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How to respond to thoughtful people who can’t help saying ‘but Hamas’

on 57 Comments
A Palestinian man overlooks the Jaramana Refugee Camp in Damascus, Syria in 1948. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

A Palestinian man overlooks the Jaramana Refugee Camp in Damascus, Syria in 1948. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

In conversations about Gaza, I have heard many thoughtful people in the Jewish community lament the loss of Palestinian lives in Gaza but then say, “But Hamas…,” as if that were the heart of the problem. I’d like to suggest that, when we have these conversations about Hamas and Israel’s current bombing campaign, we begin with the necessary context and historical perspective.

Re: The Nakba

1. To create the Jewish state, the Zionist movement destroyed more than 400 Palestinians villages and expelled 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and land. Palestinians who remained in what became Israel were relegated to second-class citizenship, had much of their property confiscated, and, to this day, have fewer rights than Jewish Israeli citizens.

Re: The 1967 Occupation

2. In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem and still occupies them until this day.

Re: Settlement expansion; the apartheid wall; and the siege of Gaza

3. Over the past 47 years of occupation, Israel has illegally confiscated more and more Palestinian land; built an apartheid wall; systematically denied Palestinians basic human and civil rights and engaged in state-sponsored violence; and forced the Palestinians in Gaza to live in appalling conditions that make it increasingly impossible to survive. Israel’s latest bombing campaign, Operation Protective Edge, has killed over 1,900 Palestinians, at least 450 of whom are children, and has displaced hundreds of thousands more.

If those of us in the Jewish community who are committed to justice begin from these facts, I think it would become clearer – regardless of who the Palestinian leadership is – that the underlying problem really is the denial of freedom and basic human rights to millions of people, for decades. And, as a community, it should also become clearer where priorities need to be in order to have any integrity on this issue: addressing the Nakba of 1948 and the responsibility for the Nakba head-on – including the right of return for refugees; ending the occupation; ending the siege on Gaza; and recognizing the right to full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

This article originally appeared on Tikkun Magazine’s website.

Donna Nevel
About Donna Nevel

Donna Nevel, a community psychologist and educator, is co-director of PARCEO. She's a founding member of Jews Say No!, Facing the Nakba, and Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism (JAAMR) and was a co-founder of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.

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57 Responses

  1. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr on August 15, 2014, 1:08 pm

    On conversing with Jewish Zionists, don’t miss this spectacular video:

    http://youtu.be/QLDE4mRwfSQ

    (I thought this had already been posted at MW, but I can’t find it at the moment so I’m putting it here. If I missed it, forgive the duplication.)

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont on August 15, 2014, 1:32 pm

      Everyone should watch it.
      Voltaire: to see who rules you, see who you cannot criticize.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on August 15, 2014, 2:05 pm

        An interesting video! But I don’t think that Voltaire, or anyone in the early modern period, when it was fairly obvious who had to be treated with respect, said that.

    • Sycamores
      Sycamores on August 15, 2014, 1:46 pm

      i gave it a like over on youtube.
      good point about how Egypt shut down the tunnels on their side without any massacres.

      • Henry Norr
        Henry Norr on August 15, 2014, 1:52 pm

        Yeah, though I’m sure you agree that the right way to deal with the tunnels is certainly not the Egyptian approach, but to make them unnecessary by opening the borders for starters, then building a port, rebuilding the airport, and all the rest.

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores on August 15, 2014, 2:11 pm

        i agree totally. i believe the point Carey Wedler was making was why couldn’t Israel close the tunnels without killing so many civilians. hopefully others who try to justified the murder of civilians might stop and think about that.

    • ritzl
      ritzl on August 15, 2014, 1:57 pm

      Thanks, Henry. All her videos are interesting.

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty on August 15, 2014, 2:43 pm

      Great video. Thanks for sharing.

    • ejran
      ejran on August 15, 2014, 4:41 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing.
      I wish she had enabled comments, just to provide proof for her point.

    • Karl Dubhe
      Karl Dubhe on August 15, 2014, 5:41 pm

      Very powerful vid.

      I came across something in a book, and thought I’d share it. I think this would be the best place to put it, as it fits. I think anyhow.

      ‘But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word: and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.’

      • just
        just on August 15, 2014, 5:58 pm

        That ‘something’ is spot- on. Many thanks, Karl.

  2. piotr
    piotr on August 15, 2014, 1:54 pm

    I was thinking about the issue in the context of Hannity asking guests to his show “Is Hamas a terrorist organization, yes or no?” and throwing them out after they refused one word answer. In the aftermath he was ridiculed on you-tube which somehow damaged his thin skin so he devoted a show to denigrate Russell Brand for his contumely.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_m98GAdqKM

    There is really no way to respond to Hannity in the confines of his show which is “not set in the most conducive way for a thoughtful discussion”. But in a more relaxed setting, we have to first ask: WHAT it terrorism and WHO are terrorists. These two questions have surprisingly unrelated answers. “What” usually lists attacks on civilians, or “innocent civilians”, which opens room for quibbling who is a civilian and who is innocent. It is not so simple, however: the “most heinous act of terrorism” listed in the context of Hezbollah is the attack on Marine barracks in Lebanon. Attacks on military targets are routinely called “terrorist”. But attacks on civilian targets are not always described as terrorist.

    NYT: “Deadly Bombing in Beirut Suburb, a Hezbollah Stronghold, Raises Tensions BEIRUT, Lebanon — The second deadly car bomb to strike the Beirut area in less than a week exploded on Thursday in a southern suburb of residential apartment buildings that is home to top Hezbollah offices and heavily populated with the group’s supporters.

    The blast created a black column of smoke visible across the city, shattered windows 11 floors up and hurled debris hundreds of feet.”

    Were the perpetrators “terrorist”? We can address the WHO question. No! “In recent weeks, Sunni fighters have said in interviews and video statements that they plan to escalate attacks on Hezbollah interests in Lebanon.” Here you are: they were fighters.

    Perplexed? There is the guide for you, oh, the perplexed ones! State Department has a list. Hamas is on the list, and Abdullah Azzam Brigades who claimed the responsibility in the residential Beirut neighborhood is not.

    Very recently, President of USA asked Congress to allow him to spend 500,000,000 dollars to support fighters of that kind, promising some kind of screening, uncle Sam would review his list and check it twice to find out which fighters are naughty and which are nice. Or would they subcontract Santa Claus who has rich experience and good delivery capacity?

    A totally naive person could try to learn how the State Department compiles its list. Do they have, ahem, criteria? A more experienced person would know that secrecy in such matter is the most basic tool of stagecraft, essential part of the power of the state that protects us against hordes that would otherwise attack us by plane, boat, on foot and through tunnels.

    • JeffB
      JeffB on August 15, 2014, 3:46 pm

      @piotr

      : WHAT it terrorism and WHO are terrorists. These two questions have surprisingly unrelated answers. “What” usually lists attacks on civilians, or “innocent civilians”, which opens room for quibbling who is a civilian and who is innocent.

      The issue here is that there are 2 different core of terrorism.

      1) The use of violence short of war against a population to change political opinion.
      2) Violent actions by militias not in control of specific territory (i.e. not a government or guerrilla organization) as a way of exerting political pressure.

      Now mostly these tend to be related. But they are not the same. For example state terror meets criteria (1) but not criteria (2), while something like the French resistance meets criteria (2) but not criteria (1). Moreover there are two more confusing issues.

      There is often an attempt to twist these definitions with a “do I agree with the cause” claim. So for example in anti-colonial thinking resisting colonials becomes “resistance” and “aggression” is something the colonizers are doing. Under that definition “terrorism” is either something the bad guys can do but the good guys cannot do. Most governments, especially those that are frequent state sponsors of terrorism like USA, Russia, Iran are fond of this distinction.

      The second is the criteria of “do I agree with the act / target” and that only bad acts against bad targets can be terrorism. This is one lots of terrorists groups are fond of. And what you are alluding to in trying to distinguish between civilian and military targets.

      But if you use either definition (1) or (2) terrorism becomes pretty easy to define.

      As for the State Department’s list being a farce, I’d agree. The USA because we don’t have a colonial army and our military is very expensive to deploy has generally made generous use of state sponsorship of terrorism to achieve our aims. At the same time of course we don’t like to admit we do this so… As an aside, while not a perfect record under Bush-43 the USA did move away from state sponsorship of terrorism mostly, and as a consequence had to use troops more directly. People didn’t like that so we are quickly backtracking to the previous strategy.

      • ziusudra
        ziusudra on August 16, 2014, 3:14 am

        Greetings JeffB,
        Let’s just start history on Gaza of 2007:
        They are sealed & sardined into an area of 41 Km long & 12Km wide being 1.8 mn people.
        Zionistan not only steals their water & all other resources, but rations them on all. Blockading is Kidnapping.Kinapping alone is an int’l crime.
        Zionistan goes in militarily every so often & destroyes them, you know, fishing in de barrel.
        ziusudra
        PS You bring in your kindergarden Machiavelli & Clausewitz speak.
        Oy, Bubala, that’s an arguement?

  3. piotr
    piotr on August 15, 2014, 2:04 pm

    An addendum: the meaning of “terrorist” evolves so quickly that I tried to use only VERY recent examples.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976 on August 15, 2014, 3:44 pm

      The main problem with usage of words like this, I think, is equivocation between neutral and value-laden forms. The neutral form permits relevant actions to be justified, at least in the extreme necessities where people claim to find themselves. The value-laden form forbids this, so is all but always used for the actions of the other side. People never say whether they are effectively leaving open, or effectively foreclosing, the possibility that the actions they discuss can sometimes be justified.

  4. hophmi
    hophmi on August 15, 2014, 2:20 pm

    “1. To create the Jewish state, the Zionist movement destroyed more than 400 Palestinians villages and expelled 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and land. Palestinians who remained in what became Israel were relegated to second-class citizenship, had much of their property confiscated, and, to this day, have fewer rights than Jewish Israeli citizens.”

    To which I answer that there were quite a number of Jews expelled from their homes as well, that the war was a civil war, that the Palestinians were not innocent, that the Arab armies that invaded Israel were certainly not innocent, that the rhetoric from Arab leaders during the war was genocidal, and that this was 66 years ago and provides no excuse for why the refugee problem has been stoked for years by Arab governments, who have not treated the Palestinians well and no excuse for the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries afterward, in the hundreds of thousands.

    “2. In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem and still occupies them until this day.”

    After 20 years of terrorism from those places and after a war in which Arab armies massed on their border and threatened to throw the Jews into the sea, and after 20 years in which these places were occupied by others who brought the people no closer to statehood.

    “3. Over the past 47 years of occupation, Israel has illegally confiscated more and more Palestinian land; built an apartheid wall; systematically denied Palestinians basic human and civil rights and engaged in state-sponsored violence; and forced the Palestinians in Gaza to live in appalling conditions that make it increasingly impossible to survive. Israel’s latest bombing campaign, Operation Protective Edge, has killed over 1,900 Palestinians, at least 450 of whom are children, and has displaced hundreds of thousands more.”

    It built a security fence after years and years of suicide terrorism that came during the time Israel and the Palestinians were engaged in peace negotiations, and blockaded Gaza after it was taken over by a terrorist organization who has fired rocket after rocket at Israeli civilians. The Egyptians are more responsible for the appalling conditions in Gaza than the Israeli are, and there’s little question that with the level of international aid pouring into Gaza, there is no reason the people there should be in appalling conditions.

    A large chunk of those 1900 were militants, who purposely fire rockets from civilian areas in order to draw fire that will inevitably kill civilians. Hamas actually used Shifa hospital as a media center during the War. That tells you all you need to know about Hamas.

    Try harder, Donna.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 15, 2014, 2:35 pm

      Oh look, I guess it’s time for the “Bowling for Bupkis” to start. Hophmi has set ’em up again! And now they will all get toppled. Will it be a strike or a spare?

    • RoHa
      RoHa on August 15, 2014, 3:17 pm

      The war of 1948 was the result of the Zionists’ plot to create a Jewish State. The plan was evil in conception, so it is hardly surprising that it lead to evil in execution. The responsibility for that evil lies with the Zionists.

      And no matter how badly the other Arabs have treated the Palestinians, that does not in any way reduce Israel’s responsibilities.

      • Gene Shae
        Gene Shae on August 15, 2014, 8:06 pm

        You are kidding, right? Lest anyone read the above and believe it, the 1948 war was initiated by Arabs who were opposed to the partition plan. This plan gave the Jewish portion of Palestine legitimacy. But you knew that

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye on August 15, 2014, 9:53 pm

        No Gene, it’s no jest. You should be blushing in shame at your ignorance. 47/48 was all started by proto-Israel, and continued by Israel in order to INCREASE its land. The various Arab armies did not invade the Israeli portion of the partition, they attempted to prevent further theft and protect the Palestinians – who had no army.

      • straightline
        straightline on August 16, 2014, 2:04 am

        Moreover, Gene, hophmi has been told the facts many times – with many links to corroborate them, but he’ll be back tomorrow repeating the same lies.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 16, 2014, 12:11 pm

        “but he’ll be back tomorrow repeating the same lies.”

        Straightline, I tell you, when I see a poor Ziocaine Syndrome Amnesia sufferer like Hopmi wandering around “like a fart in a barrel” it just twists my kishkas.

      • talknic
        talknic on August 16, 2014, 12:44 pm

        @ Mooser “a poor Ziocaine Syndrome Amnesia sufferer”

        You’re so considerate. Generous even

        If they ever discover zioloxone, whoever ‘they’ are, massive amounts should be made immediately and freely available

      • just
        just on August 16, 2014, 1:32 pm

        But as with any addict, it will have to be administered most probably against their will, but with the intention of saving a life.

        When naloxone is given to a heroin addict, they wake up quickly and are raging mad that their high was ended so cruelly. Even though they were near death, they are not very happy campers. Sometimes it’s a wake- up call to enter treatment, but not always.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 16, 2014, 6:09 pm

        “If they ever discover zioloxone”

        Initially, many researchers, all of them me, hypothesized there was a chemical intoxication involved, but this has proved false. The Ziocaine Syndrome is entirely behavioral in origin. However, this does not preclude the development of some pharmaceutical aid or adjunct to recovery.
        And in fact, treatment with a product of the ash tree sometimes produces results, but there are bad side effects from swinging the bat too hard. Generic 2x4s can be effective in some cases, and less expensive.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on August 16, 2014, 3:45 am

        The UN partition plan was a suggestion, but since it was opposed by a substantial part of the population, it never gained legitimacy.

      • Gene Shae
        Gene Shae on August 17, 2014, 12:18 pm

        It was validated by the UN.

      • pjdude
        pjdude on August 16, 2014, 1:58 pm

        um no the war was intiated by zionists jews trying to conquerer palestine. and yes the arabs rejected the partitain plan cause it was bs. how would you like outside people giving away more than have your stuff to others simply because they wanted it? the arab rejection is the problem jewish entitlement is.

      • pjdude
        pjdude on August 17, 2014, 12:34 am

        no it didn’t the partitian plan was in fact a violation of the UN charter that countries be founded on self determination.

    • talknic
      talknic on August 16, 2014, 12:12 am

      @ hophmi ” the Arab armies that invaded Israel..”

      Exactly which territories sovereign to Israel were invaded? I can find no UNSC resolution condemning or even suggesting they invaded Israel. In fact the Israeli Government itself claimed the war was in territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”. The actual legal extent of Israeli sovereignty was then (and still is) as the Israeli Govt pleaded for recognition May 15th 1948 “an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947” . Israel has not sincelegally acquired any further territories.

      ” the rhetoric from Arab leaders during the war was genocidal”

      Odd, they suggested a unitary state, democracy, freedom of religion http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/MFADocuments/Yearbook1/Pages/5%20Arab%20League%20declaration%20on%20the%20invasion%20of%20Pales.aspx

      ” the refugee problem has been stoked for years by Arab governments who have not treated the Palestinians well “

      Nonsense. The Arab states have generously hosted Palestine refugees for 66 years at great expense. Fought the legal battle on their behalf and even gone to war to protect Palestinian territory from UN documented Israeli aggressions.

      “and no excuse for the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries afterward, in the hundreds of thousands”

      Quite NORMAL for countries who’re at war to expel or inter possible enemies of the state and freeze their assets. Also quite normal to allow their return if they have not taken citizenship elsewhere as the Arab Jews did, especially those encouraged by the State of Israel to take Israeli citizenship. Israeli law in 1948 (still current) forbade their return to enemy states and prevented them from praying in the West Bank territories sovereign to Jordan 1948 – 1967.

      “A large chunk of those 1900 were militants, who purposely fire rockets from civilian areas in order to draw fire that will inevitably kill civilians.”

      Just like encouraging Israelis to illegally settle in Occupied territories eh ….

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on August 16, 2014, 9:24 am

        British Fascists were interned (not interred!) in wartime under the famous Defence Regulation 18B. The novelist Nancy Mitford pressed the Goverment to intern her own sister Diana, saying that she was far cleverer and more dangerous than her husband, the nominal Fascist leader Oswald Mosley, also interned. They were released, I think, when the worst danger had passed: itself an indication that internment is at best a regrettable necessity in civilised countries – and expulsion would even more regrettable, therefore leaving something to be put right as soon as possible. I would certainly think that the descendants of Jewish people who left ME countries under pressure should have full restitution of identifiable property. I think that refugees who accept citizenship elsewhere lose their absolute and unconditional right of return – but it might still be fitting to offer restored citizenship to the people concerned in this case.

      • talknic
        talknic on August 16, 2014, 11:46 am

        MHughes976 ” I would certainly think that the descendants of Jewish people who left ME countries under pressure should have full restitution of identifiable property”

        Quite. Applying for that compensation would however expose the ghastly hypocrisy of the State of Israel unless it also responded to its legal obligations to non-Jewish refugees cleansed under Plan Dalet during the civil war and those dispossessed during the Israeli war against what remained of Palestine. Non-Jewish refugees who have a right to Israeli citizenship under a Declaration that has never been rescinded

        Ditto non-Jewish refugees who HAVE a right to return to the territory that remained of Palestine after Israel was proclaimed independent of Palestine and who are now prevented by the Occupying Power from returning.

        The glaring problem is that Israel has never been able to afford compensation to A) the non-Jewish refugees it dispossessed in 48/49/50/67 and for B) the non-Israeli territory it has illegally acquired 48/49/50/67 and to the refugees it C) prevents from returning to the non-Israeli territory the Jewish state lusts after

        Therein lies the real issue. Israel cannot nor has it ever been able to afford to adhere to the law. It must either continue as a rogue state and finish its vile Greater Israel project or circumvent the law by reaching an agreement with the Palestinians. Seems the Israeli preference is the insane and illegal notion of a Greater Israel at any cost.

        Meanwhile the Palestinians have no legal or moral obligation what so ever to forgo ANY of their legal rights, even in negotiations.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on August 16, 2014, 12:19 pm

        Quite agree. I’m sure that one of the reasons for proposing the ‘swiss cheese’ model for Palestinian enclaves was that they could be cleared one by one at a gentle pace with relocation schemes that would be advertised as utterly unprecedented, barely imaginable generosity on the part of the conquerors but actually be paid for mostly by taxpayers further west.

    • Marnie
      Marnie on August 16, 2014, 1:10 am

      “That tells you all you need to know about Hamas. Try harder Donna.” This coming from someone who calls a 25 foot high concrete structure a “fence”. From electronic intifada: “In addition to the concrete wall and fencing materials used in the construction of the structure, sections of Israel’s Separation Barrier additionally include electrified fencing, two-meter-deep trenches, roads for patrol vehicles, electronic ground/fence sensors, thermal imaging and video cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), sniper towers, and razor wire.”

    • ziusudra
      ziusudra on August 16, 2014, 3:31 am

      Greetings Hophmi,
      …to create the Jewish State……
      We had to follow the original plans of Hertz, get rid of whoever is there & the first Golem, Gurion nodded.
      Pssst, Ischcabilel,
      you lost ‘yours’ in Europe first in the late 30s!
      you lost ‘yours’ in the ME & No. Africa because Zion called & enticed you.- the Iranians & Jemeni Jews are still sedantary!-
      ziusudra
      PS There are no arguements in the favor of a conqueror. You conquered, now hold on to it or leave.
      PPS We were so thankful that the Massachusettes Indians helped us in 1621 & we swore eternal friendship; 31 yrs. later, they were gone!

  5. hophmi
    hophmi on August 15, 2014, 2:41 pm

    Or better yet, particular if you’re addressing Israelis who have spent the last month in and out of bomb shelters, maybe you should just acknowledge that they have a point, and that regardless of justice of the Palestinian cause, Hamas isn’t making things better.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 15, 2014, 5:36 pm

      Oh my God, Hophmi, they actually could go down into bomb shelters if they felt like it? Oh my God, you are changing my entire viewpoint. Who knew the Israelis lived under such terrible conditions?

      I guess those Palestinian rocket killed hundreds, created tens of thousands of refugees, leveled acres of buildings, and made people decide to go into shelters, too?

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on August 15, 2014, 10:07 pm

      It is so sad to think that those poor Israelis have to run into shelters, when those sirens go off to warn them about those rockets that hardly kills anyone.

      Really, when you consider the Palestinians and what they go through, they cannot beat the miserable lives these Israelis have, and how inconvenient it is for them. For one month they had to go in and out of their shelters, what a tragedy.
      I wish those Palestinians would accept the brutal occupation and their lands stolen without any resistance. Their resistance is such a irritation for the Israelis, and disrupts their social lives. Tsk, tsk.

    • pjdude
      pjdude on August 16, 2014, 2:01 pm

      they don’t have a point. that’s just it. your actions have consequences. that you don’t like being defended against your invasions. stop invading them.

  6. ritzl
    ritzl on August 15, 2014, 3:55 pm

    At this point this isn’t really a discussion, it’s a decision. Pro-slaughter, or anti-slaughter. There is no conceivable rational justification for killing 500 children and 1500 others and making (and keeping) 300,000 of 1.8M (20-25%±) people shelterless and waterless. None, zero, Zilch. Given that this is the THIRD time this has happened in six years, anyone who thinks they know enough to “have a discussion” on this has to know by now what the issues are — and has decided. Just ask what that decision is.

    If anyone thinks they can convince people who are pro-, or anti-…”but…”, at this point to be anti-slaughter they’re grasping. One just needs to turn one’s back and move on. Pro-slaughter types are irredeemable scum (no job at UIUC for me…) and should be made to feel that way. The only glimmer of hope for pro-slaughter types is that if they see people care enough to turn away from them they may wonder why and re-engage on your terms — i.e. specifically by asking questions.

    This is undoubtedly too binary an outlook for most decent people to embrace, but I can’t get the screams of dying children out of my mind’s ear. All of them killed so B-NET didn’t have to risk his political coalition (destroying the unity government is rooted in, and driven by, Israeli coalition politics, imo). Anyone so cynical, gullible, and/or ignorant to overlook that base fact is not worth talking with. Quizzical/piteous looks and shoulder shrugs are the rule, for me anyway.

    • ritzl
      ritzl on August 15, 2014, 4:56 pm

      Also, a quick “That’s simply not true.” works well in between the quizzical looks and shoulder shrugs.

  7. MHughes976
    MHughes976 on August 15, 2014, 4:03 pm

    I was saying on another thread, re A. Sullivan, that there’s a question about what rights Palestinians have because of the wrongs done to them – rights which Hamas, being elected by them, may have the right to direct them in invoking. In what circumstances and to what extent are they allowed to resist as well as object? When objections and demonstrations of a non-violent nature have been attempted but met with a lethal response? When attacks are delivered only in ways that offer a reasonable chance (but what is that?) of hitting a military target?
    To stop people saying ‘But Hamas…’ I think we have to direct attention away from ‘Hamas’ to ‘the Palestinians’ and get people to think on Sullivan’s claims that it is not vicious to resist violent dispossession without saying ‘Those who resist can do no wrong’.

  8. chuckcarlos
    chuckcarlos on August 15, 2014, 4:04 pm

    answer is SIMPLE…
    and “those people” ain’t thoughtful

    Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Tom Jefferson, Robespierre, Danton, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Simon Bolivar, Mao, Jose Marti, John Brown, Geronimo, Chief Joseph, Nate Turner…

    “one man’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist”….General Brent Scowcroft

  9. ritzl
    ritzl on August 15, 2014, 4:41 pm

    @chuckcarlos- and “those people” ain’t thoughtful

    Bingoid.

  10. NormanF
    NormanF on August 16, 2014, 3:59 am

    Arab imperialism, colonialism and racism are never problems.

    But the smallest people on earth is the one accused of genocide, of colonialism and racism.

    On this site day and night, good and evil and truth and lies are reversed.

    When the biggest problem in the world is Israel’s existence, every other problem begins to look like they’re not immediately solvable.

    If the Arab World is in the Dark Ages, that’s not Israel’s fault.

    • pjdude
      pjdude on August 16, 2014, 2:11 pm

      god the way zionists lie.

      “Arab imperialism, colonialism and racism are never problems.”

      um they are problems and no one is saying they aren’t but in this conflict there not anyway part of the problem.

      “But the smallest people on earth is the one accused of genocide, of colonialism and racism.”

      jews even if you accept them as an ethnic group which there not are by no means the smallest people. they are firmly in the middle. that’s your zionist jews entitlement in play. and their accused of genocide colonialism and racism cause they are acting genocidal, colonialist, and rascist. that’s the problem with zionist jews you have zero sense of accountability. everything is always somebody elses fault.

      “On this site day and night, good and evil and truth and lies are reversed.”

      no that’s what your doing. with you supporting and living in the terrorist state of Israel. founded on terrorism terrorism is its national value. and glorifies terrorists like no other.

      “When the biggest problem in the world is Israel’s existence, every other problem begins to look like they’re not immediately solvable.”

      no claims its the biggest problem. but Israel’s existence is one of the greatest post WW2 crimes and sadly those responsible will more than likely never be punished.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 16, 2014, 6:12 pm

        Those poor Palestinians. One day they don’t exist, the next day they are all the Arabs. Must be hard for them to keep up.

  11. talknic
    talknic on August 16, 2014, 6:15 am

    3. Over the past 47 years of occupation”

    According to the Israeli Government May 22nd 1948 in its statement to the UNSC, the State of Israel had military control of, i.e., “occupied”, territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”.

    9th July 2004 International Court of Justice the Court refers to the provisions of the Hague Regulation of 1907, which have become part of customary law, as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949, applicable in those Palestinian territories which before the armed conflict of 1967 lay to the east of the 1949 Armistice demarcation line (or “Green Line”) and were occupied by Israel during that conflict

    Report to the Provisional Government of Israel by Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ben-Gurion 3 Jun 1948 “The entire expanse of the State of Israel allocated to us under the terms of the UN resolution is in our hands, and we have conquered several important districts outside those boundaries
    and;
    “To the greatest possible extent, we will remain constantly on the offensive, which will not be confined to the borders of the Jewish State

    12 Aug 1948 the Provisional Israeli Government proclaimed Jerusalem Declared Israel-Occupied City- by Israeli Government Proclamation 12 Aug 1948

    The words of the ISRAELI GOVERNMENT tell us occupation can actually be dated from at least May 22nd 1948.

    No one has ever been able to show me any evidence that Israel has legally annexed ANY territories it has illegally acquired by war since being proclaimed and recognized as it asked to be recognized, per UNGA 181

  12. hophmi
    hophmi on August 16, 2014, 7:50 am

    Talknic defend the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Arab countries after the 1948 War thusly: “Quite NORMAL for countries who’re at war to expel or inter possible enemies of the state and freeze their assets.”

    Wow. Actually, these expulsions of Arab Jews occurred after the 1948 War. They were retaliatory. But I never thought I’d see talknic offering a strong defense for why Israel should have expelled all of the Palestinians in 1948, a la Benny Morris.

    • Walid
      Walid on August 16, 2014, 9:27 am

      I’m surely writing this for nothing but I still have to do it in the hope that some of this will start rubbing off on your Zionist handicap; for the umpteenth time, the only country that mass-expelled Jews after 48 and because of 48 was Egypt. It did it a second time after the “Lavon” in 1954, a third time after “Suez” in 1956, and a fourth and final time after the “6- Day War” of 1967. All other expulsions that you keep repeating is BS.

      • talknic
        talknic on August 16, 2014, 10:22 am

        @ Walid “…in the hope that some of this will start rubbing off on your Zionist handicap”

        It won’t. Propagandists aren’t interested. Best to humour, ridicule them and point out for honest folk to see the stupidity, hypocrisy and lies inherent in their BS

    • talknic
      talknic on August 16, 2014, 9:57 am

      @ hophmi Talknic defend the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Arab countries after the 1948 War”

      False accusations are against the basic tenets of Judaism, that you falsely accuse is really is quite bizarre, but quite common and expected from zionist colonizers.
      BTW your cherry picking is quite pathetic. You really ought lift your game unless of course failure is your thing, In which case you’re doing great. Keep up the good work!

      It is quite NORMAL for countries who’re at war to expel or inter possible enemies of the state and freeze their assets. Also quite normal to allow their return if they have not taken citizenship elsewhere …

      What is it about “allow their return” you don’t understand?

      “Actually, these expulsions of Arab Jews occurred after the 1948 War”

      Strange the first Peace Treaties were signed decades later and Israel’s 1948 emergency law is still current forbidding Israeli residents and/or residents entry into entities Israel considers hostile, except of course for illegal Israeli settlers in Occupied Territories. Blatant hypocrisy seems to be a strong point

      “But I never thought I’d see talknic offering a strong defense for why Israel should have expelled all of the Palestinians in 1948, a la Benny Morris”

      Same for everyone you stupid person. I also advocate allowing citizens their return regardless of who they are if they’ve not opted for citizenship elsewhere, which is their choice per Human Rights Law. Morris advocates ethnic cleansing against HR Law.

      Keep flailing about. It’s so cute

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 16, 2014, 12:18 pm

        ‘Keep flailing about. It’s so cute”

        I get so angry when people accuse Hophmi of being a paid propagandist.
        Reminds of the story of a woman who, in backing out of a parking space, rammed three other cars, all in full view of a cop! The cop said “Lady, let me see your license” And she replied “Don’t be silly Officer, who would give me a license?”

    • Sumud
      Sumud on August 16, 2014, 1:51 pm

      Perhaps you can point to the UN resolution(s) calling for the return of these supposed jewish refugees hophmi?

  13. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb on August 16, 2014, 4:07 pm

    Zionists started viciously treating and persecuting Palestinians in 1948, long before Hamas was around. The argument about ‘self-hating Jews’ I counter by asking: those who opposed Hitler, were they ‘self hating Germans’? There is no excuse to justify this ongoing ethnic cleansing – none.

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