Monday, July 24, 2006

Don't Go Near The Water

Nursery rhyme from childhood:

"Mother, may I go out to swim?
Yes, my darling daughter.
Hang your clothes on a hickory limb
And don't go near the water."

When I finally got it clear that the word "daughter" was used only for the convenience of rhyme, rather than gender discrimination, my next question was, "How the hell would she swim if she doesn't go near the water?"

And several decades later, a similar question arises -- and this ain't no nursery rhyme:

How the hell can Israel defend herself if she's not allowed to fight back?

19 Comments:

Anonymous Ian Scott said...

Defending "herself?" Defending herself from what, exactly? Are you SURE what you think "she" is defending herself against, is in fact true?

Check out Gideon Levy's article that I linked to on my website.

I'd bet that if Canadian Police responded to two or three kidnappings the way Israel has responded, that we'd all go "clap clap."

At least I hope we wouldn't.

It's also interesting to note that historically, Isreal HAS negotiated prisoner releases for the release of their soldiers.

This time, they chose a different response. Could that be because many have a sense that the current PM is "weak," so he has decided on a course of action which hopefully to him, suggests he is "not weak?"

Monday, July 24, 2006 6:02:00 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

"This time, they chose a different response. Could that be because many have a sense that the current PM is "weak," so he has decided on a course of action which hopefully to him, suggests he is "not weak?"

Maybe this time they chose a different response because repeatedly doing things the same way has not been working for them?

Monday, July 24, 2006 9:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

"Maybe this time they chose a different response because repeatedly doing things the same way has not been working for them?"

There are all sorts of responses that Israel has used in the past, none of which have worked, huh?

Of course, rejecting a viable peace offer years ago, was one of the responses.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

And which viable peace offer was that? Please be specific. I've been wearing my new eyesight out reading all the bloody history; and so far, I haven't seen anything that wouldn't cost Israel far too much -- and that cost still would not appease her enemies, who state categorically that Israel must cease to exist and that her citizens must be wiped off the face of the earth.

What is it about "genocide" that people don't want to understand? You're not the only one, Ian. There are other bloggers with whom I would normally agree. But not in this case.

Israel needs a solution that is not only fair, but permanent and binding. Iran, Syria -- and to a lesser degree, other states like Lebanon -- have all absolutely refused to agree to a lasting, binding peace that will allow Israel to continue her existence.

So, what's viable?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 8:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

A different perspective:

"It's a question which bears on the last third of Dr. Ben-Ami's book, namely, who is responsible for the collapse of or the impasse in the negotiations at Camp David and Taba? Whereas, in my view, when Dr. Ben-Ami wears his historian's hat, he gets everything right; when he puts on the diplomat's hat, he starts getting things, in my opinion, wrong, and it's that last third of the book where I think things go seriously awry.

Now, I can't look into Mr. Arafat's heart, and I don't know what he did or didn't believe, and frankly I have no interest in it. My concern is let's look at the diplomatic record, the factual record. What were the offers being made on each side of the Camp David and in the Taba talks? And the standard interpretation, which comes — which is — you can call it the Dennis Ross interpretation, which, I think, unfortunately Dr. Ben-Ami echoes, is that Israel made huge concessions at Camp David and Taba; Palestinians refused to make any concessions, because of what Dr. Ben-Ami repeatedly calls Arafat's unyielding positions; and that Arafat missed a huge opportunity. Now, it is correct to say that if you frame everything in terms of what Israel wanted, it made huge concessions. However, if you frame things in terms of what Israel was legally entitled to under international law, then Israel made precisely and exactly zero concessions. All the concessions were made by the Palestinians.

Briefly, because we don't have time, there were four key issues at Camp David and at Taba. Number one, settlements. Number two, borders. Number three, Jerusalem. Number four, refugees. Let's start with settlements. Under international law, there is no dispute, no controversy. Under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, it's illegal for any occupying country to transfer its population to Occupied Territories. All of the settlements, all of the settlements are illegal under international law. No dispute. The World Court in July 2004 ruled that all the settlements are illegal. The Palestinians were willing to concede 50% — 50% of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. That was a monumental concession, going well beyond anything that was demanded of them under international law.

Borders. The principle is clear. I don't want to get into it now, because I was very glad to see that Dr. Ben-Ami quoted it three times in his book. It is inadmissible to acquire territory by war. Under international law, Israel had to withdraw from all of the West Bank and all of Gaza. As the World Court put it in July 2004, those are, quote, "occupied Palestinian territories." Now, however you want to argue over percentages, there is no question, and I know Dr. Ben-Ami won't dispute it, the Palestinians were willing to make concessions on the borders. What percentage? There's differences. But there is no question they were willing to make concessions.

Jerusalem. Jerusalem is an interesting case, because if you read Dr. Ben-Ami or the standard mainstream accounts in the United States, everyone talks about the huge concessions that Barak was willing to make on Jerusalem. But under international law Israel has not one atom of sovereignty over any of Jerusalem. Read the World Court decision. The World Court decision said Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory. Now, the Palestinians were willing, the exact lines I'm not going to get into now — they are complicated, but I'm sure Dr. Ben-Ami will not dispute they were willing to divide Jerusalem roughly in half, the Jewish side to Israel, the Arab side to the Palestinians.

And number four, refugees. On the question of refugees, it's not a dispute under international law. Remarkably, even fairly conservative human rights organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, in 2000, during the Camp David talks, they issued statements on the question of the right of return. And they stated categorically, under international law every Palestinian, roughly five to six million, has the right to return, not to some little parcels, 1% of Israel, which Israel is about — which Israel would swap, return to their homes or the environs of their homes in Israel. That's the law. Now, Dr. Ben-Ami will surely agree that the Palestinians were not demanding and never demanded the full return of six million refugees. He gives a figure of 4-800,000. In fact — I'm not going to get into the numbers, because it's very hard to pin it down — other authors have given figures of the tens of thousands to 200,000 refugees returning. That's well short of six million.

On every single issue, all the concessions came from the Palestinians. The problem is, everyone, including Dr. Ben-Ami in his book — he begins with what Israel wants and how much of its wants it's willing to give up. But that's not the relevant framework. The only relevant framework is under international law what you are entitled to, and when you use that framework it's a very, very different picture. "

http://www.democracynow.org/finkelstein-benami.shtml

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Ian, I swear you're tryin' to give me a headache! I don't need all this.

I asked you to be specific, not verbose.

I don't wanna talk about ancient history.

I don't wanna talk about Camp David.

I don't wanna talk about a book I haven't read and am not likely to read.

I wanna talk about why you and Stageleft and a bunch of other usually thoughtful bloggers are suddenly on side with the terrorists -- Hamas and Hezbollah -- in wanting Israel to unilaterally stop trying to defend herself against attacks, and quite possibly, anihilation.

All over the place, I'm reading that people think Israel should stop fighting because "innocent civilians" are getting killed. Nobody is saying that Hezbollah should stop trying to create an Israel-shaped blank spot on the map.

BEAJ, in a comment on one of his own posts, said:

"Israel isn't doing much wrong in my eyes. She is trying to live. If the Arabs dropped their arms there would be peace. If Israel dropped their arms there would be no Israel."

Happens I'm in agreement with him.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

Where can you find anywhere that "I'm on side with the terrorists?"

That is fallacious thinking, Chim.

Because I'm no Israli supporter, does not mean I support Hamas or Hezbollah.

Israel has not been the innocent loving entity that many make that State out to be, Chim. That is my concern. To suggest this conflict is all one sided is an incorrect suggestion. The Israel "supporters" out there seem to have a pattern of providing one sided bits of fact, and then don't bother providing other facts that contradict their "love" and suggestion that Israel is an innocent loving entity.

If Israel has a "right" to exist as a State, then so do the Palestinians have the same "right" (using the logic of politics and statism). If Israel has a right to "defend herself," then so do Arabs who have had their homes bulldozed, been evicted from their lands, and have had the hard hammer of Israeli "justice" hit them on the head.

Israel wants to be recognized as a State - a State that was born through violence, mass evictions and displacements. Yet it refuses to recognize the birth of another "State."

Where's the logic?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Same can be said of Lebanon, my friend.

It, too, was created entirely from land taken from another State.

Matter of fact, if you go back into history far enough, all countries at one time or another were stolen from people who occupied them at the moment of theft-by-fiat.

I am simply trying to focus on this current war (I'm not going to call it a skirmish -- it's gotten to be too big for that), which was started when agents of Hezbollah crossed the border from Lebanon into Israel and kidnapped two Israelis. Their primary, stated,purpose in this is to hold those two Israelis for the ransom of Samir Kuntar, a convicted terrorist and child-killer:

http://intothecavern.blogspot.com/2006/07/fair-trade.html#links

However, I suspect that their secondary, unstated purpose was to goad Israel into fighting back. Then they could go cry to their terrorist leaders, and their allied countries, and to the world, and woefully proclaim that Israel was killing innocent civilians.

Apparently, more people are listening to Hezbollah than are listening to common sense.

I don't understand people these days. I really don't.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

Same can be said of Lebanon, my friend.

It, too, was created entirely from land taken from another State.


No argument from me.

Matter of fact, if you go back into history far enough, all countries at one time or another were stolen from people who occupied them at the moment of theft-by-fiat.

No argument from me.

I am simply trying to focus on this current war (I'm not going to call it a skirmish -- it's gotten to be too big for that), which was started when agents of Hezbollah crossed the border from Lebanon into Israel and kidnapped two Israelis. Their primary, stated,purpose in this is to hold those two Israelis for the ransom of Samir Kuntar, a convicted terrorist and child-killer:

But focussing on this current war ignores the fact that Israel has engaged in crossing borders and kidnapping as well. What I'm trying to suggest, Chim, is that IF Israel is justified in it's response, then others are equally justified to respond the same way to Israel when it does "naughty" things.

Apparently, more people are listening to Hezbollah than are listening to common sense.

I don't understand people these days. I really don't.


I don't understand people, generally. I don't understand folks who seem to want to demand "support for Israel" and if they don't support Israel, are "anti-semitic." I don't understand people who make character assassinations about those who hold a different opinion about the ME conflict.

I'm not listening to Hezbollah at all. I'm seeing innocent people - babies, children, individuals who just want to get on with their lives, caught in a political cross-fire of bombings and killings.

I find it all very sad. The rights of individuals, snuffed out for the purposes of opposing political goals. I find it sad that those who support one side, demonize those individuals who happen to be caught in the cross-fire, if they happen to be non-(enter whatever side is being supported).

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

You and I seem to be at sorta cross-purposes here...I'm trying to narrow the focus to the current situation, and you're trying to expand the focus and bring up all the past shit that has happened.

Israel may very well have done some stuff in the past for which she ought to be vilified. I'm not steeped in Israeli history...just an overview...which is why I'd rather keep the focus on this particular incident.

From what I can gather from all the stuff I'm reading, civilian casualties are all over the place -- in Israel as well as Lebanon. Current definition of "civilian" is "anyone not wearing a uniform of whatever kind." Some of those "civilians" may simply be soldiers in mufti. On both sides.

Israel, at least, is apologizing for not being able to train her weapons to recognize and avoid civilians, while at the same time taking apart and reducing to rubble the Hezbollah weapons-storage areas.

Hezbollah says only that 1: Israel should disarm first; 2: then return the baby-killer, and 3: then they can talk about a negotiated "peace." Not a word of regret about blowing up Israeli citizens who are currently not wearing a uniform.

You and I have already had this next point of discussion elsewhere, but I just wanted to get it on the record here, okay? People who support other-than-Israel aren't anti-semetic. Arabs are semites, too.

And if it were two countries fighting over something worth fighting for (is there any such thing, I wonder?), I probably wouldn't be quite so wound up about this whole mess. I'd probably invite them both to go put on the figurative boxing gloves and have at it.

However, this is not the case right now. Two terrorist organizations -- Hamas and Hezbollah -- both of which were created for the sole purpose of practising genocide against Israel, are doing their level best to convince the rest of the world that they have every right to do so, and that they are simply victims of Israel's determination to fight back.

Both those terrorist organizations have to be eliminated. Then maybe the rest of the world can get back to normal.

Whatever that is.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 1:26:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

From my above comment:

"Israel, at least, is apologizing for not being able to train her weapons to recognize and avoid civilians, while at the same time taking apart and reducing to rubble the Hezbollah weapons-storage areas..."

Add to that: "...and supply lines." Airport runways, roads...that sort of thing.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 1:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

You and I seem to be at sorta cross-purposes here...I'm trying to narrow the focus to the current situation, and you're trying to expand the focus and bring up all the past shit that has happened.

It's politics, dude - and history has a way of being seen in the sense of a line. To pick one date on that line is kinda arbitrary, don't you think?

Why not start with the day BEFORE Hezbollah kidnapped a couple of soldiers? What happened the day before?

"“The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis - there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3280556,00.html

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 2:25:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

That's not exactly a news story -- it's an excerpt from a letter written by Noam Chomsky. However, assuming that he's not just ranting for the sake of ranting...

...who are the doctor and his brother? Why were they abducted? And why wasn't it reported in the news?

"To pick one date on that line is kinda arbitrary, don't you think?"

You bet, I think! But in the interests of not re-living every second of history (I dunno 'bout you, but I haven't the time), we gotta start somewhere.

Maybe we should start with finding out what the doctor and his brother had done that would prompt their abduction?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 3:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

Maybe we should start with finding out what the doctor and his brother had done that would prompt their abduction?

I see. So depending on what they had done, it might be acceptable for troops of a nation to abduct civilians?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 3:23:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Ah, but are they civilians? Or are they just in mufti? I don't have any info other than what Chomsky wrote in the letter. It sure would help to know more...

Mengele.

Ring any bells?

By th' way...I was just over at your site. We're holding hands long enough that people are gonna start thinkin' we're dating!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 3:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

Ok, I've done a bit of research - Naom Chomsky somewhere (I wish I bookmarked the page) claimed that Gideon Levy (probably at Haaretz) was his source regarding the two folks abducted by IDF, one being a doctor.

I also found some other unsubstantiated claims that the IDF said they were members of Hamas - however Hamas has said that while one of the fathers of the abductees was a member of Hamas, the lads abducted were not.

There's also an interesting conversation with Chomsky, which apparently you can view and listen to, hear: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKq38COoTG8

I can't get the volume to work. A transcript of the conversation, as well as mp3 download, is available here:

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/14/146258

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 8:11:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Okay, I watched the clip -- no problem here with the volume -- and a couple of things come to mind...

He's not sure where he got the information that a civilian doctor and his brother were kidnapped. From the sound of it, he's been told it, and he believes it, but he himself says that it was never reported. My thought is that if it was never reported, maybe it didn't happen.

And on the election of Hamas... So Israel and the US got spooked by an 80% majority of a political party whose platform was to invade and wipe out Israel?

Great Jumpin' Jaysus, man! If the US elected to president someone whose stated purpose was to wipe out Canada and kill its men, rape its women and send its children into slavery, wouldn't you be a tad upset?

The Palestinians voted in Hamas based on the promise to wipe Israel off the map and kill or enslave all the Jews. I call that an act of hostility, myself.

But truly, what irritates and angers me most is that the news is full of "Israel did this" and "Israel committed that." Very few reports about "Hezbollah did..." -- and even then the reports are pretty damned sympathetic to Hezbollah, an illegal terrorist organization.

Where the hell is the balanced reporting? Israeli citizens are also being shelled, bombed, mutilated, and killed. Is it that nobody cares, or that the Israelis don't count?

Thursday, July 27, 2006 9:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

"Great Jumpin' Jaysus, man! If the US elected to president someone whose stated purpose was to wipe out Canada and kill its men, rape its women and send its children into slavery, wouldn't you be a tad upset?

The Palestinians voted in Hamas based on the promise to wipe Israel off the map and kill or enslave all the Jews. I call that an act of hostility, myself."


Do you think that Canadians elected a Conservative government because of it's political platform, or were they in fact, protesting against a political party that was corrupt?

And how indeed can the US or anyone complain when they insisted that Hamas be apart of the "democractic" process in Palestine?

Holy Jaysus indeed!

And if indeed the US invaded Canada, and evicted Canadians from their land, and most of us ended up in the Arctic under American military rule, do you think by chance there would be some rhetoric about wiping America off the map?

You see, you wanted to keep this discussion "focussed" on this most recent event (conflict, war, whatever), yet you've now decided to bring up Hezbollah shelling and bombing and mutilating Israeli's. But that's not what happened in this "recent conflict." Israel was the first to launch attacks after the kidnapping, which killed civilians. Then Hizbollah responded with their own rockets into Israel.

If you want balanced reporting overall though, I agree - in that case, trying to focus on one conflict isn't good enough, as it doesn't tell the whole story.

Thursday, July 27, 2006 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

If you are interested, some more interesting reading - not sure I buy all the arguments myself, but an interesting perspective - one that I've not come across I don't think, before:

http://www.liberal.org.il/peace.htm

It may or may not interest you, I dunno.

Friday, July 28, 2006 2:22:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home