Left Behind

Interesting news in the mideast:

Hundreds of Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip arrived here by the busload on Saturday to pass through the reopened border into Egypt, taking the first tangible steps out of a four-year Israeli blockade.

“I feel this is the start of freedom,” said Hasna el-Ryes, 45, a Gaza resident waiting to cross into Egypt so she could travel to visit sons studying in Britain. “You can’t imagine how much we have suffered.”

While a gradual loosening of the border controls over the last year had allowed some Gaza residents to cross — including registered students or those seeking medical treatment — many of those making the trip on Saturday said they felt a new stirring of hope at Egypt’s decision to stop enforcing Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory.

They cheered the decision as a humanitarian gesture to Gaza residents but also as an important concession to make possible the reconciliation deal that Egypt brokered between the militant group Hamas, which rules in Gaza, and the moderate Fatah faction, which governs the West Bank. And they saluted the Egyptian revolution that brought about a new spirit of independence.

“The people are taking their rights, and when the Egyptians rise it helps the Palestinians,” said Faris Awad, 48, returning to visit family in Cairo for the first time since the start of the blockade, just in time for a wedding.

Again, I’m no expert on the region, but I sure get the sense that Netanyahu and Israel are in deep trouble of just being left behind by events and the rest of the world. With the Arab spring uprisings, nations that once were willing to do the bidding of the US and Israel are going to be less willing or in many cases unable to do so (I think it is absurd to believe that popular uprisings are going to be more pro-Israel than the status quo), Hamas and Fatah are negotiating, Palestinian statehood is being advanced in the UN but will be blocked by the US at Israel’s insistence, while the rest of the world increasingly views Israel as a rogue nation. And what is Netanyahu doing? Standing at a podium screaming “no, no, no” to the cheers of American wingnuts, Avigdor Lieberman, and the Likudniks.

You just get the sense that someone is deeply out of touch with reality.

85 replies
  1. 1
    Ash Can says:

    Maybe this is one of the reasons Bibi was so cranky last week.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    I always found it interesting that everyone gave Israel unholy hell for the Gaza blockade (with justification) but no one said a peep about Egypt’s enforcement which was just as strict as Israel’s. Having said that, Gaza now has an open border. Hopefully this means matters will improve for the people there. And I don’t see it going back up any time soon.

  3. 3
    Nemo_N says:

    Silly John; everyone knows Israel is the only sane nation and everybody else is just a lunatic, unable to grasp true reality.

  4. 4
    General Stuck says:

    I am very glad the border crossing is now open for Gaza civilians to get some relief. Warfare by siege where a lot of civilians are located, is a hideous endeavor and nothing Israel can be proud of in the least.

    There are some big changes going on in the MENA with “Arab Spring” and movements like it, but I have no clue what it means or where things are headed as far as the Israel/Pal death grip goes. The core issues in that conflict seem quite intractable to me, so long as the extremists on both sides hold onto center stage.

    It would be very nice to be proven wrong.

  5. 5
    SteveinSC says:

    Cue Dan Senor: “Yell, yell, yell,… will be end of Israel, blah, blah, terrorism, blah.” but Dan, Dan, um Dam? “Yell, yell, blah, blah, Hamas, YELL, YELL Obama enemy of Israel, YELL, YELL.” I’m sorry we’re out of time for this segment, maybe next week Dan will let someone else have a word.

  6. 6
    Jenny says:

    You can bet that this upcoming revolution will not be televised.

    For example, few people, even well read bloggers, were aware of the blockade until last years flotilla debacle.

    So much will go on, but most of it will be kept out of daily US news consumption.

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:


  8. 8
    PeakVT says:

    @Yutsano: Because Egypt was 1) a dictatorship that 2) was supported by protection money paid by the US for the sake of Israel. Mubarak didn’t come up with the idea to close the border on his own.

  9. 9
    Carol says:

    @Yutsano: Remember that the blockade was done on the Egyptian side by a dictator who was trying to justify his $3 billion annual looting of funds that were meant for the Egyptian people. Few people probably felt he could be influenced in any way whatsoever.

    Blocking Palestinians was never a policy that was beneficial to or popular with the Egyptians. It was a policy never even debated by the Egyptian people enforced by people who they never voted for in the first place. Now that there’s popular input, Why should Egypt play jailer to the Israelis?

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    Israel needs to get a black soshulist mooslim President.

    Their George Bush model is out of date.

  11. 11
    beltane says:

    Netanyahu is just like the Republicans in that he thinks he can create his own reality by avoiding reality. This strategy has only ever worked on a very temporary basis. History tends to make losers out of the overconfident and the reality-averse.

  12. 12
    jpe says:

    Agreed that Israel needs to get ahead of the movement to recognize Palestine, but the imminent increase in rocket attacks won’t make it easier as a matter of Israeli politics.

  13. 13
    Yutsano says:


    Few people probably felt he could be influenced in any way whatsoever.

    I guess that makes sense. I also realize I typed that comment half-awake. :) I almost got rid of it. I should listen to myself more often.

  14. 14
    Carol says:

    Amen, beltane. Now Israel has to make a case to the people of the region who suffered immensely at the hands of dictators and who feel keenly sympathetic to the Palestinians. They have to give up being arrogant and bigoted and spreading the lies about how all the Arabs in the region want to see Israel disappear and how even giving Palestinians a little justice will somehow be the end of Israel.

  15. 15
    beltane says:

    @General Stuck: Yes, I hope Gaza residents will now be able to consume dangerous terrorist foodstuffs such as fresh fruit and vegetables and unspeakable WMDs such as coriander, which is banned per rules of the bloackade.

  16. 16
    Jenny says:

    They should bring Sharon back. He’s really mellowed out in recent years.

  17. 17
    Carol says:

    @jpe: Why should rocket attacks necessarily increase? According to what I have read so far, the loosening is just for women, children, and the elderly to leave. Nothing will come back in unless it’s baby formula, whatever can be stuffed in a purse, and perhaps some souvenirs and whatever can be stuffed in a suitcase. Men between 19-40 will need visas to come and go.

    In addition, the United Nations will also soon help police that crossing as well. Rocket parts are usually large enough to require a truck at least, and those should be pretty well inspected.

  18. 18
    Violet says:

    Ewww…. Is he still in a coma or whatever? That’s been ages, if so.

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:


    unspeakable WMDs such as coriander

    In the wrong hands, coriander can indeed be dangerous stuff. Just sayin’. Yes I’m being facetious.

  20. 20
    Martin says:

    My prediction on the end-state of this thread: The trolls declare that John Cole hates Jews.

    Stop reading now and just jump over to the open thread where Cole accidentally locks himself out of the house when, following a shower, he ran outside naked to get the dogs who snuck out from an open basement door. Hilarity ensues.

  21. 21
    eemom says:

    actually, I heard on NPR that the US will NOT be able to block the Palestinian statehood resolution from being passed in the UN. Because it will be voted on in the general assembly and not on the security council where we have a veto power, or something.

    Indeed things are going to get very interesting in the near future.

  22. 22
    eemom says:


    yes, he is languishing in a coma at some high security nursing home.

  23. 23
    NobodySpecial says:

    People got real bent out of shape with Kim Il Sung controlling nukes, but Bibi is just as delusional.

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    @NobodySpecial: Here’s the funny thing about that: in order for Bibi to openly threaten to nuke someone, he would have to admit Israel HAS nukes in the first place. And they officially don’t so their stockpile can’t be internationally observed and counted. No matter how whacko Bibi gets he won’t cross that line of stupidity.

  25. 25
    Tunch says:

    @eemom: Membership bids to the General Assembly have to be voted out of the Security Council first. I suppose the GA could vote on some sort of general “Palestinian Statehood Rules!” resolution, but it wouldn’t carry any weight and wouldn’t get Palestine seated in the GA.

    Now, why we’re once again going to allow ourselves to be used as Israel’s bag man on the Security Council is beyond me, but I keep stupidly thinking that the US has some degree of national autonomy when it comes to Israel when, clearly, they’re the boss.

  26. 26
    beltane says:

    Will the new Palestinian state be our next Cuba? Anyone taking bets?

  27. 27
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @eemom: Requests for membership in the UN General Assembly have to be voted out of the Security Council first. I suppose the GA could vote on some sort of “Yay! Palestinian Statehood Rules!” resolution, but it wouldn’t be binding and it wouldn’t seat Palestine in the UN.

  28. 28
    eemom says:

    deleted as moot

  29. 29
    Ruckus says:


    The rethugs are trying to do the same thing to the american people as Israel is doing to the Palestinians. Rethugs are trying to form a blockade on health care.

    They have to give up being arrogant and bigoted and spreading the lies about how all the Arabs liberals in the region want to see Israel the US disappear and how even giving Palestinians everyone a little justice will somehow be the end of Israel the US.

    Pretty universal truth you got there.

  30. 30
    CT Voter says:

    I figured, 15 years ago, that there would never be a resolution to the troubles in Northern Ireland. And yet, there was. And it’s held. There are kids growing up today living in a completely different world.

    As Desmond Tutu said, “If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere”.

    Yes, perhaps too corny and optimistic, but that’s what I’m in the mood for.

  31. 31
    NobodySpecial says:

    @fasteddie9318: The resolution, as I understand it, goes through a loophole involving Palestine’s status as an ‘observer entity’. The Assembly would be allowed to change Palestine’s status to ‘observer state’ without needing SC approval first. Palestine claims it has the 2/3 votes to do so, Qatar takes the chair of the GA and Lebanon chairs the SC in September.

  32. 32
    waratah says:

    John, I have been wondering the same thing, not only Netanyahu is deeply out of touch with reality but so is our congress.

  33. 33
    Tom Levenson says:

    Was it DennisG who said that what we are seeing is the long end game that leads to the disappearance of Israel (at least as defined as a Jewish state)?

    In any event, he’s right. Netanyahu is the worst possible PM for Israel right now, playing to what his electorate wishes to believe rather than, Rabin-like, to what they need to understand.

    There is no Israel without a 2 state solution and there is no 2 state solution without dismantling the entire settlement infrastructure and there is no end to settlements as long as the majority coalition requires them, which is to say that Israel is in deep trouble and anyone who can count knows it.


  34. 34
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @Jenny: Hopefully BBC and Al Jazeera will report what our media will not.

  35. 35

    I suppose the thing that astounds me is that the Jews of Europe had to deal with ghettos during the Holocaust and yet can somehow justify doing it themselves. I guess, somewhat like the US, a sense of security trumps an impulse to humanity.

  36. 36
    bryanD says:


    “I suppose the GA could vote on some sort of general “Palestinian Statehood Rules!” resolution, but it wouldn’t carry any weight and wouldn’t get Palestine seated in the GA.”

    True. See U.N. Resolution 181 (dated 1947)

  37. 37
    Keith G says:

    When I argue discuss Obama & Bibi with my right-winged brother, I am so amazed that he has so little regard for the social and political changes that are taking place in the region and how those changes will require Israel and us to act differently. Acrimony toward Obama is quite blinding it seems.

  38. 38
    beltane says:

    @Tom Levenson: It is a mass delusion, Tom, and it is everywhere. My mother has an Israeli friend who routinely sends her the most vile, racist propaganda about Obama and Arabs. She always makes a point to defend “her Obie”, but the relentlessness of the hate is wearying. Even on genetic genealogy forums you will have people being accused of anti-Semitic hate speech if they mention that certain Jewish mtdna haplogroups may have originated in southern Europe and not Judea. It’s crazy.

    For the record, I am half-Jewish which may qualify me as a partially self-hating Jew.

  39. 39
    beltane says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Israel is trying to impose a Pale of Settlement on the Palestinians, not ghettos per se. I attribute some of this to the attitudes of recent Russian immigrants to Israel.

  40. 40
    eemom says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    this is exactly the kind of gratuitous, sanctimonious bullshit that I was reacting to previously when I got the reputation of an “Israel apologist.”

    There is nothing about the IP situation, including Gaza, that justifies comparison to the Holocaust. Nothing. Comments like yours serve absolutely no constructive purpose in this discussion.

  41. 41
    SqueakyRat says:

    @eemom: I believe this is correct.

  42. 42
    GregB says:

    One of the endlessly repeated excuses used by those supporting Israel in whatever it did what that it was the only democracy in the region.

    Another over used point was that the Egyptians were treating the Palestinians in the exact same way as Israel.

    Time for some new talking points.

  43. 43
    aisce says:

    @General Stuck:

    I have no clue what it means or where things are headed

    do you ever? how many of your posts can be broken down to “i don’t know what i’m talking about but i feel obligated to keep typing anyway”?

    as for dear bibi, his game isn’t as stupid as it might seem. he’s banking on islamists winning elections in tunisia and egypt and going on to act like…well, islamists. and then palestinians, the masters of self sabotage, start up a third intifada when their statehood clusterfuck at the UN unravels (making obama look terrible and compromising his credibility with the arab world permanently and forcing him tighter to israel whether he likes it or not).

    why our president, or any other world leader, is letting things play out like this, i cannot say. the world is a shitty place sometimes.

  44. 44

    Stop it, all of you. Everybody knows that Israel is completely right and all the Palestinians are terrorists. I know this because of all the US reporting I’ve read from virtually every quarter in all mass media for my entire life.

    Since those are the facts, you are all wrong, and it’s terrible that anyone should suggest that Netanyahu is an out-of-control wingnut who has not the slightest intention to make peace, and who is just finishing up his SECOND extended US campaign trip with in-country hectoring of our socialist alien President, who unfortunately clearly won the last election.

    But, as I have been taught by Right Wing Radio: elections only count when Republicans win.

    Stop this awful heathen criticism of Israel, lest Jesus not come back with a Heavenly Army and smite all you sinners in what some deluded people might consider my masturbatory revenge fantasy that keeps me from actually living in the real world.

  45. 45
    GregB says:

    Please edit WAS that, not WHAT that.

  46. 46
    PeakVT says:

    @eemom: The situations are alike in that small-minded tribalism has lead people to collectively engage in obviously evil policies. That Israeli Jews are merely clearing Palestinians from areas they’ve lived in for centuries doesn’t mean it isn’t in the same category of behavior as the German action against Jews, Roma, and Poles.

  47. 47
    Tom Levenson says:

    @beltane: I know of such folk as your Mom’s friend. I also know plenty of Israelis who are much more clear sighted and have a sense of the moral issues invovled.

    But the real killer for me is the equating of support for Israel with support for Likud and the settlers. Makes no sense, does damage to Israel and does damage to the US.

    And FWIW, I’m all Jewish by parentage and heritage at least. Parts of my family have been involved in the Zionist aim for a Jewish homeland since before there was Zionism (think the Jerusalem windmill) and all of that. I deeply want Israel to survive — but I don’t see it happening if the current politics remains. I guess that makes me a self hating Jew too.

  48. 48
    Tom Levenson says:

    @PeakVT: With eemom here, absolutely. You really need to know a lot more about the Holocaust before you say stuff like this — because then you wouldn’t.

    A visit to the Wannsee House might be a place to start.

  49. 49
    ChrisNYC says:

    I’m still sort of wondering about the wingnuts’ declaration that Netanyahu’s most recent attempt to embarrass the President was a “success” for Israel.

    It makes absolutely no sense to me that most Americans were cheering a foreign leader trying to show up the US Prez in the Oval Office. I see the domestic political angle in both the US and in Israel but that whole episode (and the successful GOP drive to make it *the* news for days and days) can’t have done anything other than make most Americans say, “Ok, explain to me again why people insist that Israel is ‘our greatest ally’? Also too, why is our legislature in love with this guy who just tried to humiliate the US President?”

  50. 50
    General Stuck says:


    do you ever? how many of your posts can be broken down to “i don’t know what i’m talking about but i feel obligated to keep typing anyway”?

    Now you sound like a fuckhead sockpuppet. That and all purpose idiot.

    I guess the Stuck know it all meme isn’t operative anymore, so you’re going with the doesn’t know anything. I’m not really sure, but I’m confident the truth likely lies somewhere in between. If anything, I’m the nuance director around here, and have been for awhile. You shouldn’t confuse that with rank ignorance.

  51. 51
    General Stuck says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    Of course, a side by side comparison, nothing about Gaza or anything about Israel’s behavior can compare, or does compare with The Holocaust, but I can’t help thinking that the squalor that is and has been Gaza, that Israel is most responsible for, weighs on Jewish psyches amid memories and history of places like Warsaw during WW2, for the living conditions alone, inflicted currently by siege warfare. But that is the only comparison I ever make.

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    I saw something about most of the settlers being of the orthodox variety and having a ton of kids. The average age in the settlements is 10, or something crazy. Meaning that as you look forward, their demographic power will be stronger.

  53. 53
    Carol says:

    @aisce: Unfortunately for Bibi, the dictators created a massive economic and political clusterfuck that lead to an even massive diaspora. These people, having the experience and education from abroad, and aided by modern communications, are hardly going to allow the country-bumpkin Islamists take their nations into isolation from the rest of the world. These people want to live like everyone else does, and going back to a mythical 7th century isn’t going to bring in investment dollars. They want KFC, Google, an jobs. They want to be able to travel freely, surf the net and watch movies without a purity police.

    This isn’t Iran, where modernization was imposed on the rest of the nation, and none of the benefits trickled down below. These nations also need tourist dollars as and they know that hard-line policies drive away customers.

    In addition there has been a demographic revolution: the majority of the Middle East is also under thirty, meaning that they have two things: exposure to technology and through it, the customs and interests to the wider world, and secondly, a lack of emotional baggage from the old days regarding the “Golden Era” of Islam.

  54. 54
    DPirate says:

    Yep, World Peace is just one Israeli nuclear accident nuclear bomb terrorist incident desperate ploy away.

    Signed by AutoPen(tm) in the commentor’s absence.

  55. 55

    @Tom Levenson:
    I think the biggest single problem is that plenty of people are incapable of imagining solutions that don’t involve force. One of the ads on my version of this page shows Israel and say “(surrounded by enemies)”. I’m sure this encapsulates a lot of their thinking on the matter- including their willingness to accept this even when it isn’t true. They don’t seem to understand that continuing the occupation is the biggest single obstacle in achieving some kind of lasting accommodation with their neighbors, probably because they don’t believe that a lasting accommodation is either possible or desirable. They only want peace through superior firepower.

  56. 56
    Carol says:

    @Violet: We had a baby boom back in the 1950-1960’s. How did that turn out? Kids were so many and wanted so much more freedom than their parents. Keeping the cultural isolation of the settlements is impossible with such a large group of kids, especially when there is evidence that the rest of the world isn’t going along with their ideas.

    The same phenomenon is happening in the Middle East. The majority of kids don’t see why they should have to bear the burden of the older generation’s political neurosis or oppress people who they hate.

  57. 57
    Svensker says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I’ve told the story before of the black kid in my high school who thought that American Indians were all lazy slobs. And hence deserved their low state in American society.

    Seems like people whose ancestors or family members went through the Holocaust would see that collective punishment and ghettos are not a good way to go. But people have a hard time seeing themselves as acting wrongly — they’re doing it for good reasons! Honestly! And it’s totally different from the bad stuff other people did because this time it’s justified.

    Humans are amazing. Not always in a good way.

  58. 58
    Keith G says:

    @Tom Levenson: @PeakVT: @eemom:
    Yeah, these types of comparisons lead nowhere fast. Isreal is a modern state that at some point will need to account for the fact that it’s government has undertaken actions that has murdered many innocents – who are just as dead as if they were killed by a facist totalitarian regime. The motives and the scale are quite different, but the dead are just as dead.

    And certainly, Israel is not alone i the pursuit of policies that lead to the awful treatment of other humans.

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    @Tom Levenson:
    You really need to know a lot more about the Holocaust before you say stuff like this—because then you wouldn’t.

    Could you clarify your remarks a little as I’m not sure, are you referring to PeakVT’s or Chuck’s remarks?
    I would like to understand and believe I do but feel getting this correct is vital.
    The I/P situation is not like the Holocaust because Jews were being murdered. It was genocide, no question. But today Palestinians are being somewhat starved, deprived of basic care, not allowed to travel, and in many cases have lost their livelihoods but are not being murdered en mass.
    I see the difference because of my vantage point but I think a Palestinian might not.

  60. 60
    PeakVT says:

    @Tom Levenson: The eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and large portions of the West Bank has been a premeditated act. If you think it is different in kind from Germany or Rawanda or Serbia or any other ethnic-based campaign you are terribly confused. Ethnic hate is a human universal, and Jews are not immune to it.

  61. 61
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    And what is Netanyahu doing? Standing at a podium screaming “no, no, no” to the cheers of American wingnuts politicians of both parties, Avigdor Lieberman, and the Likudniks.

    Fixed that for you.

  62. 62

    I think there is a significant difference between ethnic cleansing (i.e. violently evicting another ethnic group from their land) and genocide (i.e. trying to wipe out another group completely). They’re both evil, but genocide is enough worse that it’s worth maintaining the distinction.

  63. 63
    Tom Levenson says:

    @General Stuck: I’m not sure you’re right, because of the way Warsaw ended; and because of the role the uprising plays into (particularly but not exclusively right-wing) myth. But broadly, the idea that the memory of the Holocaust should give Jews/Israelis a more constant reminder of moral responsibility — and hence makes the acts of the Jewish state deeply fraught if thought about too deeply – with you there.

    @Roger Moore: Yup. Visualize whirled peas is a cliche — but it is true down to fundamental brain-and-cog measures that the inability to recognize the reality of the other is a big factor here. (On both sides, as the particular bit of research I’m thinking of seems to show.)

    @Keith G: The dead do stay dead — but I think it extremely easy to deprive the words “holocaust” or “genocide” of meaning by conflating them with every — or merely too many — tragic acts within a conflict.

    @Ruckus: PeakVTs.

    @PeakVT: This is nonsense. Premeditation is not the criterion for the comparison between the actions of the Israeli state and that of Hitler’s Germany. What they actually did is what matters.

    And if you think evictions are the same as the attempted and largely successful mass murder of an entire continent-spanning community, all I can say is that you are wrong.

  64. 64
    General Stuck says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    But broadly, the idea that the memory of the Holocaust should give Jews/Israelis a more constant reminder of moral responsibility—and hence makes the acts of the Jewish state deeply fraught if thought about too deeply – with you there.

    This was all I was saying, not the ending of Warsaw. But I fully agree with you that words like “Holocaust” and “Genocide” have no place in the ME dispute. Especially when Hamas keeps it going with any weapon they can get their hands on. If you attack a nation, that nation has a right to defend itself. The methods used, especially if financed by American dollars are most certainly up for debate and criticism of Israel, but not equating with cases of clear systematic genocide.

  65. 65
    MJ says:

    There won’t be peace until Hamas gives up their goal of destroying Israel or they are successful. This goal remains in their charter.

    “We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem. ”
    —Ismail Haniyeh, political leader of Hamas

    “I regret that in 2000 Arafat missed the opportunity to bring that nation into being and pray for the day when the dreams of the Palestinian people for a state and a better life will be realized in a just and lasting peace.”

    – Bill Clinton

    The Palestinians missed an opportunity for peace in 2000.

  66. 66
    El Cid says:

    Netanyahu is not shouting to the Likudniks. Or rather, exclusively.

    There is no part of the Israeli political spectrum anywhere near power which differs significantly from his & Likud’s views.

    (And anyway, settlement expansion has always been more rapid under Labor vs. Likud gov’ts.)

    This time, the Palestinians will want an actual viable state, which I don’t foresee (state, okay, viable, I think that it will be portrayed as such no matter).

    They won’t put up with the fake Oslo accord approach which demanded that the Palestinians (Arafat) accord to the Israelis most all of what they wanted before negotiations were to begin — particularly an absurd division of land.

    Will any of this regional change be capable of forcing Israel to do one solitary thing which is a major goal for its policymakers?

    I doubt it. As of yet there’s no sign that the US holds any different positions on what Israel’s leadership wants than it has before.

    Maybe though — who expected ‘Arab Spring’ anyway?

  67. 67
    Ruckus says:

    @Tom Levenson:
    For once I do get it.

    I’m just wondering, 50-60 yrs down the road what will history show us? Will the effects for the Palestinians be that different from what the end of WWII was for the European Jews if the Israel hard liners continue on the same path? Certainly the methods and time frame are dramatically different, but will it be a difference without much distinction?

  68. 68
    PeakVT says:

    @Tom Levenson: If you only look at what has been done, then obviously the German program of mass killing was exceptional in its scope and completeness. But I think that’s a dangerously limited takeway from what took place.

  69. 69
    eemom says:

    what is it about “The Final Solution: Extermination” — e.g., gas chambers, bodies layered in pits, entire villages burned alive in synagogues — that makes you people so insistent on talking about “differences without distinction”?

  70. 70
    eemom says:

    …is it that you expect the Israelis WILL do the same thing, given time? That it? Because that sure is what it sounds like.

    You disgust me.

  71. 71
    Lurleen says:

    I have visited the more remote cites of the insanity that was part of WWII. I have been to Salaspils. There is a metronome in the ground pulsing there. I have lived with former Soviet Jews who who never dream of moving to Israel.

    At the same time I have known a number of Palestinians. I have never been to Palestine, but I know from my experience and from theirs that the Israelis are not the same as the Jews who live in the former Soviet Republics or those who were marooned by the British.

    The Israelis at this point are far removed from the holocaust or the plight of their brethren in the former Soviet Republics.

    In taking the land in the first place, the Israelis were terrorists according to the British. How is that different from the weird circumstance that Hamas got control of Gaza. Bush and Rice pushed too hard for elections and then they got Hamas.

    The Israelis decided to be a pariah nation in the fight over apartheid. They chose that for themselves. They either wanted or did give South Africa the bomb. Think about that eemom. Back in the day, Israelis were both smashing Palestinians property, killing their kids, imprisoning thier kids, but also aligning themselves with Apartheid South Africa. Do you like that?

    For all of you Israel supporter, just remember, Israel has the bomb. Perhaps they gave it to APARTHEID South Africa, out of what? A way to show their power? And now is in the pot with North Korea and Syria and Iran as states that won’t let inspectors in.

    You are defending them? They could nuke the whole place, but they choose to run over cars and houses and people.



  72. 72
    Lurleen says:

    For Tom and all of the others, the fund that Germany pays into for what they did — unfortunately it has done nothing for Jews in Europe — those left behind in places like Latvia. Their lives are just as bad. They were left stateless in the years after independence.

    The money only went to people to propagandize, much like what they fought against. You cry against comparisons. Israelis have made sure that genocide or holocaust never happen again with the money they get from Germany? Really?

    Those moneys have gone into deep pockets. Genocides have happened. Holocausts have happened. Around the world. Jews in Soviet States suffered while Jews and Israelis got rich off of German money. Survivors of the Holocaust died in poverty. I personally know people who were related to survivors and they died in poverty, while the holocaust pimps got rich.

    don’t even get me started.

    remember, they are a rogue state.

  73. 73
    eemom says:


    wow, all that experience and you still find time to take petty shits on SP&T’s posts here on this humble blog.


  74. 74
    Lurleen says:

    I was younger then. Perhaps you are too young now.

    And you are one to fling shit. :)

    At least I have some experience in the world outside of this country.

    Probably not the same for you except for touristy things, no?

  75. 75
    Lurleen says:

    Does your pro-Israeli stance include cover for Israel having the bomb and potentially selling it to South Africa while it was under apartheid?

    And you must know that what Israel has now is apartheid. Right?

  76. 76
    Lurleen says:

    Sarah’s posts are shit. Takes no time at all.

  77. 77

    You people are all just bloviating. No i/p thread is complete until m_c/hwg/ga comes along to set all your asses straight.

  78. 78
    Ruckus says:


    As I think I clearly stated, I don’t see that the Palestinian situation and the Holocaust are the remotely the same. But, I believe that in the next 50-60 years the effect of the current Israel policies may be the same if they do not change. That will not lessen the horribleness of the Holocaust. I agree that trying to compare the current situation to Holocaust to be way over the top. But as I believe Tom has rightly pointed out, what is taking place is ethnic cleansing and that is a different thing. Not a good thing but not the same as genocide.
    What my point is:
    When does ethnic cleansing become genocide? When enough people die in a short enough time? When a population is for all intents destroyed? Because at some point in time the differences without distinction thing can become real. Or maybe it really is just the viewpoint we have based on our personal backgrounds and prejudices.

  79. 79
    Lurleen says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I think that the fact that Israel has the bomb — who knows how many is important.

    Israel has made itself a pariah nation for no fucking reason. Do you wonder why many Jews in the former Soviet states didn’t move to Israel? Their sons had already been dodging the war in Afghanistan.
    Why walk into a war with the world?

    There is a reason Israel doesn’t admit it has nukes.

  80. 80
    Lurleen says:

    Given Obama’s view of nukes, I would think most of you all would like for Israel to agree to the same inspections that every other NON-rogue nation does. Unless you are all stealth Palin fans.


  81. 81
    newhavenguy says:

    What Cole said.

    I am a Zionist pig, so I am a little alarmed by the situation. I’ve followed this tragic nonsense since the ’80s, and I have never been more discouraged by an Israeli government, even Shamir’s. The confluence of interests between Likud and HAMAS is disturbing, to say the least. The alliance between the radical right in the US and Israel is alarming as well.

    Not to get too deep into the whole complicated mess, I agree with Josh Marshall and Ariel Sharon(!?) on the fundamentals of the peace process. (The Arik of 2005, not the one we know and love from 1974-1982.)

    I mention that to indicate a VERY broad consensus among people who do not hate Israel.

    You have to be either insane or a liar to pretend the Admin’s policy or temperament is “anti Israel” in any way shape or form. Most American Jews and Israelis agree with me, but this cynical ploy isn’t aimed at Jews anyway.
    Its about priming the Christian Right for electoral battle, those good friends of Israel who can’t wait to see it and all its people burn in apocalyptic glory for Jeebus.

    Bibi’s visit was a favor to the GOP, pure and simple. The nastiness, lies and haughtiness didn’t help, but the only reason he was here at all was to attack the President politically, leading into a big deal election. A lot of state visits are kabuki for domestic consumption, but the reviews in Israel are decidedly mixed: this was for OUR consumption not theirs, and it was revolting.

    Totally destructive to real and important diplomatic efforts, but once you understand that all they care about is the power to loot the Right makes much more sense. These are the people who invaded Iraq because…? I am ever more suspicious that it was about picking up a few Congressional seats in the 2002 midterms.

    Look at the games Bibi is playing with his nation’s security- hell, its existence!- and then tell me that Karl, Dick, Rummy and Dummy weren’t capable of anything that monstrous.

    Ugh, I wanna brush my teeth with vomit now. I know politics is a contact sport, etc, etc, etc, but do we have to play in the sewer?

  82. 82
    newhavenguy says:


    Agreed. (A)There’s a difference between Bull Connor and Heinrich Himmler, (B) If that sort of comparison isn’t meant to be deliberately offensive, I can’t think of anything nice to say so I won’t.

  83. 83
    Ghanima Atreides says:


    why we’re once again going to allow ourselves to be used as Israel’s bag man on the Security Council is beyond me,

    Because Our Crazy Ex-GF Israel might just be nutso paranoid enough to lob a nuke on Iran and kick off world war III if she thinks she has lost our affections. Right now the US is still obligated to come in on her side, because we haven’t escaped from Distributed Jesusland yet.
    and death to the crusaders anyways.

    /salutes Tunch with respect

  84. 84
    bob h says:

    Meanwhile Iran seems to have recovered from Stuxnet, so truly ugly events involving Israel (and us) are probably coming up.

  85. 85
    Gene in Princeton says:

    @Yutsano: Trolling?

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