for PM Maliki and the Iraqi people. Note that they have allowed the FSA to be armed through Iraq. Maliki is no friend of Assad, recognizing Assad for the villain he is. Is that your position?

        Al Qaeda affiliates are now the Lybian government.”

      • Shingo
        July 16, 2012, 8:33 am

        You’re a another juvenile clown who obviously won’t last too long on this blog.

        I have the geatest respect for Turkey and until this Syrian business, great respectd for Erdogan.

        What planet do you live on? Things are better than under Qaddafi.

        yeah right.

        Dozens killed in violence in Libya’s south
        link to washingtonpost.com

        Libya: Human Rights Worse After Gaddafi
        link to uruknet.info

        Is Libya worse off without Gadhafi?
        link to news.yahoo.com

        NATO didn’t free Libya. Nato killed more peopel and destroyed more of Lybia than Gaddafi and then tied up the oil for European interests.

        Assad–the piece of subhuman scum–shot down a Turkish air force jet in an unprovoked attack against a NATO country.

        False. Turkey sent a plane interntionally into Syrian air space to test Syria’s air defenses. NATO showed no interest in taking the matter further and smacked down Erdogan;’s false claim that it was show down in international air space.

        What is not moral about giving money and weapons to the FSA?

        Is it moral to iving money and weapons to murderous suicide bombing jihadists? Do you suport sending money and weapons to Hamas? Same thing isn’t it?

        Russian, Nasrallah and Khamenei occupation troops are not letting the Syrians sort it out, as you well know.

        Yes they are. The FSA are foreing fighters, who have no business in Syria. Even the oficial Syrian opposition have washed their hands of the FSA.

        Regarding Iraq . . . at least Iraq is a free democracy now.

        Ya think?

        Human Rights Watch: Iraq becoming ‘police state’
        link to usatoday.com

        Allawi cites ‘dictatorship,’ Iranian control in Iraq
        link to washingtontimes.com

        Iraq Risks Return to Dictatorship, Kurdish Leader Says
        link to bloomberg.com

        The war was won by Iraqis and their 650 thousand Iraqi Security Forces.

        War against who?

      • Shingo
        July 16, 2012, 8:48 am

        Most Christians oppose Assad–the seditious traitorous pile of Khera.

        According to what data?

        Syria’s Christians stand by Assad
        link to cbsnews.com

        Syria’s Christians stand by Assad
        link to articles.latimes.com

        Most business people also oppose the anti business, anti globalization, protectionist, big government, incompetent Assad.

        Again, according to what data?

        Christian Science Monitor: Why businessmen support Assad in Syria
        link to reeseerlich.com

        Iraqi Shia at least hate Assad. Although they are suspicious about the FSA.

        According to what data?

        Iraqi Leader Backs Syria, With a Nudge From Iran
        link to nytimes.com

        Syria: fall of Bashar al-Assad will bring war to Middle East, warns Iraq
        link to telegraph.co.uk

        Baghdad’s Surprising Support for a Former Enemy
        link to en.qantara.de

        How many Sunnis in the world (out of over a billion) can you name that support the hmar Assad.

        Who cares? All that matters is what Syrian’s want.

        Al Qaeda is operating on its own, mass murdering Syrians. Don’t blame the FSA for it.

        Houla massacre carried out by Free Syrian Army, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
        link to wsws.org

        In fact some of the attacks have been organized by Assad and blamed on Al Qaeda.

        Fact? Where is your source?

        Even the latest claim of a massacre of Tremseh has been debunked.

        Details of a Battle Challenge Reports of a Syrian Massacre
        link to nytimes.com

        Assad backed AQ on a large scale against the Iraqis 2003-2008.

        Again where is your source?

        The US hasn’t armed the FSA yet.

        Of course they have.

        Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination
        link to washingtonpost.com

        Russia defends weapons sales to Syria, says U.S. arming rebels
        link to reuters.com

        If you think the FSA is primarily fighting Assad as a way to weaken Iran . . . you are insane.

        I didn’t say that’s why the FSA is fighting Assad. They are johadists who simply want a sectarian leader replaced with a Wahabi extremist.

        Why do you hate the FSA so much?

        I hate suicide bombing terrorsits and murderers in general.

        If there was an election between the FSA and Assad, who would win?

        Assad. The FSA has no support in Syria. Even the main Syrian opposition has rejected the FSA.

      • Theo
        July 16, 2012, 9:00 am

        It will never be know how many people were killed in the Vietnam War, but a fair estimation puts it around 2.5 – 3 million altogether.
        In Vietnam people are still dying from the effects of the Agent Orange and thousands of misformed babies are born every year. Recently I have seen a TV report on this and made me feel ashamed again.

      • Roya
        July 16, 2012, 1:21 pm

        Couldn’t have said it better Shingo.

      • Roya
        July 16, 2012, 1:27 pm

        Regarding Iraq . . . at least Iraq is a free democracy now.

        Holy shit, this has got to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard you say anan and you’ve set a high standard for that as it is.

      • anan
        July 16, 2012, 3:16 pm

        Roya, Iraq isn’t a perfect free democracy. Neither is Israel, Indonesia, Malaysia, Albania, Bangladesh, Lebanon, or Turkey. But they are all generally free democracies. It looks like Tunisia is becoming one too.

        What is your definition of free democracy?

        Iraq has had 3 peaceful legal transfers of power through the democratic process:
        1) April 2005
        2) June 2006
        3) 2010
        Iraq’s 12.15.2005 election had 80% voter turnout. How many countries can boast that?

        Since 2005 the Iraqi Army has stayed loyal to Iraq’s elected fully legitimate government. [The Iraqi Army wasn’t significantly functional before 2005.] They have stayed in the barracks. Every senior Iraqi Army officer appointment and transfer has been made by Iraq’s elected government since 2005.

        Roya, are you one of those people who inaccurately calls Israel the only democracy in the middle east?

        What is the deal with some of the commentators here? Do some of you think that the “Arab Mind” is incapable of freedom and democracy? Where does your “superiority” complex come from? Some Israelis talk like that. Absurd.

        If you mean that Iraq is a very corrupt crony free democracy, then guilty as charged.

        It is absurd and wrong that the US congress has made it so much more difficult for the Iraqi Army to buy US weapons than Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, UAE. This was even true 2005-2008 when the commander of MNF-I (a four star US general) was figuratively begging Congress on their knees to stop blocking exports of US weapons to Iraq and start treating the Iraqis and their beloved Iraqi Army with respect. This isn’t even mentioning the frequent nasty slurs many members of the US congress frequently said about the esprit de corps of the Iraqi Army.

        Unfortunately some Israelis are also disrespectful towards Iraqis and the Iraqi Army.

        This blog presumably is home to some Israelis. Can they explain why this is? Why don’t Israelis respect their Arab brothers and sisters and their beloved armies more?

        I know and get that you Israelis are great and that you are the best in the world at many . . . many things. Fully agree with you on that. But non Israeli Arabs are great too you know. Many Arabs are even potential allies against Europe’s deep dark anti semetic belly. [European Jew haters often hate Palestinians and Arabs too.]

        Sorry about the rant Israeli siblings. Love you.

      • Roya
        July 16, 2012, 3:43 pm

        Anan, it looks like you’ve picked up a copy of Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People and have tried to take his concepts to a whole new level. It’s quite amusing, pass the popcorn please:

        Roya, Iraq isn’t a perfect free democracy. Neither is Israel, Indonesia, Malaysia, Albania, Bangladesh, Lebanon, or Turkey. But they are all generally free democracies. It looks like Tunisia is becoming one too.

        What is your definition of free democracy?

        Iraq has had 3 peaceful legal transfers of power through the democratic process:
        1) April 2005
        2) June 2006
        3) 2010
        Iraq’s 12.15.2005 election had 80% voter turnout. How many countries can boast that?

        Since 2005 the Iraqi Army has stayed loyal to Iraq’s elected fully legitimate government. [The Iraqi Army wasn’t significantly functional before 2005.] They have stayed in the barracks. Every senior Iraqi Army officer appointment and transfer has been made by Iraq’s elected government since 2005.

        Roya, are you one of those people who inaccurately calls Israel the only democracy in the middle east?

        What is the deal with some of the commentators here? Do some of you think that the “Arab Mind” is incapable of freedom and democracy? Where does your “superiority” complex come from? Some Israelis talk like that. Absurd.

        If you mean that Iraq is a very corrupt crony free democracy, then guilty as charged.

        It is absurd and wrong that the US congress has made it so much more difficult for the Iraqi Army to buy US weapons than Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, UAE. This was even true 2005-2008 when the commander of MNF-I (a four star US general) was figuratively begging Congress on their knees to stop blocking exports of US weapons to Iraq and start treating the Iraqis and their beloved Iraqi Army with respect. This isn’t even mentioning the frequent nasty slurs many members of the US congress frequently said about the esprit de corps of the Iraqi Army.

        Unfortunately some Israelis are also disrespectful towards Iraqis and the Iraqi Army.

        This blog presumably is home to some Israelis. Can they explain why this is? Why don’t Israelis respect their Arab brothers and sisters and their beloved armies more?

        I know and get that you Israelis are great and that you are the best in the world at many . . . many things. Fully agree with you on that. But non Israeli Arabs are great too you know. Many Arabs are even potential allies against Europe’s deep dark anti semetic belly. [European Jew haters often hate Palestinians and Arabs too.]

        Sorry about the rant Israeli siblings. Love you.

    • Inanna
      July 8, 2012, 1:22 am

      Yeah. Because when someone else does something bad, it absolves Israel of all wrong-doing.

      • anan
        July 14, 2012, 1:46 pm

        Inaanna wrote “Yeah. Because when someone else does something bad, it absolves Israel of all wrong-doing.”

        Respectfully I disagree.

      • Roya
        July 15, 2012, 12:46 pm

        Respectfully your comments don’t show it.

  4. seafoid
    July 7, 2012, 3:18 pm

    I guess it was hard for these Americans to understand that Jews are chosen in Erez Israel and the democracy is just for show and that it is all supported to the hilt by US taxpayers. Jim Crow lives and he wears a kippa.

    • anan
      July 7, 2012, 4:07 pm

      seafoid, an American citizen is an American citizen. If Israelis mess with American citizens, aren’t they messing with America?

      biorabbi, didn’t Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, may peace be upon him, tell you? Nasrallah had a vision where God made Nasrallah and Assad his two main representatives and forced Gabriel, Michael, and all the other angels bow to them and take future orders from them?

      Haven’t you seen on Russian TV about how Assad is a humanitarian do gooder trying to save the wales?

      According to Nasrallah Assad means well and any civilians hurt is accidental or the fault of Israelis. [Not that I understand how that is even remotely possible.]

      • Avi_G.
        July 8, 2012, 3:34 am

        biorabbi, didn’t Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, may peace be upon him, tell you? Nasrallah had a vision where God made Nasrallah and Assad his two main representatives and forced Gabriel, Michael, and all the other angels bow to them and take future orders from them?

        I was in Jerusalem earlier this year and went to visit the old city, exploring its alleyways and enjoying the local cultures. Curiosity got the best of me so I joined a group of tourists and entered with them the Aqsa mosque.

        The architecture was fascinating and I soon found myself puzzled at the sight of a mosaic of the Star of David that was on the Minbahr, an elevated podium-like structure where the Imam goes up to address worshipers.

        Nearby sat a guide. Earlier, he had explained to tourists the meaning and symbolism of various architectural pieces in the mosque.

        Puzzled at the presence of the Star of David, I approached that guide. He was a nice gentleman of short stature. When he saw me approaching him, he stood up and offered a welcoming smile.

        So I asked him: “I noticed that there is a Star of David over there. How come it is there?”

        He explained: “Well, Moses — peace be upon him — was one of the prophets through whom God spread the message of Judaism”.

        Before, I was thinking in purely political terms. I immediately associated the Star with Israel/Zionism. The fact that Moses and by extension Judaism are revered in Islam completely escaped my mind.

        But I found it fascinating how Moslems and Islam can have reverence for Judaism and show Jews respect, while Zionists can display such blatant disregard for others’ religion. They exude with racism and hatred, mockery and disdain whenever they open their mouths.

        So when an Islamophobe like yourself writes:

        Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, may peace be upon him

        , I am reminded of the ugliness and the depravity that many of Israel’s supporters expel when they type on a keyboard or when they open their mouths.

      • Roya
        July 15, 2012, 12:47 pm

        Two summers ago Israelis messed with (well, murdered to be more specific) an American citizen but the U.S. didn’t do anything about it. Same thing happened 9 years ago.

      • anan
        July 15, 2012, 4:13 pm

        “Two summers ago Israelis messed with (well, murdered to be more specific) an American citizen but the U.S. didn’t do anything about it. Same thing happened 9 years ago.”

        I didn’t know. This has to stop. No one should make America seem ridiculous. America might not be powerful enough to stand up to Israel yet. But that time is coming. Beware.

      • Roya
        July 15, 2012, 7:54 pm

        Anan, the point is not about making “America seem ridiculous.” The point is that two Americans got murdered, and while that is two more murders than should have happened, not once did Congress or the White House do anything, seek justice, seek closure for the family. Both cases were largely ignored by the MSM, and in both cases the little coverage that was given made it seem as if the murders were the fault of the victims. But that same media hammered the name of a non-American, Gilad Shalit, into every American’s head.

        Their names, by the way, were Furkan Dogan and Rachel Corrie. It’s quite unbelievable that you were unaware of their murders given your interest in the subject. And please quell any Zionist urge you may have of telling me the Israeli side of the story. I’ve heard it, and frankly I’m not interested in shameless apologetics.

  5. anan
    July 7, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Find this difficult to understand. Under what statute, law or regulation are Palestinian civilians denied access to public areas?

    If there are no such laws, why don’t Palestinians sue the IDF officers for conducting actions that are illegal under Israeli law?

    I get if young Palestinian men might need to occasionally be searched because of suspicion of terrorism. But why woman in hijab? How are they a threat?

    Has someone e-mailed the Israeli government or Israeli consulates for answers to these questions?

    Are many offering pro bono legal services to Palestinians so that they can sue for their civil rights?

  6. Roya
    July 7, 2012, 4:47 pm

    Brandon, do you know if the women who were arrested contacted the US embassy? I know it would’ve been futile, but just curious…

  7. German Lefty
    July 7, 2012, 5:19 pm

    As one soldier explained to me that day, “We’re not racist. It’s just Arabs who can’t come here.”
    Is it strange that this made me laugh?

    • Theo
      July 16, 2012, 9:03 am

      Lady Lefty

      Welcome back. By the way, are you a green lefty, an SPD lefty or a PDS lefty?

      • German Lefty
        July 16, 2012, 10:12 am

        Welcome back. By the way, are you a green lefty, an SPD lefty or a PDS lefty?

        Theo, what do you mean by “welcome back”? I haven’t been gone.

        Apparently, you haven’t been to Germany for a while, because PDS doesn’t exist anymore. The successor party is called “Die Linke” (The Left).
        Wikipedia: “The party was founded on 16 June 2007 as the merger of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS)—the successor of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (the ruling party of East Germany until 1989)—and the Electoral Alternative for Labour and Social Justice (WASG).”

        The SPD and The Greens are centre-left parties. I, however, call myself “lefty”, not “centre-lefty”. So, my political affiliation should be clear.

  8. RoHa
    July 7, 2012, 8:32 pm

    “We’re not racist. It’s just Arabs who can’t come here.”

    And I’m not an anti-Semite, either.

  9. biorabbi
    July 8, 2012, 4:30 am

    And how is Dr. Assad treating the Palestinians? Is he shelling their camps, is the lion of the zionist resistance murdering them this very day, is he hunting them? Is Al Jazeera a zionist mouthpiece spouting hasbara?

    • anan
      July 14, 2012, 1:52 pm

      Nice point biorabbi. Assad has been oppressing Palestinians since the 1970s.

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2012, 10:58 pm

        Assad has been oppressing Palestinians since the 1970s

        And Israel has been since the 40’s, but let’s pretend otherwise.

  10. JohnWV
    July 8, 2012, 6:44 am

    Israel has made itself into a militant supremacist theocracy/ethnocracy with ICBM nukes; a very real and rapidly increasing threat to itself and to the whole world. A pariah among nations. Justice demands that UN and NATO impose resolution just as involuntary, disruptive and humiliating to Israel as Israel has wreaked upon occupied Palestine for generations. The Jewish State must be made to recognize an armed Palestine with externally enforced autonomy, eviction of all settlers, true contiguity encompassing Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem together, neither pinched nor parceled, and pay punitive reparations.

  11. Shegetz
    July 8, 2012, 1:39 pm

    “And how is Dr. Assad treating the Palestinians? Is he shelling their camps, is the lion of the zionist resistance murdering them this very day, is he hunting them?”

    Sane people have compassion for the plight of other human beings. All other human beings.

    It’s called empathy.

    To most of us, it doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish, Black, Pink, Hindi, Right-wing, Lefty or whatnot. Most of us actually care about other people, even if we disagree.

    As for Assad and his cronies, they’ll get theirs it seems. However, if you really want equality in this and want Israel to be treated like Syria and endure overflights of hostile aircraft, the non-stop media condemnation, the bombing of suspected nuclear sites and the assassinations of key personnel – I say just sit back and give it some time.

    That and much more is coming Israel’s way soon enough.

    What I don’t think you get, and likely never will, is that many of the people on this site desperately want Israel to survive this. It’s not ‘Israel bashing’ for its own sake. They don’t want to see the same crushing sanctions and isolation that has been brought to bear on Iran focused on Israel. But, if nothing changes in the next 5 years or so that’s exactly what you’re going to be up against – slowly but surely.

    So I’d suggest you learn to read and listen better, and talk less.

    I just read a highly critical piece of Bibi, stating that the whole Iran affair is an exercise in distraction – that while Bibi condemns the Iranians it provides cover for expansion of the illegal settlements.

    What was shocking about it was that it was an editorial in a local paper in a small town full of seniors and middle-aged white people. These aren’t ‘fringe’ or ‘rebel youth’ folk running looking for a cause to champion. These are the people who vote for the people who currently give the Israelis a pass on their bad behavior.

    So enjoy the largess while you can. Israel’s ride is on our dime, remember. When it all comes to a terrible end because nobody wants to be associated with them and their actions anymore, don’t come crying that you’ve been betrayed or that nobody warned you.

    This turnabout and more can happen with a terrible swiftness and it will just mean more pain and suffering for everyone involved if it does.

    • biorabbi
      July 8, 2012, 9:48 pm

      I do understand your point of view. I read between the lines as well. I understand your strong opinions. I define my meager notion of Judaism in response to your words and your sentiment. I know there are many who believe as you do… but there are also those of good heart who believe Israel should not be singled out, with an empathy blackout for what happens just beyond the Golan Heights.

      • Shegetz
        July 9, 2012, 10:07 am

        Israel certainly is singled out and should be. One criticizes their brothers more closely than strangers after all, and quite rightfully holds them to a higher standard.

        It’s almost like Israel is acting like a teen, in that it so desperately seems to want approval and be part of the world ‘family’ on one hand, but say something even mildly critical about its lifestyle and watch out! “Oh, but my friends do it too.”, “Mind your own business.” and “But at least I’m not as bad as….”.

        “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”

        With this sort of hypersensitivity you can expect all sorts of distortions. You attract attention to things when you try to conceal them. The way people are treated when they are perceived to be publicly critical of Israel is abominable. How many in the West have been ostracized, lost their job, been slandered or threatened or suffered one iota for their criticism of Syria or Iran? Anyone at all? Is anyone even frightened in the slightest of doing so?

        On top of this, as you know, Syria dominates the news cycle right now – but they’ve been regularly singled out for years. Israel on the other hand seems to suffer bizarre news blackouts. I’d never have known about the protests last summer, for example, if I didn’t have friends in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Nobody covered it in North America – at least not properly. It got a brief, late mention – if at all – in some media and got a very ‘light touch’ indeed. If you blinked you’d have missed it, and if you’d relied on their reporting you’d still not really know what the issues were about. Meanwhile, if someone sneezes in Damascus, Cairo, or Tehran we know all about it…

        However, you are to a greater extent correct. Israel is singled out in some ways and the language we use with her is different than that we use with the Arab countries around it. This is because the relationship is different and the expectations higher because our investment in her is greater. This is why BDS stands to be a very big problem for her as Israel is, despite claims of ‘Jews can only count on Jews only’, quite dependent and interconnected with the economies and culture of the West, and enthusiastically so.

        So as more and more stories of how Christians and Palestinians are treated leak into the mainstream, expect even greater scrutiny – though I think it’ll be when the internal strife within the Jewry in Israel, barely kept in check by the pressures of external ‘existential threats’, are hitting the news here that will really be the beginning of the end. This is already happening to a limited degree, though usually with stories focused on frictions with the settlement movement. However, with the violent arrests and police harassment, that was so notably absent last year, starting already I’m not sure that will last long.

        It will be an interesting summer, I think.

      • anan
        July 9, 2012, 12:17 pm

        Shegetz, should Israel in your opinion be singled out by people who don’t happen to be Israelis? I don’t think so. Everyone on earth belongs to a shared humanity and has equal rights and potential.

      • Shegetz
        July 9, 2012, 1:31 pm

        “Shegetz, should Israel in your opinion be singled out by people who don’t happen to be Israelis?”

        The “Mind Your Own Business.” argument? By this tortured logic only Israelis can have an opinion on Israeli issues. If this is the case then it follows that Israel and Israelis can’t voice any opinions about the internal issues of any other countries, like Syria or Iran or Lebanon, because a country’s internal issues are only for their citizens…right?

        See that happening anytime soon? This is not how life, or the world, works. We are all connected you see, giving rise to this thing called ‘international diplomacy’ which you seem to agree with as you go on to state:

        “Everyone on earth belongs to a shared humanity and has equal rights and potential.”

        That’s right: shared humanity. Shared. So everyone gets to have an opinion and a voice about matters that concern them and effect their lives. Thus, people have a right to have an opinion on Israeli policies and how their investments and goodwill in the country are being used.

        No one is denying Israeli rights or humanity with criticism of policy that denies such rights to others. The common reaction to it is all rather juvenile. Real adults don’t mind discussing the issues. This whole ‘don’t single Israel out’ is nothing but a tired deflection and you know it.

        If non-Israelis can be shameless cheerleaders for Israel, then it follows that non-Israelis should be just as free to energetically condemn them at the same volume should they choose to.

      • MRW
        July 9, 2012, 2:16 pm

        “Shegetz, should Israel in your opinion be singled out by people who don’t happen to be Israelis? I don’t think so.”

        By that lackluster logic no countrymen could talk about any other country. Is Israel a sophisticated country or not? Does it want to be a nation, taken seriously? Or is it some hayseed depot filled with ignorant shlubs from the farm who can’t compete in the 21st C? You can’t have it both ways.

        People criticize the USA and Americans all the time. BFD.

      • edwin
        July 16, 2012, 11:06 am

        Should Israel be singled out by people who aren’t Israelis?

        Lots of different answers here:

        1. Should South Africans (notice that the Whites is assumed just as Jewish is assumed) be singled out by people who aren’t South Africans?
        2. Should I ignore the crimes that the country I live in commits in foreign countries because I don’t live in those foreign countries?
        3. Should I ignore the claims of foreign countries, or should I examine and criticize those clams? Eg: Israel has the most moral army. Israel is a democracy.
        4. Should I ignore the crimes of countries because there is an active effort to cover up those crimes, or should I redouble my efforts to expose those crimes?

        Claiming that everyone belongs to a shared humanity and has equal rights and potentials then claiming that people should not single out countries that fail to meet the standards is bizarre.

      • anan
        July 16, 2012, 12:56 pm

        Edwin,

        Should every country and group of people be held to the same human standard? Are there such things as human values that transcend country, religion and group?

        “South Africans” does not assume white. South Africans should not be singled out.

        “Israelis” does not mean Jewish. 23% of all patriotic Israeli citizens are not Jews. Combined, a majority of patriotic Israeli citizens have either Arab Jewish and non Jewish Arab ancestry. Israel is in many ways an Arab majority country.

        Are you Israeli? If you are not Israeli, what does “Should I ignore the crimes that the country I live in commits in foreign countries because I don’t live in those foreign countries?” refer to and how is that relevant to how you should treat Israelis?

        For that matter, Israelis generally have a good record except on one issue, the question of the Palestinians. Other than that, Israelis treat their non Jewish immigrants (tech workers from India, China etc.) well. Israelis are remarkably diverse and encourage diversity of thought. [Without this Israel’s couldn’t have had as much economic and technological success as she has experienced.] Israel also has good relations with China, Russia, India, Japan, Germany, Serbia . . . even Turkey. Israeli Turkish milititary cooperation and joint training are extensive. As are joint military R&D; and civilian trade, investment and collaborative product development. Israelis seek friendship with Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Cuba, Venezuela . . .basically anyone and everyone who isn’t Palestinian. Israelis contribute to global natural disasters and is generally a positive global citizen. Israel has done a lot of good that has benefited the whole world.

        This said, Israel’s good character and values require her to do right by the Palestinians. Israel must love, respect and understand the Palestinians . . . which very sadly for so great, good and noble a country . . . she so far does not. :-(

        “3. Should I ignore the claims of foreign countries, or should I examine and criticize those clams? Eg: Israel has the most moral army. Israel is a democracy.” Does this mean that Israel is a foreign country for you? What army in the world doesn’t believe it is God’s best gift to man and moral? Obviously the IDF regards itself as superior and more moral than Russians, Americans, Europeans, Indians, Chinese and Japanese.

        “4. Should I ignore the crimes of countries because there is an active effort to cover up those crimes, or should I redouble my efforts to expose those crimes?”

        The goal is wrong. Shouldn’t the goal be to love, respect and understand the Palestinians and pray for them? Shouldn’t the goal be to facilitate Palestinians achieving amazing things beyond anyone’s wildest dreams? Is it is precocious, pretentious, condescending and patronizing to win Palestinians their freedom? Is it better to surge Palestinian capacity and watch the Palestinians automatically receive justice?

        “Claiming that everyone belongs to a shared humanity and has equal rights and potentials then claiming that people should not single out countries that fail to meet the standards is bizarre.”

        Not sure what this means. Should every country be held to the same standard equally?

        Try to see things from a Palestinian perspective. Palestinians like Israelis live in a natural desert and a natural water supply that can only support a fraction of the population. This forces Palestinians to pay enormous amounts of money per gallon of desalinated ocean water and to import their food (since it is too expensive to farm with desalinated ocean water.)

        Palestinian imports are about $4 billion/year. Palestinian exports are about $500 million/year. The Palestinian Authority generates more income from international grants than from tax revenues. International grants that can be cut off at any moment.

        Palestinians need good relations with Israelis. Palestinians need:
        –large numbers of student visas for Palestinian students to study inside Israel and large numbers of Israeli funded scholarships to pay tuition for cash strapped Palestinian students who want to study inside Israel
        –large numbers of work visas for Palestinian workers to work inside Israel, in some cases living inside Israel and in other cases communing across the border daily to work inside Israel
        –large numbers of business and tourist visas to visit Israel
        –free trade and free investment with Israel
        –free cross border collaboration on product development by Israelis and Palestinians
        –massive annual grants paid for by Israeli tax payers

        The Palestinian economy is deeply dependent on Israel. “Palestinians own more property inside Israel than Palestinians own inside Palestine.”

        To ask Palestinians to break off relations with Israel and punish Palestinians who “collaborate” with Israel would devastate the Palestinian economy. Is it fair and just to ask Palestinians to dehydrate and starve to death for foreigners who are neither Palestinians nor Israelis?

        This is the precise reason I consider BDS immoral and unjust. What right to foreigners have to force Palestinians to commit suicide for them?

      • Citizen
        July 16, 2012, 5:59 pm

        RE: ” Israel is in many ways an Arab majority country.”
        Anan, please count the ways–you don’t have to rhyme them, must spell them out for us. Thanks!

        RE: ” Israel has done a lot of good that has benefited the whole world.”
        Really, Anan? Name a few that weren’t momentary small PR stunts. Start with what good Israel has done in S America countries.

        RE: ” What army in the world doesn’t believe it is God’s best gift to man and moral? ”
        Please educate me, Anan, because I’m not aware of any countries other than the USA and Israel who regularly claim these days that they are the best at everything, and I’m not even sure the US claims its the “most moral army in the world.” Just the strongest, the best, etc–at least not directly as IDF has often claimed.

        And yes, the Palestinians need all those economic and educational incentives you list–so why does Israel maintain a policy matrix making sure the Palestinians don’t get such opportunities?

        Do you think America’s draconian economic sanctions on the Iranian people is unjust and counter-productive, as you do BDS on Israel? If not, why not?

    • MRW
      July 9, 2012, 2:05 pm

      “What was shocking about it was that it was an editorial in a local paper in a small town full of seniors and middle-aged white people.”

      Not shocking at all. We’ve been discussing this for two years here. The NY-DC news roach motel is completely unaware of it: they only notice what’s incoming, not what is.

    • anan
      July 14, 2012, 1:56 pm

      Shegetz, your first comment is very nice. :-)

      Regarding your second comment: “Israel certainly is singled out and should be.”

      I disagree. All humans belong to one family. Shouldn’t we have equal compassion for everyone?

      “Israel is singled out in some ways and the language we use with her is different than that we use with the Arab countries around it. This is because the relationship is different and the expectations higher because our investment in her is greater.”

      Are you saying that the world should have higher expectations of Israel than the world has of Arabs? Could you elaborate on why?

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2012, 10:57 pm

        Shouldn’t we have equal compassion for everyone?

        Especially murderers and human rights abusers right Anan? Where is their boice in all this right Anan? LOL.

  12. Averroes
    July 9, 2012, 5:13 pm

    While reading through the comments above, I can’t help but think of two relevant quotes that sum up the debate pretty well:

    1) “My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.” Noam Chomsky

    2) As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action.

    But they ask — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted.

    Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

    Martin Luther King

    • piotr
      July 13, 2012, 11:03 pm

      One thing about Vietnam, American nation did not solve any problems using massive does of violence.

    • anan
      July 14, 2012, 2:01 pm

      piotr, did the North Vietnamese polibureau solve any problems using violence?

      Was it right and just for them to create over 6 million boat people, put over a million south vietnamese in concentration camps and kill over a hundred thousand South Vietnamese (after the fall of South Vietnam, not talking about the vast numbers of South Vietnamese that died fighting the North Vietnamese.)
      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Avverroes, your analogy is incorrect. The world is deeply interconnected and interdependent. You can significantly affect the actions of others just as Japanese, Chinese and Brazilians can and do significantly influence and impact Americans.

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