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I just fisked a girl named Maria...

In my piece the other day about the Palestinian woman who attempted to blow up an Israeli hospital, commenter Maria brought up a lot of interesting points. Now, I respect and appreciate her contributions, but I feel the only way to properly answer her is to use the classic "Fisking" technique, of doing a bit-by-bit rebuttal. However, I will attempt to be considerably less brutal than that style is customarily known for. And Maria, please accept that I am simply seizing on your comments to repeat some things I believe in most strongly, and bear you no malice.

That being said, let the Fisking begin!

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.

I agree wholeheartedly, Maria. I sincerely hope you are as willing to learn as you are willing to teach.

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.

That was probably a poor choice, but I can understand it. As a former 20-year-old college student, I have to admit that I "knew" a hell of a lot more than others would admit. It took YEARS for me to unlearn that arrogance.

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.

But Maria, views are shaped by experiences, and as someone who hasn't been a legal adult too long, you don't have that many. You can supplement them only so much with readings, and in college those readings tend to be filtered by your teachers. They steer you towards volumes of material, all of which tend to reinforce each other. From there, it's incredibly easy to start mistaking quantity for quality, and the notion that "if so many people say it, it must be so."

In academia, little boys to say that the emperor is naked are in extremely short supply.

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.

I'm glad you don't condone suicide bombing. But the Palestinians do -- by thought, word, and deed, on a regular basis. And they are incredibly indiscriminate about who they kill.

No, that's not fair. They do discriminate about who they kill. They choose the most vulnerable, most innocent. They blow up buses. They blow up pizza places. They blow up parties. They blow up religious celebrations. They blow up night clubs. And now they tried to blow up a hospital. They have an addiction to atrocities, and find themselves struggling to find the next fix, each time craving something even more horrific.

I plunged deep into the darkest recesses of my mind, going face-to-face with the ugliest, cruelest, most inhumane part of my own soul after the Beslan school massacre to try to anticipate the next atrocity, and came up with "hospitals." Now I find that prediction has come true, and I simply don't have the courage to do it again and try to foretell what will happen next. Let someone else do it; I've taken my turn.

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?

Maria, here's a little hint: any time you say something is wrong, then follow it up with a "but," you're helping to rationalize and justify the wrongdoing.

If you're looking into exploring the root causes to prevent future occurrences, that's fine. Just be very careful you do not ever take your eyes off the fact that something is wrong and must be condemned and stopped.

Why are Palestinians acting this way?

Because, to them, it works.


And is Israel not retaliating?

Because of international pressure "not to perpetuate the cycle of violence." Palestinians killing Israelis is to be condemned; Israelis killing Palestinians is an atrocity.

Have Israelis not also killed Palestinians?

You're oversimplifying things here. The Israelis, for the vast majority of cases, target those Palestinians who pose a threat to Israelis -- either those who pose an imminent threat, or those who organize, orchestrate, and order those threats. The Palestinians, on the other hand, focus on killing Israelis who pose no threat whatsoever. To equate both as "killings" is beyond moral relativism, it is an obscenity.

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.

But Maria, "delete Israel from the map" is EXACTLY what the Palestinians want. Go look at their web site -- every single map of the area shows Palestine covering the entire region from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, with no Israel whatsoever. The charter of the PLO specifically calls for the extermination of Israel. Most Arab nations are still officially at war with Israel. Their long-standing and long-stated goal is the extermination of Israel.

With that in mind, what is there to negotiate? To come to an understanding about? Just how they plan to kill all the Jews? When your opening position is "we want to exterminate you all," negotiations are a bit problematic. "OK, Achmed, you say you want to burn all the Jews. How about we settle for just shooting them?"

And Israel is an obstacle to Arab progress. Go look at a map, Maria -- here's a good one. Then look at an almanac. There are about six million people in Israel, and over 1.1 billion Muslims. That's about a 183-to-one ratio. If you took out the non-Jews in Israel, it'd probably push it closer to 200 to one. Are the Jews that much superior to the Arabs that they can hold THAT much sway?

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.

I don't need to put on a metaphysical suicide bomb to understand what is going on. There are numerous reasons:
1) The Muslim mindset says that once a land is Muslim, it is forever Muslim. They once held sway over Israel, and the continuing existence of a Jewish state is an ongoing affront and insult to Islam.
2) The Arabs have spent centuries killing each other. (Jordan killed far more Palestinians in the Black September uprising than Israel has in 60 years, for example) Israel is the best thing that could have happened to them -- it gives them someone else to kill besides each other.
3) Islamic culture is an "honor" culture. They have repeatedly attempted to destroy Israel, and failed each time. By refusing to let themselves be slaughtered, Israel has given them an unforgivable insult.
4) The Palestinians have, in their attempt to salve their pride, have bought into the "Palestinian history" myth. There never WAS a nation called "Palestine." Those people who call themselves "Palestinians" are, historically, from what is now Egypt and Jordan, among other places. Look it up -- there is NO historical evidence of there ever being a nation/state/people called "Palestine." There is no history, no listing of rulers, no commercial ties, no wars, no currency -- nothing. And if you do find reference to "Palestinians" (such as in the New York Times from the 1920's), dig a little deeper and you will most likely find out that those "Palestinians" are Jews.

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.

The rest of the Muslim world hates the Israelis, and hates the Palestinians as much. That's why after 60 years, they're still kept in "refugee camps" and denied the chance to become citizens. If they're allowed to assimilate, then the Arabs lose their moral club to beat Israel over the head with.

When Israel was created, about 1.6 million refugees were created. They were forced to pack up whatever they could carry on their backs and flee from war, leaving their ancestral homes and belongings.

Sixty years later, fully half of those people (and their descendants) are still refugees, forced to live in settlements, camps, and other "temporary" shelters, awaiting to return to their "homes." But the other half CHOSE to stop being victims, settled in to their new homes, and started over, rebuilding their lives and rarely looking back.

The first group are Palestinians. The second group are former Egyptians, Syrians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Lebanese, Saudis, Iranians, Libyans, and other nationalities -- but they're now Israelis.

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.

Poverty does not breed terrorism. It breeds foot soldiers, spear-carriers, cannon fodder for whatever cause that's recruiting. Extremism breeds terrorism, and it takes middle-class and upper-class extremists to organize, recruit, and lead the poor into terrorism. Osama Bin Laden came from a very wealthy family. The 9/11 hijackers were almost uniformly middle-class or higher.

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.

No, the region is very wealthy, in terms of natural resources. In those terms, the poorest nation is probably Israel. But they have such a high standard of living because they have embraced capitalism and democracy. The other nations are tyranny and dictatorships, and therefore concentrate the wealth in the hands of a very, very few while the rest live in squalor.

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?

"A million years ago?" Try TODAY. Look at Europe -- the Netherlands and France, for example. Muslims are still "invading" and "conquering" other nations. Now they're just doing it quietly. There are whole regions of France where non-Muslims dare not set foot -- especially women. In the Netherlands, a film-maker who dared make a movie about Muslim oppression of women was murdered in the streets.

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

Yes, it's all about OIL. That's why oil prices are at record lows now, and we tossed off our historical ties to Israel -- not only do they not have any oil, but they are hated by those with oil.

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?

Maria, you're confusing your points here. You talk about looking back at the "historical" roots of the problem, but a minute ago you were saying that those events happened a "million" years ago and are moot today. Try to remain consistent.

And as far as dealing with the "root causes:" there's a medical model that fits rather well here: stabilize the patient first. If you have a man suffering a heart attack, you don't talk to him about exercise and diet until AFTER you get his heart beating normally and keep him from dying. Otherwise, all you're left with is a moderately interesting autopsy report for the official record.

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.

The hospital story isn't an isolated case, it's emblematic. It's symbolic. It is the pinnacle of a long chain of events. When one is discussing the straw that breaks the camel's back, one doesn't focus on that last straw, and speculate about what innate trait of that straw caused the breaking.

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.

Here you're succumbing to the perfect being the enemy of the good. Is Israel completely blameless? No. Have they done wrong in the past? Yes. I could give you numerous examples, but I'm sure your professors have given you all I could cite and numerous more. (Some might even be true -- check out the "Jenin Massacre" for an example of the fake ones.) But the wrongdoings of Israel are vastly overwhelmed with the wrongs they have suffered. Further, the mere facts that there is a (semi) legitimate Palestinian government that lives side-by-side with Israel, and the population of the Occupied Territories has steadily increased, and the standard of living in the Occupied Territories has steadily improved, speaks volumes about Israel. Most other nations, given the provocations they have borne, would have simply wiped those lands clean, driven off or killed the residents, annexed it outright, and settled it completely.

I am open to your ideas.

I sincerely hope so.


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Comments (35)

Thanks -- as fiskings go, t... (Below threshold)

Thanks -- as fiskings go, that was rather polite. (And, speaking only for myself, I do think politeness is called for here.)

(Thanks also for not calling the thread "How do you write a fisking of Maria"...)

Here's a link that some of your readers -- Maria in particular -- might find informative. Check it out.

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline

At this point, given the in... (Below threshold)
Jordan Wehde:

At this point, given the indoctrination that the palestinians go through in their schools and daily lives the only answer is to completely shatter their entire structure. Think about it. The woman is 22 years old. She grew up in an environment that glorifies martyrdom and disparages her as a human being because she is a woman. Can you honestly say that if you grew up under her circumstances you wouldn't have turned out the same way? As far as I can see it, the only viable option is to destroy the palestinian government and for at least a generation institute some sort of reform schooling. Either that or just obliterate them. Either way, it's fucking sad.

<a href="http://www.mfa.gov... (Below threshold)
Sean:

Here is a good historical overview of Israel for Maria. The Arab claim that the land is ancestrally theirs is a bunch of bull dookey.

I could join in the fun but... (Below threshold)
IcallMasICM:

I could join in the fun but I'll just do a little bit

' If Israel didn’t exist, the Arab world would be quite different.'

No it would be basically the same backward, barbaric, hate filled culture that it is now.

'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.'

A million years ago when all that defended the Western world was Raquel Welch in a tattered deerskin bikini. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

'so moot' like yaknow 'so pregnant' - Where the fuck does Maria attend college? I just want to know so I cross it off the list for my kids.

'The resource I am talking about Westerners ransacking is oil. '

In the vast Israeli oil fields? Oh I'm sorry there aren't any there.

'If your child misbehaves, are you going to give them a 5-day time-out '

Ummm...can I make a preemptive call to DSS in case Maria ever plans on having children? 5 days would get rather schmelly.

Well everyone else can join in the fun now.

I'd add a little more to th... (Below threshold)
joe:

I'd add a little more to this: Palestinians seem to think that they are the only displaced peoples in history. Yet people get moved around all the time. See Darfur for a vicious, Arab-caused version of it that has killed more Muslims in a few months than Israel has in Israel's 60-year history. Arabs are remarkably resistant to sympathising with dead people who aren't Arabs.

Another example: the creation of new German borders after WWII left MILLIONS of Germans outside Germany. Some were deported wholesale to the new Germany by the Allies. Look at a map of eastern Europe. See that little piece of detached Russia, next to Poland, called "Kaliningrad"? That used to be Königsberg and part of East Prussia, a large place with millions of Germans. The number of Germans that live there now is essentially zero. Russia systematically blew away German historical buildings, etc. as they took over:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaliningrad

Another example was given by Jay Tea; the hundreds of thousands of Jews kicked out of Arab lands just after Israel's creation. They were expelled for the crime of being Jewish:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_lands
As Jay Tea said, Israel welcomed them and the refugees assimilated over time. Israel could have kept them in perpetual slums and demanded the Arab nations take them back, just like the Palestinians. But they did not. They solved the problem and went on with their lives, as the Arabs destroyed all vestiges of their former lives in their home nations and stole their property.

Now, very few Jews live in the Arab world. Yet over one million Arabs live IN ISRAEL, are Israeli citizens, have political parties, elect members to parliament, etc... They worship in peace. No churches or mosques have been harmed, and all are free to worship as they please.

Do you think any Arab nation would allow even a single Jew into their government? Are you familiar with what the Palestinians have done to ALL Jewish religious sites under their control? They've allowed them to be destroyed, or actively participated in it!

In 1948, the Arabs said to the Palestinians, "Get out of the way. We'll kill all the Jews, then you can go back." That didn't work out like they'd hoped. But Arabs still cling to that solution--kill all the Jews.

What dropped me was this co... (Below threshold)
Mikey:

What dropped me was this comment: "What the Palestinians are doing is not okay. But instead of yelling about it so judgmentally..."

The attempt to blow up a hospital is wrong and I'm not supposed to be judgmental about that? Sweet Jeebus on a pogo stick! what a load of immoral claptrap! Darn right it should be yelled about judgmentally, by everyone everywhere and it just might penetrate the fog of hate in the Palestinians that some things aren't to be done!

(Holds head, trying to keep skull from exploding.) Grow up, Maria. Please, grow up.

Good fisking. I have nothin... (Below threshold)
Toby928:

Good fisking. I have nothing to add about the Isreal/Palestine issue but I could not help laughng at Maria's "Much of my analysis on the situation comes from a simple combination of reading the paper every morning and having an open mind."

I once heard someone describe people like Maria as "the herd of independent thinkers". 'Each thinks his ideas are formed in the fiery crusable of his own intellect while those of us on the outside are struck by how they all sound the same.'

Tob

I thought that said "fisted... (Below threshold)

I thought that said "fisted" lol

From the original post:<br ... (Below threshold)
Sean:

From the original post:
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.

Um. Israel has a thriving democracy and economy, and a very nice standard of living. "Palestinians" live in slums because they allow their "leaders" to abscond with the billions of dollars of international aid provided by sucker Western countries.

Our Western minds do not overlook the core issues. The core issue is this: the Koran teaches that Islam is supposed to rule the world and that Christians and Jews are inferior and need to be defeated. You may argue all day long that Islam is being "mispracticed" and "misunderstood", but anyone with half a brain can see the very clear teachings in the Koran.

Let's take a trip in the Way-Back Machine, shall we? There once was a region controlled by England. It was populated by Arabs and Jews. A plan was presented to the newly formed United Nations to form two Nations, side-by-side - one Jewish and one Arab nation. The Arabs decided this was unacceptable and squelched the U.N. plan.

The Jews decided to declare themselves a country anyway. They used the borders suggested by the U.N. The Arabs went nuts and attacked. Israel beat them every single time they attacked. In the course of beating the hell out of these Arab invaders, they occupied certain territory. Being civilized, they allowed the Arabs in those territories to remain, rather than expelling them (which would have been much better for Israel's long term safety and stability). In the decades that followed, the Arabs have continued to try and wipe Israel off the map. Israel, on the other hand, while defended itself, has grown its democracy, economy, and improved its peoples' quality of life.

Maria, you need to step out of the Islam/Muslim/Liberal University brain-washing for a little while and try to see things as they really stand.

After reconsidering, I thin... (Below threshold)
Toby928:

After reconsidering, I think that we should give Maria a break. It's not like she will be particularly influential.

I was damn near an anarchist at that age and survived and so I wish her all the best.

Tob

Maria: how exactly has Isra... (Below threshold)
rjm319:

Maria: how exactly has Israel held the Arab world back? Did they, for example, install Saddam Hussein, Moammar Qadaffi, the Saud family, the Assad family, Hosni Mubarak, etc. as rulers? Did they prevent industry from investing in these countries? Did they blight the land and make it a desert?!?!

Joe: Excellent post, but I must correct you on one point: in Tunisia (and probably also Morocco where the royal family has a close relationship with some Jewish people), synagogues remain open...or at least, were in 1986 when I was there

Yes Tob, but while most ana... (Below threshold)
Sean:

Yes Tob, but while most anarchists grow up and mature, naive and ignorant liberals like Maria normally do not. Cases like hers often require some sort of intervention. And to be even more fair, if you came on this site espousing anarchist view points, you'd get an "earfull" as well.

"Cases like hers often requ... (Below threshold)
Toby928:

"Cases like hers often require some sort of intervention."

True, isn't that the old saw 'A conservative is a liberal whose been mugged' ?

Tob

May I add a few more commen... (Below threshold)
TheEnigma:

May I add a few more comments to maria's comments. If you do not wish rebuttals, do not provide such a tempting target.

1. M: Much of my analysis on the situation comes from a simple combination of reading the

paper every morning and having an open mind.

TE: I notice that maria fails to identify which papers, those leaving open the

impresion that what she "reads" is basically the MSM version of the truth. The msm has continually provided a source to spread the muslim propaganda to denounce the Israelis.

2. M: 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.

TE: Does "scratching" deeper make such hideous crimes less of a crime? Why do those in the

MSM refer to such crimes as "suicide bombings" as opposed to homocide bombings? A suicide

bombing would not necessarily be intended to destroy innocent life. A homocide bombing is

first and foremost intended to destroy others.

3. M: 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.

TE: It is far more sensible to first put a complete end to the destruction of innocent life? The root of the problem is known by those willing to comprend the truth and stop spewing the msm/liberal propoganda lines. Ignorance and hatred are the true causes.

4. M: 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.

TE: I dare say it is you and others of the liberal mind-set that need to broaden your

intellectual horizon and stop believing the liberal propoganda about the facts behind the

why.

5. M: 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

TE: Recently in Washington, a rally was held to demonstrate muslim opposition to

terrorism. Many muslim groups were asked to participate. The total number of muslims to

attend was somewhere around 50. When it comes to demonstrating against The US or

Israel, muslims can be found by the thousands.

6. M: 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.
TE: The culture of the middle east is one of a collective hate of the rest of the world.

7. M: 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?
TE: Are we suppose to overlook the stated purpose of islam, to force islam on the

rest of civilization?

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

TE: The quintessential muslim/liberal lie. Yes, in earlier days, the Western nations did

seek the oil resources and devised schemes to obtain it. But today, the primary thought

from The US is stabilty, perferably with a democratic type government. There is NO proof, only liberal and muslim propaganda, of any attempt by Western nations, and primarily, The US of even remotely attempting to control the oil of any mid-east nation.
9. M. 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.

TE: Can you name a single instance where the so-called palestinians have provided such medical help to injured Israelis? When civilian so-called palestinians are injured in an attack on the openly terrorist element, the Israelis usually provide medical assistance to those so injured.

One other point. For decades we have continued to hear the muslim line that The US is always on the side of the Israelis. Yet, are not all muslim/arab people always on the side of the so-called palestinians? Do we ever hear the muslim/arab people condemn the so-called palestinians for their crimes of against humanity against the Israelies? No, instead we always hear the muslim/arab people praising the so-called palestinians for their hate crimes.

Jay Tea:Thanks for... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Jay Tea:

Thanks for being polite, and I hope that Maria (and others) will actually read, think, and understand.

In trying to find the reasons why the Palestinians acting this way, I would add a couple of additional points:
1. Arabs in the Middle East are miserable and most live without personal freedom. When that happens, the powers that be need a scapegoat, someone to blame for the people's problems and unite the people under their leadership so that the masses don’t rise up against them. Israel is the perfect choice. Until recently, the Arab street’s reaction to any problem has been to blame Israel for it (and frequently the United States, which they know is controlled by the Jews). "On one hand he (Bush) is carrying out the demands of the Zionist lobby that helped him to enter the White House." Usama bin Ladin, Message to the US, October 2003
2. Bigotry: Their religion values violence against Jews. Their religion demands that their followers do good works to appease their God. Those good works include killing those who oppose or impede Islam. "The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn for ever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures." Koran 98:1-8 and " As for those who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, they are the heirs of Hell."" As for those who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, they are the heirs of Hell."

Hmmm.I must say th... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

I must say that I am overwhelming unimpressed by Maria's argument.

Essentially the entire argument boils down to:

Israelis must be doing Palestinians wrong, or else why would Palestinians be killing Israelis?

Which is frankly absurd.

I find it amusing that the ... (Below threshold)
Sabba Hillel:

I find it amusing that the term Palentine or Palestinian is treated as if it were a venerable and ancient reference. The Romans took the term fro the Philistines because there were none left and applied it to Israel (Judea) in order to wipe out any reference to the Jews who really lived there. The actual term Philistine actually means invader and referred to colonists who invaded the coatal areas of Canaan.

Thus, the Arabs who nowadays call themselves Palestinians are actual saying that they are invading colonalists who want to take over someone elses territory.

While Maria's comments were... (Below threshold)
mantis:

While Maria's comments were rather simplistic, and Jay's response was polite and thorough (I'll say nothing of most of the rest of you), I do wonder, how many of you have actually been to Israel? To Palestine? How many actual muslims do you know well?

Just curious.

Good point Sabba Hillel. I... (Below threshold)
Toby928:

Good point Sabba Hillel. I had forgotten that the Philistines were the so-called 'sea-peoples' of probable Greek origin. Basically vikings. Very good.

Tob

I know a few. Mostly from ... (Below threshold)
Toby928:

I know a few. Mostly from Lebanon (although I drive them crazy by calling the Syrians). They hate the Palestinians.

Tob

Maria needs to do more home... (Below threshold)
penny:

Maria needs to do more homework on her major themes. Poverty does not breed terrorists.

A question for the Maria's of the world: see any irony between your aversion to appearing judgemental and the judgemental behavior of homicidal jihadists?

"I know a few." <br ... (Below threshold)
Toby928:

"I know a few."

That was actual a reply to Mantis. And I thinkt that I should elaborate on the "They hate tem" remark. They are always telling me how the Palestinians whould set up anti-aircraft guns in plain view on the top of apartment buildings during the early 1980's and then running away, thus insuring that Israel would bomb the residence causing headlines. I don't know if this is true (they also believe that Hezballah kicked Isreal out of southern Lebanon) but they do blame the Palestinians for all their troubles.

Tob

Reading what Maria has writ... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Reading what Maria has written just enforces my belief that liberalism is so deeply rooted in dishonesty that it's adherents don't even notice the irony of the things they spout as gospel. Her history is woefully wrong but she believes it's true, can't really blame her I guess, that's what she's been taught. This same thing seems to affect all liberals, but if you really want to see a liberal stutter ask him why he supports an anti-Israel stance when the side he's supporting is run by billionaires and those billionaires are keeping the citizens of their countries so broke that a family will willingly swap the life of a son or daughter for less than $200. Most reasonable people would understand that's exactly what liberals are doing, supporting tyrants and thieves that don't "share the wealth" and do such a good job of not sharing it that the going rate for a young, healthy Arab kid's life is around $150 US. Sure makes it tough for me to believe that liberals even listen to the things they say, either that or don't mean a word of it. As long as matyrs are as easy to come by as they are now liberals should have enough sense to realize that they are siding with the biggest, greediest bunch of capitalists on earth, they should, but they won't.

How many actual muslims... (Below threshold)
Sean:

How many actual muslims do you know well?

I have a brother-in-law who is not only Muslim, his family is originally from "Palestine". At the wedding I had to listen to his cleric spew vitriol about how "they" stole my brother-in-law's father's home "yes - stole it!" All while sitting in the front row holding the hand of my Jewish converted to Christianity wife. If it wasn't my sister's wedding I would have got up, flipped the cleric the bird, and walked out.

At least my brother-in-law had the good manners to look slightly embarrassed.

mantis:RE: I do wo... (Below threshold)
kevino:

mantis:

RE: I do wonder, how many of you have actually been to Israel? To Palestine? How many actual muslims do you know well?
Never been there, and wouldn't want to.
I know quite a few Muslims, but not the radical nuts that we're talking about here.

These people have made their views very clear: this is not a "failure to communicate." Anyone who can read can figure this out. And if anyone has any doubt, dig into what the Koran and the associated commentaries have to say about the struggle and unbelievers. Look at what they are teaching in Wahhabi schools. For example:

"The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn for ever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures." Koran 98:1-8

Abu Hurairah said, "The Prophet said, 'The Hour will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. When a Jew hides behind a rock or a tree, it will say, "O Muslim, O servant of Allah! There is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!' " The Hadith (Muslim oral tradition) of Al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah

When I read hate speech being produced by groups like the KKK or Aryan Nation, I don't have to visit their headquarters, talk to their members, or meet the senior Senator from West Virginia. I think I can get a pretty clear idea about what their goals are.

Jay - Kudos! You saved me a... (Below threshold)
Jameel:

Jay - Kudos! You saved me a whole lot of time at work :-)

PS: You should still consider my argument about Israel "disengaging" from Gaza, and the resulting security/political fallout.

I do wonder, how many of... (Below threshold)
penny:

I do wonder, how many of you have actually been to Israel? To Palestine? How many actual muslims do you know well?

And what is your point? Anyone that hasn't physically set foot in Israel or doesn't know at least(you pick the number) Muslims has no right to an opinion on current issues involving topics relevant to either?

I'm paraphrasing from a com... (Below threshold)
rs:

I'm paraphrasing from a comment I read a couple of years ago concerning the Israel/Palestine conflict. The writer said something like this: If the Palestinians would unilaterally disarm today - the killing would cease immediately. If the Israelis would unilaterally disarm - Israel would cease to exist.

It is apparent that the key to Peace in the Middle East is in the hands of the Palestinians.

Kevino -- good comment, in ... (Below threshold)
rjm319:

Kevino -- good comment, in my humble opinion. Given your point, probably superfluous to say the following but...

Mantis -- I have not been to Israel/West Bank/Gaza, but I have been to Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and I studied Arabic for a year (granted 20 years ago and I've forgotten almost all of what I learned). My point is, people who disagree with Maria are not necessarily ignorant or unexposed to the Muslim world.

Sean, your link doesn't wor... (Below threshold)
fatman:

Sean, your link doesn't work. (I keep getting "Request is not allowed".)

Maria should go find some n... (Below threshold)
Nahanni:

Maria should go find some nice Palestinian boy and marry him. Then she will learn quickly that she is nothing more then a factory for the creation of bomb delivery systems. You never know, they might even let her female children live instead of smothering them on birth. If she tries to get all "uppity" and actually think that she is little more then a breeder and house slave I am sure her wonderful Palestinian hubby or his relatives will beat that idea right out of her head or kill her. After all, she has the same rights as any piece of property under Islamic law. Yup Maria, you have the same rights as the family dog.

I don't know what to tell y... (Below threshold)
Sean:

I don't know what to tell you. The link works for me. You can try right-clicking, going to properties, and copying the URL into your browser.

That was the gentlest fiski... (Below threshold)
Liz:

That was the gentlest fisking I've ever seen! I certainly hope Maria is inspired to do some more reading. I only hope that if she does come to see the other point of view, she refrains from mentioning it in class, as I know people taking Arabic/Islamic studies who have been marked down for deviating from their teacher's POV!

Best wishes Maria.

Sean: It's either ... (Below threshold)
fatman:

Sean:

It's either me or my computer. I got to that page (I think) through the Isreali MFA homepage and bookmarked it. When I tried to go back later, I got the same message. I now have their homepage bookmarked and that seems to work for me.

www.mfa.gov.il/mfa

And now your link is workin... (Below threshold)
fatman:

And now your link is working. (pulling what little hair is left out by roots)




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