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The curse of prophesy

Last year, after the Islamist terrorist slaughter of the school in Beslan, I speculated about what would be the next great atrocity that would be committed. After much careful thought, I concluded the most likely future target would be a hospital.

And now it very nearly came true.

Let's look at this very carefully. A woman granted a "humanitarian" pass to seek medical treatment at an Israeli hospital was caught with 22 pounds of explosives under her clothes, and admitted she had intended to blow up the hospital -- and all the people who had intended to help her.

After she was caught, a representative of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed they had sent her, and would continue to try to get bombers into Israel.

Now, last November, after the death of Yassir Arafat (we will now pause for a brief moment of glee, and vicarious pissing on his grave), that group announced they were renaming themselves the Yassir Arafat Martyrs Brigades -- a notion that was quickly abandoned in the rush to canonize that fetid, genocidal, kleptocratic swine.

The Brigades are a faction of the Fatah movement, formerly headed by Arafat and now answering to current Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas has repeatedly made public calls for an end to terrorist attacks, and been repeatedly rebuffed by the terrorists. And despite the requirement in the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap to Peace that he do so, he has not made a single effort towards ending it.

It's time Israel actually started taking these threats, these ongoing attacks, seriously. Here they offered a compassionate hand to a severely burned woman, and nearly lost a good chunk of a hospital (along with its attendant staff and patients) as a result. I'd like to see Israel just up and seal their borders. Or, at least, announce that they can no longer afford the risks inherent in offering any sort of humane assistance to the Palestinians, after this latest in a long line of offering a hand and getting it shat in.

With this latest attempt at an amazingly grotesque atrocity (even by Palestinian standards), it's time for Abbas to shit or get off the pot. He needs to show that he's willing to openly confront and, if necessary, crush those who think nothing of strapping bombs to an injured woman and sending her off to blow up a hospital.

It's a bit of a cliche' to talk about "you're either with us or you're against us," but that phrase means much more when you're dealing with leaders. It's sort of a mirror image to the Dick Durbin situation; those Democrats who do not denounce the words of their leader can be safely presumed to agree with them. Likewise, in Abbas' case, he knows exactly what the Brigades intend to do, from areas nominally under his authority. If he doesn't act to try to stop them, then it may safely be presumed that he isn't interested in stopping them.

Abbas is already on record saying he won't act to stop terrorists. He'll try to "persuade" them to desist, but he refuses to back up his words with actions.

So, Israel, time to slam the doors. Finish the security fence. Let them fester in their own swill. Let them kill each other for a change. And after one terrorist group or another decides to blow up Abbas, maybe the next guy will be more reasonable.

I'm sick and tired Israel to be "patient" and "restrained," when those terms are measured in the bodies of murdered innocents. Any group that cheerfully boasts of their attempt to blow up a hospital desperately needs to be wiped off the face of the planet. And any "leader" who refuses to do so has no business holding any sort of political office.

And I'd love to see Israel announce that it is modifying its way of dealing with intercepted suicide bombers. As before, the bomb will be moved to a safe area and detonated. But from now on, it will not be removed from the bomber. If they're so goddamned eager to blow themselves up, go ahead and help them. A mop and a trash bag are a hell of a lot cheaper than a jail cell.


Comments (19)

Dig up arafish, deport his ... (Below threshold)
BorgQueen:

Dig up arafish, deport his remains back to his own country of Egypt, and when the maniacs rush after him, seal the borders.

If they had bothered to spe... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

If they had bothered to spend any of The Billion$ of aid money on improving their living conditions instead of lining the pockets of the thieves they refer to as their leaders and spending the rest on bombs and guns she could have gotten treatment on her side of the fence. This shows just how stupid they are and get them all banned from medical treatment in Israel, so we could be shown one more time how stupid and corrupt the UN is when they wrote the resolution against Israel condemning them for refusing to treat those poor, peace loving Palestinians. Some things never never change and I'm afraid this is one of them.

Something happened in the l... (Below threshold)
Grendel-999:

Something happened in the last 24 hours that even for just a moment, chilled the Democratic party. Durbin's about face, Daley's demand for the about face, the Democrats scattering like roaches, Frist/Bush doing a Bolton about face. I think some big, possibly Jewish but maybe not, Democratic voter group got angry with the anti-semitism in the Democratic party and threatened to walk. Bet in a week we will hear about somebody going republican or changing their tune. It Bolton is passed this time with no problem, we know that something in the land of donkeys has changed.

While I assume it was inten... (Below threshold)

While I assume it was intended as humor, I have to call BS on this statement " (we will now pause for a brief moment of glee, and vicarious pissing on his grave)" None of us with real lives and jobs would take the time to stand in the long line to piss on his grave. Heck I like the originally Star Wars movie but wouldn't stand in line to watch the new one. Why would any of us stand in line to piss on that turd. His grave will still be there years from now when the line dies down. Just wait out the line.

Daley's demand for the a... (Below threshold)
kma:

Daley's demand for the about face,

It could have something to do with the fact Daley's son is airborne infantry.

LargeBill, you're 100% righ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

LargeBill, you're 100% right about the potential long lines. That's why I used the term "vicarious." Do it by proxy -- next time you find yourself in the rest room, just briefly visualize yourself in Ramallah.

After all, it's the thought that counts.

J.

Jay - You give Abb... (Below threshold)
Jameel Rashid:

Jay -

You give Abbas WAY TOO MUCH credit. He's the same terrorist slime as Arafat, and his statements in arabic are even more hostile than Arafat's.

The Gazan's don't deserve their own territory, as they will just turn it into another full blown terrorist state. You think Israel's security will be improved by leaving Gaza? Let's say the Gazans have their own seaport and airport. What stops them from full-scale weapons import? One Word: Israel. Then what happens? Israel gets politically lambasted by the entire planet (US included!) for putting a sea and air embargo on Gaza...

Where does that leave Israel? Missles continue to rain on Southern Israel, the IDF can't enter "Sovereign Gaza", The Gazans are importing weapons like its South Lebanon, and the US will threaten to boycott Israel for denying UN "aid" to Gaza.

Leaving Gaza is much worse than staying.

Later,

Jameel @ The Muqata.

Your discussion of the woma... (Below threshold)
Maria Kornalian:

Your discussion of the woman in the Israeli hospital is superficial and inadequate at best.

Israel has time and time again held the Arab world back and kept it weak. It is in fact the reason why we support the country, so that we ourselves can keep the Arab nations imprisoned. Israel is not the philanthropic, giving and caring neighbor you've made it out to be in this entry. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

No other region in the world has seen such imperialism imposed upon them than has the Middle East. Combined with its Islamic faith (one largely mispracticed and misunderstood), it makes this the region which requires the most poised attention possible. Of course, we have not been able to offer this, a topic that can be discussed for eons at a later time.

The point is, neither Palestine nor Israel have much to show for their actions. Neither have been very civilized in their dealings, but it's easy to be so caught up in your own judgmental, Western frame of mind that you overlook the core of the issues which cause these war torn regions to day in and day out, kill each other.

And I can't say that I am not especially sympathetic to the underdog. To the Arab nations, Israel is a spoiled little child whose existence spans back only about 60 years. These Arab countries are some of the oldest surviving cultures and country's in the world. They feel they are consistently being imperialized in order to be ransacked of their resources and have Israel to blame. Indeed in fact, make no mistake - we would surely not be in Iraq right now had Israel not been so supportive. Aside from our President's selfish motives, Israel was very happy to see the dismantling of another neighbor it hasn't exactly been on the best terms with. One less Arab country to be posed a threat from.

The Palestinians have close to nothing. As much as I believe that their convictions about land, religion and faith have strongly kept them fighting, I also believe that poverty breeds terrorism.

Instead of shouting about when Palestine is going to stop killing Israelis (and never once wonder about why the opposite shouldn't happen), why don't we take off our judgmental, Western hats and really examine these distant cultures and really take a look at the core of the problems that have plagued the region historically. This is the only way that we can not only command the respect and credibility of the world, but it is also the only way in which we can hope to achieve anything.

How about we stop acting like children?

How about we stop acting... (Below threshold)

How about we stop acting like children?

We have. What's your excuse?

I appreciate your clever re... (Below threshold)
Maria Kornalian:

I appreciate your clever response; it's too bad it fails to say anything. How am I being a child? I'm a 20-year-old double major in journalism and political science and minoring in Arabic & Islamic studies. I'm dedicating my life to studying these issues.

How about you start by posting a comment that doesn't necessarily have to agree with mine, but at least offers thought-provoking poignancy?

...why don't we take of... (Below threshold)

...why don't we take off our judgmental, Western hats and really examine these distant cultures...

Fine. I will never, absolutely never be able to side with a society that actively condones, monetarily supports, and completely encourages the use of suicide bombing tactics against hospitals, busses full of children, streetside cafes, and other innocent civilian targets. Sure, they say they are against the bombers, and will try to get them to stop, etc. etc. etc. etc. Just like Arafat did. And, guess what? They are just as successful. The fact is, if the Palestinians wanted to stop the violence, they could. They actively choose not to.

In short, screw them. Israel definitely should simply seal their borders with Palestine, mount armed guards, and let them live out their lives in their quiet separation. The Palestinians do not like Israelis (as is obvious by their repeated attempts to kill them), so this should cause absolutely no problems.

Oh, wait, they still want access to the better medical services, better jobs, better shops, better theatres, etc. that one can find in Israel? Well, damn, I guess they should behave, now should they not? Children who misbehave are not allowed in the cookie jar - same applies here.

There. Happy now? Something tells me that was not what you wanted... You should be careful what you ask for.

Maria:I'm sorry if... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Maria:

I'm sorry if this is too insensitive, too simplistic, too childish for you, but I'm going to say it anyway:

The Israelis made a tremendously great humanitarian gesture in offering this woman free medical treatment for her disfiguring scars. In return, she tried to blow up that hospital.

Let me spell that out for you: SHE TRIED TO BLOW UP THE ENTIRE HOSPITAL -- doctors, nurses, patients, staff, visitors, everyone.

Think about that for a moment. Presume for a moment she had succeeded. There are dozens dead, dozens more wounded. They need medical attention if they are to survive. Ambulances and paramedics rush to the scene. They stabilize the patients, and then they do what? Take them to the hospital for more treatment?

THIS WAS THE HOSPITAL! THERE ISN'T ANY PLACE NEARBY TO TAKE THEM NOW!

And yes, I understand that it's only one group of the Palestinians who plotted the attack, and there are many, many more who weren't involved in the plot. Is it fair to blame them all for it?

Considering the popular support they enjoy, and the fact that NOBODY HEARD ABOUT THIS AND THOUGHT IT OUGHT TO BE STOPPED, and that NOBODY IS CALLING ON AL AQSA TO BE STOPPED FROM TRYING IT AGAIN, I think it's eminently fair to blame them all for the actions of these few.

Or, to put it much more succintly and simply, fuck them. Fuck them all. Israel should put up a giant fence and let them blow up each other for a change until they're ready to act like human beings.

Because human beings, for one, DON'T BLOW UP HOSPITALS, especially hospitals that are offering you free medical treatment.

"Biting the hand that feed you" is one thing. "Blowing up the hand that heals you" is a whole order of magnitude dumber and more subhuman.

J.
J.

Good grief, Maria, your dia... (Below threshold)
BorgQueen:

Good grief, Maria, your diatribe leaves me breathless..and not in a good way, hon.

While I'm sure we're all terribly impressed that you're a mere 20 year old majoring in journalism AND political science while minoring in Arabic and Islamic studies, you obviously have been swallowing everything that's being tossed at you in those classes without a second thought.

You lead off with this statement:"Israel has time and time again held the Arab world back and kept it weak."

A few paragraphs later comes this: "To the Arab nations, Israel is a spoiled little child whose existence spans back only about 60 years. These Arab countries are some of the oldest surviving cultures and country's [sic] in the world."

How can spoiled little 60 year old Israel have held back the entire Arab world and kept it weak if the Arab countries managed to become some of the oldest surviving cultures in the world? Why weren't they prospering and surging forward before 1948? Why have they been stuck in the 7th century for 1400 years? Are you saying that Israel is to blame for all of the Arab world's problems, even those predating modern Israel? Or are those all the fault of the evil West?

I don't agree with your statement that "No other region in the world has seen such imperialism imposed upon them than has the Middle East." Are we speaking of recent history, or are we still focused on the whole of one of the world's oldest surviving cultures? If it's the latter, may I remind you of the Islamic invasion of Europe? The domination of Spain? The slaughter in India? The Muslim invasion of the Middle East?

You go on to refer to the Islamic faith as one which is largely mispracticed and misunderstood. Perhaps, perhaps not. This is a moot point in this context, however, since the problem today and historically has been the way Islam is practiced and understood. So what if they've got it wrong...what matters is how they are practicing it...in some of the most violent ways possible. Are you saying it's up to us to show them the errors of their ways? What makes you think they'd appreciate our help, much less listen? As far as they're concerned, we're too dirty to even touch their "holy" book.

Perhaps we are to stand by, let them throw their murderous tantrums, let them fly planes into buildings, blow up school buses, coffee shops, pizza parlors, shoot toddlers in the back by the hundreds, and hope that one day they realize, "Oops, we've been interpreting Islam all wrong....my bad.....sorry world!"

"I also believe that poverty breeds terrorism." Honestly, have you not heard that nearly all of the 19 hijackers on 09/11 were from well-to-do families? That most, if not all, of the al-Qaeda leadership is quite wealthy? Poverty has little to do with it. Greed has quite a bit to do with it in the case of the Palestinians. How can you blame Israel for the Palestinians having "nothing" when the U.S. alone has poured literally billions of dollars into their coffers? Why didn't Arafat use this money to improve their plight instead of stashing most of the cash in secret, private accounts? Why is his widow able to continue to live in the manner to which he introduced her while the poor Palestinians have "nothing?"

"The Palestinians have close to nothing." Then why, pray tell, do "they feel they are consistently being imperialized in order to be ransacked of their resources...?" Resources? What resources? You've just said they have close to nothing. To what resources do you refer? The billions in U.S. aid monies? Please refer again to my mention above of Arafat and his bank accounts.

"Israel was very happy to see the dismantling of another neighbor it hasn't exactly been on the best terms with. One less Arab country to be posed a threat from." Tell me this....if your neighbors were constantly shouting to one another that their fondest dream was to see you not just move from their neighborhood, but to see your home go up in flames with you and your entire family in it, would you be concerned? Sticks and stones, you say? What if these same neighbors were building bonfires in their yards, stockpiling gasoline and cigarette lighters? Would you be more concerned? What if they took to throwing bricks and molotov cocktails at your children while they played in their own yard? Do you notice yet? Or would you be inclined to say, "Oh, they're just misguided. They don't realize that they're being misled by their misinterpretation of the concept of 'living in peace.'" Would you risk your life on that? What about your children's lives?

I don't think of Sadaam's scuds, nuclear programs and his obvious willingness and ability to use them a minor irritation. He was more than willing to perpetrate scud attacks on Israel during the Gulf War to try to squirm out of his predicament, even though Israel had nothing to do with his invasion of Kuwait. Did you forget? Oh, dear, I forgot, you're what....20? Ancient history to you, I suppose.

I appreciate everyone’s res... (Below threshold)
Maria Kornalian:

I appreciate everyone’s responses. I think it’s wonderful that we care enough about what is going on in the world to take the time to discuss these issues with complete strangers. Far better for you to disagree with me than to resort to apathy. We can all learn from each other.

It doesn't irk me that not one of you agree with anything I have to say - I believe it was Thomas Watson who once said, "Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of crackpot than the stigma of conformity." What is frustrating, however, is that not one of you were able to craft your well-thought out responses in an effort to further intellectual curiosity without insulting me one way or another, primarily with your clever use of sarcasm, especially about my age.

I truly resent that you would assert that I just regurgitate what I’m taught in class, primarily because of how ridiculous that sounds to me. For one thing, I believe my thoughts and ideas deserve more credit than that, and even if you don’t agree with me, at least let me claim what is mine. Also, it’s strange that you would say this because what is taught in class is exactly what all of you have to say here. The opinions I have formed have not been spoon-fed to me by teachers who largely believe the same things you do. Much of my analysis on the situation comes from a simple combination of reading the paper every morning and having an open mind. I’m willing to consider your thoughts, are you willing to consider mine? You don’t have to agree with what I think, but you should be able to suspend your horizons long enough to entertain the other side. Otherwise this isn’t a discussion – it’s just ranting.

The Western world has a tendency to judge a lot of things that happen in the Middle East largely because of its severe misunderstanding of the culture there. What the Palestinians do with suicide bombing is not condoned…at least not by me. I would never tell my children that bombing a hospital for a cause of any kind is acceptable or that it is appropriate. It is not. No one is saying that killing innocent civilians is alright, at least I’m not. I hope that you can spend more time looking at what I’m trying to say and less time developing a rebuttal – the mark of a good listener. And capitalizing your words doesn’t make me read them any more, any better or any easier.

You are right, killing innocent children and medics who are there to help is wrong. It is a mature insight to make, but I believe it requires even more maturity not to settle for scratching the surface on a topic like this. Don’t just say it’s wrong – but take it to the next level. Why is this happening?

Why are Palestinians acting this way? And is Israel not retaliating? Have Israelis not also killed Palestinians? Yes, it is wrong to kill children – but instead of whining and complaining about how immoral Palestine is, why don’t we take some steps to think about the root of the problems between Israel and Palestine – why not ask the kinds of questions that result in better communication. Palestine feels as though Israel not only poses a threat to their survival, but to the advancement of any Arab nation in the region. This is not rocket science, this is not new news, this is nothing that isn’t obvious. If Israel didn’t exist, the Arab world would be quite different. I’m not suggesting we delete Israel from the map, but simply trying to put things in prospective.

The only way you’re going to understand your enemy is by walking in their shoes. Since you probably don’t want to do that, why not simply broaden your intellectual horizon and ask yourself why these kinds of things are happening, and think of ways to right those wrongs. This is a challenge Israel refuses tackle. As well the United States.

When I said Islam is mispracticed, that does not mean it is mispracticed by every Muslim. If this is something you believe, then you have a severe misunderstanding of the religion and should probably take a few introductory courses on Islam before you argue such.

Much of the Muslim world DOES NOT condone what Palestine does – but they also don’t exactly love Israel either.

Poverty does breed terrorism. Look at Afghanistan. That country is one of the poorest countries in the world, and it was home to the Taliban. Just because the people who hijacked the planes on Sept. 11 were rich, doesn’t mean this principle does not apply to them – in fact it does. When I say poverty breeds terrorism, I don’t just mean individual poor people become terrorists. The concept should be applied much more macrocosmically. The region is very poor, is not well-educated and is consistently targeted by the Western world. This doesn’t make terrorism okay, and it certainly doesn’t mean every Muslim is a terrorist. But it does help paint a clearer picture.

Yes, Muslims have also been invaders of other countries. A million years ago. This argument is so moot, I’m not sure it’s worth even mentioning. Who wasn’t invading anyone at that time?

The resource I am talking about Westerners ransacking is oil. Surprise, surprise.

What the Palestinians are doing is not okay. But instead of yelling about it so judgmentally, why don’t we take some steps to correct the root of the problems, however far back they reach historically? If your child misbehaves, are you going to give them a 5-day time-out and then send them off? Isn’t it important to spend less time punishing and more time correcting?

This whole bit about the woman and the hospital….it’s really such an oversimplification. Taking an isolated case such as this and then applying standards to both sides is really unfair to the situation. The average relationship between a Palestinian and an Israeli is not like this. Far from it, even.

And honestly, can you really say Israel is this loving, giving, caring country who has no faults in the situation and seeks only to provide health care to Palestinians? I don’t see how that’s even remotely arguable, but I invite you to prove me wrong. I am open to your ideas.

Maria - Luckily fo... (Below threshold)
Jameel Rashid:

Maria -

Luckily for me, most of the responses above clearly addressed the issues. Since it seems your understanding of the situation is rather one-sided (to major in journalism and minor in Islamic studies means you have a guaranteed job at any liberal publication on this planet) I suggest you read a book by Joan Peters, "From Time Immemorial" She's neither a "Zionist", nor Jewish for that matter.

As for Israel, they have bent over backwards to extend their hand in peace. Why do you think the boarder crossings exist? To give jobs to the Gazans. Stop behaving like this was an isolated incident. On a daily basis, Palestinian children try to smuggle bombs through IDF checkpoints.

The Moslem world, and 22 Arab countries have enormous wealth from oil. Do they use it to help the Palestinian's social issues? The only money they get - goes to families whose valiant relatives have blown themselves up, with the intention of killing as many Jews as possible.
In 1974, Israel tried building low-income housing to replace the camps in Gaza to give the Palestinians better living conditions. Guess who condemned them? The UN and the entire Arab world. Why? For trying to solve a "refugee" problem through non-political means.

The "average" Palestinian IS in favor of suicide bombings against Israel, as their polls have shown this time after time. Palestinian TV for children is ALL ABOUT martyrdom.

Less time punishing them, and more time correcting them? With which Palestinian leadership? Arafat? Abbas? They outright said/say in Arabic that their entire raison de etre is to re-conquer the entire State of Israel...and martyrdom is a KEY weapon. They brainwash their children with this on an hourly basis through Palestinian TV, radio, newspapers, and educational textbooks.

You wrote that the IDF kills children. The IDF does not target children...or adults. They try their best to target terrorists. Collateral damage is the unfortunate result of war....which the Palestinians started. The Palestinians ARE targeting babies (Palestinian snipers have intentionally targeted and killed 6 month old Jewish babies.) Suicide bombers (and this woman from last week was one of HUNDREDS) try to target Jewish civilians as much as possible.

Sorry - but you must hold the Palestinians accountable to the same moral standards as the rest of the world. Not doing so is an insult to humanity.

Lastly, if the Palestinians put down their weapons, there would be peace. If the Israelis put down their weapons, there would be no Israel.


Sorry to make this so short... (Below threshold)
BorgQueen:

Sorry to make this so short, Maria, but I'm on my way to work and will be out of town for most of the next week. Jameel has posted an excellent response to your latest oh-so-enlightened comments.


I'd like to point out that in your previous post, you were referring to "Palestinian" resources..there IS no "Palestinian oil." Don't tell me Israel is to blame for that...where were the oilfields in the region before Israel came to be?

The Palestinians have been busily exporting their rockets and suicide bombers, of which they seem to have an endless supply....those are resources, are they not?


Next point: "What the Palestinians do with suicide bombing is not condoned…at least not by me." "Much of the Muslim world DOES NOT condone what Palestine does – but they also don’t exactly love Israel either."

That is just not true and if you're any kind of student of current affairs, you'd know that. Where is Arab condemnation of this? In Arabic, dearheart, not in the English language speeches crafted by Arab leadership to appease the West.

Might I suggest you make the Middle East Media Reseach Institute (MEMRI) a part of your education? They provide coverage of Arab leaders and intellectuals and the things they are publicly espousing to their fellow Arabs and Muslims. My goodness, they even provide names, dates, and places! It might help you to see more of the whole picture.

http://www.memri.org/


"I’m willing to consider your thoughts, are you willing to consider mine? You don’t have to agree with what I think, but you should be able to suspend your horizons long enough to entertain the other side. Otherwise this isn’t a discussion – it’s just ranting."

Given the length and detail of the posts in response to your comments, it shows that a lot of people here are 'suspending their horizons long enough to entertain the other side.' For you to suggest otherwise, to suggest that no one is willing to consider your thoughts, is an insult. Stop preaching.


"I hope that you can spend more time looking at what I’m trying to say and less time developing a rebuttal – the mark of a good listener."

I'm sorry, I thought you WANTED a discussion...oops, sorry, capitalized word. Forgive me for showing emphasis.


"Why are Palestinians acting this way? And is Israel not retaliating?"

A simple answer is that Palestinians are taught to hate. See my reference to education below.

Another, larger part of the answer is that the Arab world is using the Palestinians to achieve their goal of eliminating Israel and the Jews from the face of the Earth. The rest of the Arab world doesn't give a hill of beans (perhaps "barrel of oil" would be a more apt phrase) for the plight of the Palestinians. They view them as a tool to be used against Israel. It seems to me that Palestinian rage is sadly misdirected.

Yes, Israel is retaliating. Thank Heaven they are. A government is SUPPOSED to protect its citizens.


"Palestine feels as though Israel not only poses a threat to their survival, but to the advancement of any Arab nation in the region. This is not rocket science, this is not new news, this is nothing that isn’t obvious. If Israel didn’t exist, the Arab world would be quite different. I’m not suggesting we delete Israel from the map, but simply trying to put things in prospective."

Oh, yes, the Arab world would be quite different. How? Proof?

YOU may not be suggesting we delete Israel from the map, but THE ARAB WORLD IS.

Israel rightly feels that the Palestinians and the whole Arab world are threatening its survival. This is not rocket science either, considering that the Arab world almost daily attacks or attempts to attack Israel and her citizens. This too is quite obvious to those of us who also read the papers every morning and keep open minds.


"The only way you’re going to understand your enemy is by walking in their shoes. Since you probably don’t want to do that, why not simply broaden your intellectual horizon and ask yourself why these kinds of things are happening, and think of ways to right those wrongs. This is a challenge Israel refuses tackle. As well the United States."

Let's replace "Israel" and "United States" in this paragraph with "Palestinians" and "Arab world," shall we?

Why is the onus always/only on Israel and the U.S.? I think it a particulary vile, reprehensible form of racism to infer that certain cultures can't be expected to conform to the same standards of morality as we are held to.


"The region is very poor, is not well-educated and is consistently targeted by the Western world."

Excuse me, billions in aid, remember? Where did it go?

I agree with the "not well educated" part of your statement. Spending more time teaching your children things like "Jews are sons of apes and pigs" and "Jews kill Arab babies and mix their blood in pastries" than math and science makes for poorly educated people. Clearly, this lack of education is the fault of Israel, the U.S., and the West in general.

"Yes, Muslims have also been invaders of other countries. A million years ago. This argument is so moot, I’m not sure it’s worth even mentioning.

Not just "a million" years ago, it continues today. Open that newspaper, turn to "Darfur," for example.


"What the Palestinians are doing is not okay. But instead of yelling about it so judgmentally, why don’t we take some steps to correct the root of the problems, however far back they reach historically? If your child misbehaves, are you going to give them a 5-day time-out and then send them off? Isn’t it important to spend less time punishing and more time correcting?"

Good grief, woman, are you actually retaining any of what you read? Take some steps to correct the root of the problems? Have you no clue as to how Israel and the US have restrained themselves from reacting JUSTLY to actions perpetrated on them, particularly Israel, so as not to be accused of not caring about the region's "problems," most of which are created by the Arab world themselves? If you're going to insist on political correctness, then I'm going to insist that it work BOTH WAYS. Israel should "walk in [her] enemies' shoes?" Then the Arab world damn well better walk in Israel's shoes as well. I've seen no evidence of THAT happening.

BTW...if my child misbehaved, for example, by not sharing her toys, then yes, I'd give her a time out and send her on her way. If, however, she "misbehaved" by attacking a playmate with a hammer, I'd do far more than that. You're being oversimplistic with that statement.

"You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist."
-Indira Gandhi

Until the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world unclench their fists, there's not going to be any real peace. They don't want it.


"When I said Islam is mispracticed, that does not mean it is mispracticed by every Muslim. If this is something you believe, then you have a severe misunderstanding of the religion and should probably take a few introductory courses on Islam before you argue such."

I have taken introductory courses and beyond on Islam. And they weren't the watered down, sickly sweet, "Islam means Peace" post-9/11 version, either.


PS: I'd say my use of sarcasm is more than balanced by your sense of condescension.

Have a nice day.

Maria:As an Israel... (Below threshold)

Maria:

As an Israeli, I have to agree with brother Jameel. Israel is not the problem here. Certainly, Israel has done thing that have not helped; but there's a vast order-of-magnitude difference here.

Israel doesn't send her school-age children to die by killing Palestinians, ever. (Palestinians, unfortunately for them most of all, do the reverse all the time.) Israel doesn't broadcast calls for martyrdom on television, radio, and state-sponsored religious sermons every day; the Palestinians do.

Israel honors the concept of Sanctuary, and does not attack civilians (unless under fire from combatants taking cover behind those civilians). Israel does not attack hospitals or ambulances if it can possibly be avoided -- see above -- and routinely treats wounded Palestinians in Israeli hospitals, regardless of how and why they were wounded. (It is not unusual for the wounded from a terrorist attack, and the wounded terrorist himself, to be treated in the same hospital. Palestinians have grown accustomed to such treatment.)

But as we have seen, Palestinians have used ambulances as rolling bombs (forcing Israelis to search them), hospitals as targets, and their own civilians as shields -- while Israeli civilians, all of them, are considered legitimate targets.

None of these actions are the mark of a civilized society, Maria. All of them, in fact, are the actions of those who wish to destroy the fabric of a civilized society -- and don't seem to care that it will eat away at their own society as well.

That's what I meant when I said that Israel is not the problem here.

As has been shown again and again, poverty does not cause terrorism; neither does ignorance. (Several of the 9/11 terrorists had college degrees; a number of terrorist leaders have had doctorates.) Terrorism does, however, cause poverty. Take a look at the Palestinian territories today; they have many serious problems, to be sure, but lack of money is not one of them. (The EU has seen to that.)

Israel has shown its good will many, many times, to the point that I wonder why anyone still doubts Israel's intentions. When a peace treaty required that Israel surrender 75% of its land in 1981, Israel did so, risking large-scale civil disorder among her own people to do the right thing. (She's risking the same thing now over Gaza.) So much for the myth of "greater Israel". Israel has large numbers of foreign workers, and could bring in many more to do the work that Palestinians now do; she does not, because Israeli work is the lifeblood of the majority of Palestinian families, and Israel has refused to cut that off, even at the price of terrorism. (So much for the myth of wanting to subjugate the helpless Palestinians.) And Israeli soldiers are under specific orders to treat Palestinians as humanely as they possibly can, sometimes even to the point of risking Israeli lives (e.g. Jenin); when I was in the IDF, my commanders were quite explicit on this point. So much for the myth of the brutality and inhumanity of Israeli soldiers.

If you doubt any or all of the above, I invite you to visit Israel. Go see for yourself what Israeli society is like. Talk to an Israeli, or a dozen Israelis, about what it's like to not know which bus will blow up next, or which pizzeria, or which disco. (You'll find that a good many Israelis are quite sympathetic to Palestinian causes; Israel has a thriving, active "peace camp". The Palestinians do not.)

The fact is, Maria, the Palestinians could have had their own sovereign state, in most (if not all) of Gaza and the West Bank, at any time after 1967... had they simply renounced terror and meant it. That's all it would take, and that's all Israel has been waiting for.

It is not to the Palestinians' credit that, after all these years, that's the one thing they refuse to try.

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline

To the Arab nations, Isr... (Below threshold)
Sean:

To the Arab nations, Israel is a spoiled little child whose existence spans back only about 60 years. These Arab countries are some of the oldest surviving cultures and country's in the world. They feel they are consistently being imperialized in order to be ransacked of their resources and have Israel to blame.

You know absolutely nothing about Jewish history, do you Maria. Note, that isn't a question. Its a statement. Jewish history, in the region of Israel, goes back several thousand years. Arab countries are doing what Nazi Germany did, using Jews as a scapegoat (maybe that's an offensive term, since it is derived from the Old Testament and Jewish practices). Arab/Muslims live a shitty existence because their rulers keep them mired in poverty and ignorance - what better way to keep them under control? These "leaders" point to Israel and say, "We could make your lives better if only Israel did not exist!" If it wasn't Israel, it would be someone else. The U.S., most likely.

Indeed in fact, make no mistake - we would surely not be in Iraq right now had Israel not been so supportive.

Wow. You are thoroughly indoctrinated, aren't you? Yup, you have it right. Israel controls our foreign policy. We are nothing but puppets on a string. [/sarcasm] Cripes. Open your eyes. We're in Iraq because Sodom Hussein posed a great threat to our safety and refused to deal with the international community. Lest you forget, the 1991 war was never declared officially over. It was put on hold pending Hussein's compliance with certain conditions. One of those conditions was proof positive that he disarmed. He failed to prove it, kept dancing around the issue, and he's not the kind of guy you can just take at his word and leave alone.

One less Arab country to be posed a threat from.

First thing you've gotten right.

Instead of shouting about when Palestine is going to stop killing Israelis (and never once wonder about why the opposite shouldn't happen)

Maybe you should realize that, while Israel is no saint, they normally and routinely are responding to Palestinian agression. Maybe none of your indoctrinators filled you in on this, but this whole "recent" intifada started because Israel was willing to give "Palestine" almost everything they asked for. That's a lot! Rather than make any concessions (required for good-faith mediations) Arafat walked away and called for this uprising.

And you try and act like Israel is to blame here? You are young, idealistic, and incredibly naive. Please expand your world view, break out of your intellectually sheltered existence. It takes courage to do so, but it is worth the struggle.

I am open to your ideas.... (Below threshold)
Sean:

I am open to your ideas.

If you were truly open to ideas you would not believe "Palestine" is the victim in this situation.




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