23 July 2006

The Israeli invasion.

I really don't like to write about the Middle East/Israel situation because the entrenched positions on both sides are just too depressing and scary to think about.

Harry's Place and Norm's blog make much of possible anti-semitism as driving the criticism of Israel by the 'Left'. I think it is even simpler than that.

The 'Left' by instinct are on the side of the underdog and the oppressed and who could argue that the Palestinians and Israel's neighbours are not the underdogs in the face of Israel's massive US financed military muscle?

Whichever side your sympathies lie and it is clear that a large number of people find it difficult not to choose sides, I would suggest that Israel's persistent use of this superior military muscle is proving counterproductive to achieving peace in the region.

Why can't things be as simple as Michael Moore's suggestion to make Bavaria the Jewish homeland, we all know Germany owes the Jews big time, why is it the Palestinians who have to suffer?

Another suggestion is why doesn't the US use some of it's $40bn+ it pays to Israel each year to alleviate suffering in the Muslim world, it might just win them some Muslim allies in the 'war on terror'?

13 comments:

  1. Why can't things be as simple as Michael Moore's suggestion to make Bavaria the Jewish homeland...?

    Mainly because there is no historical link between the Jewish people and Bavaria. I imagine that the proposal would have met the same opposition as the Uganda Plan:

    "There is no Zionism without Zion"

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, and the fact that uprooting several million Jews from their homes, where some of their families have lived for thousands of years, might possibly possibly be classified as ethnic cleansing....

    Am I correct in assuming Michael Moore was joking?

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Palestinians' greatest enemy is the terrorists who claim to operate in their name, and the governments who fund them and manipulate their own people to join them in order to distract from the oppression they suffer at home.

    And the thing about homeland is that it's not enough just to say "here's some land that nobody else wants, why can't you be satisfied?"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Plus the Bavarians might need some convincing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. lola: "Am I correct in assuming Michael Moore was joking?"

    Obviously MM was joking (I think) and so am I (half joking anyway).

    "uprooting several million Jews from their homes"

    Well not if it had been done immediately after the war and before Israel was established (by terrorists) in 1948.

    "Plus the Bavarians might need some convincing."

    In 1945, the Bavarians (some of the staunchest supporters of the Nazis) and other Germans would know that losing some land was the least compensation they could give the Jews for Nazi crimes.

    B4L: "The Palestinians' greatest enemy is the terrorists who claim to operate in their name"

    Palestinians voted for terrorists. When people feel injustice they embrace desperate and vile means. Remember terrorism won the Jews a homeland.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have to agree with Neil here. I have taken the Lebanese side during the current conflict. All of Israel's actions have shown them to believe that a Israeli life is worth about 20 Mulsims.

    And just when the Lebanon was getting it's act together. Trade was increasing, they got rid of the Syrians, infrastructure was built and living conditions improved ten fold. This was during the time after the Israelis left and they could manage their own affairs. Hezbollah would have been next out the door but the Israelis have scuppered that by all the civilian casualities it's caused.

    If Israel hadn't of reacted with such force then I think the rest of the world would have been on it's side. But with it's lethal incursions into Gaza and the Lebanon they have shown that they are a violent country who will not negotiate.

    I'm not taking the side of Muslim fundamentalists here, just innocent people. If we ever reach a two-state settlement and prisoner release and then Israel is still attacked then I'll be on the Israeli's side. But until then it's clear to me that the Israelis are the 'evil-doers' in the middle east.

    As an aside it's making me sick seeing the coverage that The Sun is giving to the 'brave' Israeli's. I wonder if that has anything to do with the religious convictions of it's owner?

    ReplyDelete
  7. And just when the Lebanon was getting it's act together. Trade was increasing, they got rid of the Syrians, infrastructure was built and living conditions improved ten fold. This was during the time after the Israelis left and they could manage their own affairs. Hezbollah would have been next out the door but the Israelis have scuppered that by all the civilian casualities it's caused.

    You really think Lebanon would/could have taken on Hezbollah - there'd only be one winner there. If the Lebanese were so in control, why were hundreds of missiles landing in Israel?

    If Israel hadn't of reacted with such force then I think the rest of the world would have been on it's side.

    Again, nice idea, but for much of the world, Israel can do no right, and as far as the Middle East goes, only its humiliation and impotence is 'going far enough'.

    I'm not taking the side of Muslim fundamentalists here, just innocent people. If we ever reach a two-state settlement ... then I'll be on the Israeli's side.

    A two-state solution requires two states to settle for peace, not for one side to backslide, fail to tackle terrorists on its own turf, and to vote terrorists into power. You don't need to be on anyone's side, just to look at both sides fairly.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You really think Lebanon would/could have taken on Hezbollah - there'd only be one winner there. If the Lebanese were so in control, why were hundreds of missiles landing in Israel?

    Yes, it just would have taken a bit of time. The seperation of Sein Fein from the IRA took some time but it happened. I can't remember us killing 400 innocent Irish in a week, can you? Trying to get rid of an insurgency by using disproportional force which kills over 100 children is not going to work.

    Again, nice idea, but for much of the world, Israel can do no right, and as far as the Middle East goes, only its humiliation and impotence is 'going far enough'.

    If I understand you correctly you're saying that Israel thinks it is the 'victim' of humiliation and impotence which is totally wrong. I'd say the Palestinians and now the Lebanese are being humiliated in the Gaza Strip and Southern Lebanon.

    A two-state solution requires two states to settle for peace, not for one side to backslide, fail to tackle terrorists on its own turf, and to vote terrorists into power. You don't need to be on anyone's side, just to look at both sides fairly.

    That first statement could apply to the Israelis depending on your definition of terrorism. For some reason if your indiscriminate bombing is sponsored by the US rather than an Arab nation it's okay.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, it just would have taken a bit of time. The seperation of Sein Fein from the IRA took some time but it happened. I can't remember us killing 400 innocent Irish in a week, can you? Trying to get rid of an insurgency by using disproportional force which kills over 100 children is not going to work.

    100 missiles is a lot, with the possibility of longer-range ones to come. How long should Israel have allowed Lebanon to get a grip on their own territory? Trying to get rid of an insurgency by using disproportional force might well work, question is: are the Israelis takign appropriate care to minimise civilian casualties, are the terrorists using human shields, and for that matter, are any of the rocket-firers classed as children?

    If I understand you correctly you're saying that Israel thinks it is the 'victim' of humiliation and impotence which is totally wrong. I'd say the Palestinians and now the Lebanese are being humiliated in the Gaza Strip and Southern Lebanon.

    My point was that Israel is condemned throughout the Middle East whatever it does, due to the power of the state-run media. So it's pointless to try to go for public opinion.

    That first statement [terrorists] could apply to the Israelis depending on your definition of terrorism. For some reason if your indiscriminate bombing is sponsored by the US rather than an Arab nation it's okay.

    Let's get this straight: Hezbollah deliberately target civilians, while the Israelis may merely be careless or make mistakes. There's all the difference in the world between the two attitudes.

    ReplyDelete
  10. where did you get the $40 billion figure from?

    ReplyDelete
  11. snafu: This website puts total US aid to Israel at over TWO THOUSAND BILLION DOLLARS since WWII. Here is a breakdown;
    $40bn per annum for 50 years. The US tries to disgiuse it's aid to Israel by providing it in a variety of ways.

    "Costs to US of Support for Israel: Summary Overview (Since WWII)
    Type or Source
    Estimated Amount ($Bn)
    Direct
    Official Foreign Aid
    247
    Rescue Costs (1973)
    1,050
    Collateral Costs (Aid)
    451
    Private and Ad Hoc Support
    106
    Trade & Job Losses
    275,000 jobs /yr
    Sub-Total
    1,854
    Linked Aid To Periphery (NIS) and Multilateral Contributions
    49+
    Energy Autarky
    235 minimum
    “Defense” of the Gulf
    40
    Sub-Total
    324 minimum
    Contingent Oil Supply Guarantee
    $3bn/month (not implemented)
    Total Cost
    2,178"

    ReplyDelete
  12. For once Neil makes an excellent point. It happens to be exactly the reason I am no longer a leftie:

    The 'Left' by instinct are on the side of the underdog.

    But this is morally blind: the underdog, right or wrong. When the underdog is the bad guy, the Left is instinctively on his side.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "When the underdog is the bad guy, the Left is instinctively on his side."

    Indeed we are 'instinctively' but not necessarily in deed. As you probably know by now, things are never black and white anyway, this idea of good and evil is just that, an idea. In reality people are just machines with actions determined by their genes and their environment (even burglars can give to charity and even murderers can help their neighbours). Punishment is only useful if it acts as a deterrent or has a rehabilitive effect. Israel's actions are helping no-one, not even themselves.

    ReplyDelete