CNN Poll: Liberals, Democrats, Poor, Women Most Likely To Oppose Israeli War, White Men Most Supportive

There is a reorientation going on right now with respect to the Israel Lobby. It used to be that it found its base of support among Democrats, with Republicans like Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush being the ones most likely to be critical of Israeli policy.

A new CNN poll finds that things are changing. Check out these crosstabs on whether people think Israel is using “too much,” “too little” or just the right amount of violence (its like porridge):

poll

 

A few interesting things: the bulk of support for Israel comes from whites, with slightly more coming from those with incomes above the median. The majority of liberals oppose Israel’s level of violence, and 50 percent, a plurality, of minorities do the same. Women are also considerably more opposed.

In other words, the issue of Israel and the Palestinians is being polarized — with liberals increasingly believing that Israel is mistreating the Palestinians, and conservatives holding the opposite view.

I noticed that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), has been trying to hire a progressive policy analyst since November, whose job is to do outreach to progressives. Poor guys can’t seem to fill it.






235 replies
  1. 1
    Violet says:

    Is everything rich, white men against everyone else?

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    Interesting that they don’t seem to have asked about religion (or, at least, I didn’t see it in the cross-tabs). My understanding is that Evangelical Christians tend to be extremely supportive of Israel — last I saw (but can’t find a link), they were more supportive as a group than Jewish Americans were.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    It would have been interesting to see a breakdown by religion.

  4. 4
    beltane says:

    @Violet: Yes. It’s a case of rich, white, American men vs. the inhabitants of planet earth.

  5. 5
    Zaid Jilani says:

    @Mnemosyne: This is probably what you’re referring to http://www.pewresearch.org/fac.....sh-people/

  6. 6
    Josie says:

    Maybe they should take a look at Lanny Davis. He’d be perfect for the job.

  7. 7
    aimai says:

    I have had it with Israel. I’ve never supported them in the past, either. But this just takes it to a whole new level. AIPAC must be shitting itself because if American Jews refuse to accept Israel’s behavior they have no one left on capital hill but evangelical christians and anyone can see that the EC’s are eventually going to be out given the way they are fucking it up with the Latino and younger voters.

  8. 8
    khead says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yup. A bunch of the white evangelicals on my FB feed were prepping for end times last week since the heathen Obama was not sufficiently supporting Israel.

  9. 9
    coloradoblue says:

    Too bad there wasn’t a question about whether Israel should being using ANY force against Gaza. I’m sure the numbers for this option would be quite small but it would still be interesting.

  10. 10
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Is shooting fish in a barrel using too much force? Some say no.

  11. 11
    beltane says:

    @aimai: If Americans were presented with the conflict the same way the rest of the world is, support of Israel would dwindle to 27%.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @khead: Probably gleefully prepping the End Times, which might well be coming, but not the way these morans think they’re coming. The modern interpretation of Revelations is batshit insane.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane: Yeah, that probably would be very interesting indeed.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    I noticed that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), has been trying to hire a progressive policy analyst since November, whose job is to do outreach to progressives. Poor guys can’t seem to fill it.

    I wonder how much they’d pay to have a respected Balloon Juice commenter in their pocket.

  15. 15
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Baud: “respected Balloon Juice commenter”?

    That’s not a long list to choose from

  16. 16
    The Pale Scot says:

    @aimai:

    AIPAC must be shitting itself because if American Jews refuse to accept Israel’s behavior they have no one left on capital hill but evangelical christians and anyone can see that the EC’s are eventually going to be out given the way they are fucking it up

    Not to mention that the EVs are rooting for Israel’s eventual annihilation as part of fulfilling prophecy, not sure they wanna encourage them too much,

    I posted this a few days ago, the open thread got bigfooted soon after, so I’m repeating myself

    This land is mine,

    An animated recounting of the various holders of Palestine

  17. 17
    Cervantes says:

    Zaid, thanks.

    The poll contains interesting numbers re attitudes in the North-east v. attitudes in the South.

  18. 18
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I think Putin and Netanyahu should strike up an ironically non-ironic alliance.

  19. 19
    some guy says:

    the Palestinian Resistance continues to bravely defend the people of Gaza.

    solidarity with them should be our first, last and always task.

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    If only Obama would come out in support of Israel. The wingnuts would have no choice but to not support it.

  21. 21
    WereBear says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: It’s really weird how many Evangelicals desperately want the end of the world to come.

    Most of them follow the variation which relies on guilt and anxiety to keep them in line, so I understand how they are eager to have the sickening suspense over with already.

    It’s just so contrary to human nature… especially for conservatives who pitch a fit over even the smallest changes.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Mr. Twister says:

    @beltane:So predictable. Sorry to say I am a member of that demographic and I am sick of us.

  24. 24
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Violet: He says it plenty (alas). They just use the “but he doesn’t really MEAN it!” excuse to cancel it out.

  25. 25
    James E. Powell says:

    It’s an incredible brand – White Christian Males – Fucking Shit Up since 1492

  26. 26
    some guy says:

    Israeli Sniper Killing a Wounded Civilian

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBakqLUBWP0&bpctr=1405986247

  27. 27
    WaterGirl says:

    Democrat, check.
    Liberal, check.
    Female, check.
    Really opposed to the behavior of Israel, check check.

    “Poor guys can’t seem to fill it.” – Thanks for the laugh!

  28. 28
    taylormattd says:

    @Baud: sigh. Why do people have to do this?

  29. 29
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @James E. Powell: That’s just the American branch. For Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, try 380.

  30. 30
    Mandalay says:

    @beltane:

    If Americans were presented with the conflict the same way the rest of the world is, support of Israel would dwindle to 27%.

    The 27% is still there, but it has morphed. You just have to know where to look for the beast because it comes in many forms….

    Republican Jewish Committee Chairman Matt Brooks said that “for years, public opinion polls have documented the large gap in support for Israel between Republicans and Democrats, with Republicans being far more supportive of Israel. This poll shows a gap of 27 points.”

  31. 31
    Mandalay says:

    @beltane:

    If Americans were presented with the conflict the same way the rest of the world is, support of Israel would dwindle to 27%.

    The 27% is still there, but it has morphed. You just have to know where to look for the beast because it comes in many forms….

    Republican Jewish Committee Chairman Matt Brooks said that “for years, public opinion polls have documented the large gap in support for Israel between Republicans and Democrats, with Republicans being far more supportive of Israel. This poll shows a gap of 27 points.”

  32. 32
    kc says:

    ETA: Never mind . . . let me try that link again.

  33. 33
    dmsilev says:

    @aimai: AIPAC only has itself to blame. If they hadn’t been pushing the Israel==Likud line for so long (maybe not quite that, but certainly Israel==Likudish-policies), maybe they would have a broader base of support.

  34. 34
    WaterGirl says:

    Maybe they need to get really specific in their next poll.

    Please circle the response that most closely resembles your own:

    #!
    Israel killing innocent children who are playing on the beach
    not enough violence?
    just the right amount of violence?
    too little violence?

    #2
    Israeli snipers murdering innocent civilians in Palestine
    not enough violence?
    just the right amount of violence?
    too little violence?

    #3
    Ratio of Palestinian deaths to Israeli deaths: 100 to 1
    not enough violence?
    just the right amount of violence?
    too little violence?

  35. 35
    Keith G says:

    @Violet: The behavior of the militant Palestinians is that of a resistance movement. There aren’t many white American males (of any type) who have been associated with or empathetic toward any resistance movement. In fact, it has been generally the case the white American male (especially the wealthy ones) are the ones doing the things that inspire others to resist.

    This is undoubtedly a factor that reinforces other biases that keep many WAMs form identifying with the Palestinian point of view.

  36. 36
    Cervantes says:

    @Keith G:

    There aren’t many white American males (of any type) who have been associated with or empathetic toward any resistance movement.

    You may want to re-visit or re-word that.

  37. 37

    I’m an evangelical christian. I don’t really like the Jewish people, but they are a 3rd party beneficiary of my unwavering support for the state and idea of Israel so we can usher in the End Times. No, that is not contradictory in any way. Nope.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    The polling is reflective of the 24/7 news media. Although our media is better than Russia Today, but we still censor the news.

  39. 39
    beltane says:

    @dmsilev: I came to dislike Israel after its meddling in our last two presidential elections. A true ally would never try to foist Mitt Romney on us.

  40. 40
    raven says:

    @ranchandsyrup: snark tag please

  41. 41
    GregB says:

    One of the most interesting cases of cognitive dissonance in the American political right is their absolute devotion to guns and weapons as a bulwark against a tyrannical government and the constant implied use of force against that government if their is any effort at disarming/gun control and their belief that Palestinians need to swear off the use of violence as means to a political end.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    Thanks. I had to read it three times.

  43. 43
    Cervantes says:

    @GregB: But the Palestinians have no Second Amendment.

  44. 44
    Keith G says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Ratio of Palestinian deaths to Israeli deaths: 100 to 1
    not enough violence?
    just the right amount of violence?
    too little violence?

    What is truly sad is that this is a role play that is progressing along a predicable path.

    The Military wing of Hamas knew that missile launches would bring a very familiar Israeli response. They truly are sacrificing the lives of children for a political effect. That does not for one moment wash the blood of the hands of the Israeli government, but the folks launching those missiles new what would be coming back at them.

  45. 45
    Jay C says:

    A minor grammatical quibble:

    with liberals increasingly believing that Israel is mistreating the Palestinians, and conservatives holding the opposite view.

    Does this mean conservatives think Israel isn’t mistreating the Palestinians. or that the Palestinians are mistreating Israel?

    Never mind, given the simplistic mindset of today’s RW, it’s probably both….

  46. 46
    beltane says:

    @GregB: There is no cognitive dissonance at all. Guns and violence are the white man’s prerogative, to be used against brown people and any government that seeks to protect the rights of brown/black people.

  47. 47
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Funny thing on Sean Hannity’s show today, a liberal guy called in during the immigration debate and said that he had a Native American friend during high school who used to wear a t-shirt that said “Regrets, not turning back the original boat people”. It brings to mind that the Israelis are really boat people, shipped into the Palestinians land thanks to a really stupid idea cooked up after WWII by Churchill et. al., as some sort of apology to the jews for totally ignoring the holocaust for so many years.

  48. 48
    lol says:

    @Keith G:

    Plenty seemed sympathetic to the IRA.

  49. 49
    Keith G says:

    @Cervantes:
    I am speaking of the here and now, if that’s what you mean and if you Google ‘resistance movements’ and find a list of those post WWII, I think my notion on this is sound enough.

    Still, I’d gladly peruse any specif editorial correction you wish to suggest.

  50. 50
    Mike in NC says:

    Elderly white American males favor wars because they don’t have to fight in them. See McCain, John.

  51. 51

    @raven: @Baud: sorry guys, should have included /snark.

    Poe’s law, I proves it.

  52. 52
    Hal says:

    I have a white, evangelical former co-worker who posted about this last week with the sort of ‘Well what else do we expect Israel to do? They’re fighting terrorists!!” Basically, Israel can never do any wrong. One ridiculous example he used was to ask the hypothetical question of what would the US be expected to do if Mexico was throwing bombs over the border into the us. I just sat there thinking “Why the fuck would Mexico bomb the US?” Made perfect sense to him.

  53. 53
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @Keith G: Samuel Gompers would like you to pick up the clue phone.

  54. 54
    Keith G says:

    @lol: You used plenty. I used most. I am sure we could find polling data and possibly both of our statements (as general as they are) would stand.

  55. 55
    Fatcow says:

    So, in other words… people who prefer to be victims do not support this war. Go figure.

  56. 56
    JPL says:

    @Hal: The republicans found out they could win local elections with the rapture folks and they went with it.
    I’m surprised that the executive order that the President signed today didn’t get more coverage. Any reason why?

  57. 57
    El Caganer says:

    @WaterGirl: It’s the Goldilocks version of Total War.

  58. 58
    beltane says:

    @Hal: Mexico is a sovereign nation, Gaza is a combination interment camp/Indian reservation.

    The fact that we’re having this discussion at all is a sign of progress. Even a few years ago any mention of I/P made people uncomfortable and eager to change the subject.

  59. 59
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @lol:

    They were, and do you know how despicable that was to the British populous at the time? The fact that US citizens were raising funds in every bar in Boston to buy munitions for the IRA to bomb innocent kids and horses in the UK infuriated the country. I remember being so pissed at the US during that time that I remained pissed at US citizens right up until the time I married one. I was so delusional that I actually believed the “McDonalds employees fund the IRA” bullshit that was going around at the time. (Brits didn’t know the difference between “The IRA” and “An IRA” it was really quite pathetic when you think about it)

  60. 60
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Keith G: I’m not sure what Waiter-Actor-Models have to do with this.

    ETA: you said “many,” not “most,” but individual examples don’t refute the point regardless.

  61. 61
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Nah. It was fucking obvious.

  62. 62
    Keith G says:

    @White Trash Liberal: How many white American males in 2014 could pick Gompers out of a line up? Of those who can, how many now would support his movement?

    I get the point you are wishing to make, but your urge to condescend is a bit of a misfire here and now.

  63. 63
    Baud says:

    I have a war question that I’ve been curious about. The news says that Hamas has launched well over a thousand missiles into Israel, but those missiles have killed not more than a few Israelis. How is that possible? Are the missiles being aimed randomly, or is there simply not much population within the reach of Gaza?

  64. 64
    Tommy says:

    Polls can suck. My best client is Jewish. Since 1992 after grad school four of my five bosses have been Jewish. They have taken me into their house and cared for me. Helped me in many ways. Paid me. I don’t normally groups folks together, but Jews are cool by me. With this said you might think I would be all cool with pounding the Palestinians into the ground, but you would be wrong.

    They were all far left liberals. They shout two state solution. Are against many things done. I realize my experience might not be the same of many, but it is what I work off of. My experience with Jewish people, which is just amazing in a positive way.

  65. 65
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @Keith G:

    You are the one moving the goal posts.

    Unions are a resistance movement to entrenched power. White American males very much remain involved and in leadership positions in labor unions.

    Perhaps this isn’t about “white American males” but something else? But I see you’d rather hold on to your facile point even as you adjust the frames of your original statement.

    Lol what’s funny to me is that plenty of white American males in the militia and right wing fringe very much see themselves as part of a resistance movement. Here and now.

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:

    @GregB:

    One of the most interesting cases of cognitive dissonance in the American political right is their absolute devotion to guns and weapons as a bulwark against a tyrannical government and the constant implied use of force against that government if their is any effort at disarming/gun control and their belief that Palestinians need to swear off the use of violence as means to a political end.

    The issue there isn’t so much dissonance as disingenousness. Their real motivating call is that they be allowed to do WTFTW. Anything that helps them is acceptable, even praiseworthy when they’re doing it. That doesn’t necessarily apply to anyone else, though. Anyone applying those same principles to deny the Conservatives their God-given right to do as they please is the worst thing ever.

  67. 67
    Tommy says:

    @Baud: Part of it is reach. The best way to explain is it their missiles suck. I recall back in the 80s I could get kits and make a missile, or called a rocket. I did. Fired off a few. Clearly their stuff is more advanced and much larger, but doesn’t appear by much. Google it. Their missiles are a joke.

    Now I am not saying I want one aimed (which they can’t do) towards me or hitting my house. But these things are not missiles in the way we think of them in the US, like what we have. They are just larger versions of the things I played with as a kid.

  68. 68
    JPL says:

    @ranchandsyrup: The Jews wouldn’t be saved though unless they became born again. Years ago there was a journalist for the NY Times that happened to be Jewish following the Obama campaign in 2007. He was in South Carolina and was preached to about becoming born again so he could be saved because Jesus will rise again in Israel and only save the american evangelicals or something. Actually, I think that is what he wrote.

  69. 69
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @Baud:

    Qassam rockets are not technologically advanced. In essence, they are spray and pray… But they are improving with every generation.

    Israel has developed the Iron Dome tech to handle the vast majority. Per media sources, Israel even has an app that allows people to follow the course and focus of rocket attacks as they occur.

  70. 70
    JPL says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: That’s a good comparison but Peter King would be shocked by that statement.

  71. 71
    Suffern ACE says:

    Let’s see. Resistance movements that I can recall. contras, moderate Syrians (whomever they are), mujahideen, those nuts who kill Iranians, south Sudanese, Tibetans (as long as they don’t push it too much), Chechens (until they killed too many school kids).

  72. 72
    Baud says:

    @Tommy: @White Trash Liberal:

    Thanks for the explanation. I thought there might be some suckitude involved, but the hit rate was so amazingly low, it was astonishing (I forgot about Iron Dome).

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Tommy:

    Polls can suck. My best client is Jewish. Since 1992 after grad school four of my five bosses have been Jewish. They have taken me into their house and cared for me. Helped me in many ways. Paid me. I don’t normally groups folks together, but Jews are cool by me. With this said you might think I would be all cool with pounding the Palestinians into the ground, but you would be wrong.

    Perhaps you shouldn’t conflate Jews and Israelis. The fact decent people exist within the Jewish population at approximately the same percentage that they do within the general population has absolutely nothing to do with the legality or decency of Israeli actions against the Palestinians.

  74. 74
    some guy says:

    @Keith G:

    The Military wing of Hamas knew that missile launches would bring a very familiar Israeli response. They truly are sacrificing the lives of children for a political effect.

    this is the kind of muddled headed thinking we need to call out. NO, NO, and NO. The rocket fire from the Palestinian resistance began AFTER the kidnapping of 400+ Palestinians on the West Bank, AFTER the IDF started lobbing shells and using aircraft to attack Gaza, AFTER Bibi the babykiller began his latest war of aggression.

    the right of the Palestinians to resist their occupation and subjugation, INCLUDING armed struggle, is fundamental, but let’s at least be clear that Palestinian rockets sent into Israel came AFTER they were attacked.

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    Lol what’s funny to me is that plenty of white American males in the militia and right wing fringe very much see themselves as part of a resistance movement. Here and now.

    That’s what I was thinking as well — “resistance movement” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a movement towards freedom. The three Freedom Riders who were murdered in Mississippi were killed by people resisting change, which I would think qualifies them as a “resistance movement.”

    White supremacists are resisting the growing integration and equality of American society, so why are they not counted as a “resistance movement”?

  76. 76
    srv says:

    Why are we talking about Gaza when white people are dying in Ukraine?

    Reagan would have started bombing someone already.

  77. 77
    JPL says:

    @srv: At the same time, Reagan would have kept the brown people from crossing the border.

  78. 78
    beltane says:

    @JPL: Reagan would have raised his arms and conjured up a great sea to form between the US and Mexico. It says so in the bible.

  79. 79
    Keith G says:

    @White Trash Liberal: I have no idea why you are pursuing this. Slow day?

    Words have meanings. Hamas is a resistance movement, so I focused on things that are like them. Go to any online dictionary and you will likely find something like this right off the top.

    A resistance movement is an organized effort by some portion of the civil population of a country to resist the legally established government or an occupying power and to disrupt civil order and stability.

    Now if you want to define resistance movement down to something akin to an out of control HOA…well, you win.

  80. 80
    Roger Moore says:

    @Hal:

    One ridiculous example he used was to ask the hypothetical question of what would the US be expected to do if Mexico was throwing bombs over the border into the us. I just sat there thinking “Why the fuck would Mexico bomb the US?”

    It makes perfect sense if you think of the Palestinians as being scary others who just want wipe Israel off the map because they’re a bunch of terrorists and that’s what terrorists do. It’s only when you start considering the history of the matter and think that maybe, just maybe, Hamas might have a justifiable beef with Israel that questions of “Why are they doing that?” start to become reasonable.

  81. 81
    scav says:

    @Baud: It’s also good to pay close attention to how they define missile and for what effect Technically I think thrown rocks could count if one is being clever clever. Devils lurk in definitions as well as details.

  82. 82
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @JPLPeter King can kiss my fucking arse, the terrorist supporting mother fucker that he is. His hypocrisy knows no bounds.

  83. 83
    Tommy says:

    @Baud: I think the first time I saw them was on Democracy Now a few days ago. Let me say again I don’t want them fired at me nor anybody. But it was like a Daily Show joke how sad they were. Why I said I built some rockets as a kid. Only a few steps up from that.

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet: I’ve been hoping for some time now that Obama would make a very public statement that it’s a really bad idea to swallow Drano.

  85. 85
    Anoniminous says:

    @Baud:

    The Hamas missiles are strictly amateur hour.

    “The fact is that these are never going to be precise enough for the warhead to really matter all that much, unless it hits a target out of almost sheer accident,” Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told Foreign Policy.

  86. 86
    Suffern ACE says:

    @JPL: is this before or after the amnesty?

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore: Considering the history of the matter, and cause and effect, are simply not things that the wingnuts do.

  88. 88
    Cain says:

    @Keith G:

    The Military wing of Hamas knew that missile launches would bring a very familiar Israeli response. They truly are sacrificing the lives of children for a political effect. That does not for one moment wash the blood of the hands of the Israeli government, but the folks launching those missiles new what would be coming back at them.

    This. Hamas are assholes, how can they in all good conscience keep firing while their people die? Is it so that they can be martyred so that the court of public opinion will rule against them? How many times have they tried this? All there is, is pain. Their people locked in a cage. They can’t even get back the origianl borders, but they still they contend against a foe with enormous fire power. Their hardline stance continues to give hardliners in Israel cover. They are their own worst enemy.

    It just makes me sad. That doesn’t excuse Israel who given its experience should know better.

  89. 89
    Roger Moore says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    I would probably add all of the Eastern European resistance movements during Russian USSR domination. Solidarity is the most famous example.

  90. 90
    Keith G says:

    @some guy: Justified or not, the missiles have brought an aggravated response. The fact of those missiles being fired give the IDF increased moral cover. Even our President and his representatives talk about the missiles and Israel’s right to defend against them.

    No country can be expected to stand by while rocket attacks from a terrorist organization….

    At least I didn’t call Hamas a terrorist organization.

  91. 91
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tommy: Jews are like any other group…widely diverse within the group itself, which is why trying to straightjacket them is a pointless exercise.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cain: They feel they need to make a response. It might not be a constructive response, it might get their own people killed, but it’s a response.

  93. 93
    Roger Moore says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Considering the history of the matter, and cause and effect, are simply not things that the wingnuts do.

    Exactly. That’s why they can come up with the idea of Mexicans lobbing rockets into the US as an equivalent to what’s going on in Gaza. They just don’t understand the situation in anything but the crudest terms, so they have no hope of understanding anything.

  94. 94
    JPL says:

    @Suffern ACE: The important question is whether or not Reagan baptized them.

  95. 95
    Violet says:

    OT–Poor people please use the servants entrance:

    New York City has approved a real estate developer’s plan to construct an apartment complex with a separate entrance for its less fortunate residents, the New York Post reported Monday.

    The Department of Housing Preservation and Development signed off on the application from Extell to build a 33-story building on the Upper West Side. The building will have 219 luxury condos that overlook the waterfront, according to the Post, and 55 “affordable” units that face the street. They will have separate entrances,

    And then there’s this comment by the developer:

    “No one ever said that the goal was full integration of these populations,” David Von Spreckelsen, senior vice president at Toll Brothers, said. “So now you have politicians talking about that, saying how horrible those back doors are. I think it’s unfair to expect very high-income homeowners who paid a fortune to live in their building to have to be in the same boat as low-income renters, who are very fortunate to live in a new building in a great neighborhood.”

    Very unfair to those rich people to have to see and–gasp!–share the same doorway with the poors. So unfair.

  96. 96
    Gvg says:

    When did democrats support Israel more than republicans. I don’t recall that being the case in my adult life. In fact there were always a few who said really extreme bad things about Israel which gave republicans an easy way to call all liberals as anti semantic which was sometimes true, sometimes not and always a way to get an intelligent conversation started. I really don’t think this has been true in 30 years at least.
    My earliest opinions of this conflict is that the Palestinians have some of the worst leaders I’ve read of in history. Lately Israel’s has devolved too. I am just tired.
    I will say there are still some special weird strains of antisemitism that don’t happen to other peoples.

  97. 97
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Well,

    We’re never going to agree on this, but my memory of the Troubles is Ian Paisley standing next to a column of RC marching for civil rights in accordance with MLK’s strategy of civil non-violence screaming that they were advocating treason. A week later the parade season started and the RCs started throwing rocks over the wall. The response of the protestant population was to riot and burn down Derry. The IRA in Derry were pointy headed marxists waiting for the historical dialectic to bring down the power structure. They were pushed aside by young men willing to fight back. The unemployment rate for RC men in Derry was 50%. Think Cabrini Greens with a pub culture.

    And every moment that solution might be have been had for two decades there was Paisley and his minions screaming about treason and for bigotry. There is no difference between Paisley and Bull Conner, except that Paisley had the support of the federal government in NI.

    The most mind boggling thing I ever saw was an interview with a Special-B member saying that the RCs were marching for rights that I didn’t have. ??? Stupid fucker.

    The London attacks were the result of a decade of indifference to the war while the UK’s economy rebounded on N.Sea oil revenue. The UK sent The SAS into a rebellion that had 400 years of history.

  98. 98
    JPL says:

    Chris Hayes has the young man from Tampa whose cousin was burned alive and he in turn was brutalized by the Israeli police. It’s a horrific story but he looks okay. That is what concerns me, the right will say the pictures of the bruised eye and kickings were tampered with. Am I wrong to feel this way?

  99. 99
    Bobby B. says:

    Those “Heroes” and ‘Warriors” should fly to Israel to fight. What do you mean, it’s easier to bellyache on the couch with Fox News on TV? Ted Nugent? Ted Cruz? Anyone?

  100. 100
    Cain says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    @Cain: They feel they need to make a response. It might not be a constructive response, it might get their own people killed, but it’s a response.

    What was the point of that response? Revenge for the killing of a teenager? Now we have a lot more, 4 young boys are now dead, bombed. Hamas ineffectual bombing that gives no result, only death. This isn’t a strategy at all. At least it a strategy from an old and useless playbook that has never worked. Each tiem they do this, they lose even more land.

    Leaderless, rudderless, morons who do not know how to be effective. As a group, they need to reject these idiots for being ineffectual.

  101. 101
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @Keith G:

    And that definition you posted excludes labor and right wing militia movements how, exactly?

    Tell the Bundy ranch whackaloons that their white American maleness excludes them from your oddly fucked up calculus.

    The reason I’m harping is because words do have meaning and the ones you used happened to be stupid.

  102. 102
    The Pale Scot says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    The 9 part documentary provos loyalists and brits

  103. 103
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @Cain:

    Yes, reject Hamas for being so stupid as to try and fight back against the slow generation by generation expulsion and genocide of your people. Don’t they know fighting only makes things worse?

  104. 104
    White Trash Liberal says:

    http://www.splcenter.org/what-.....-extremism

    Obviously, these are all out of control HOAs because white American males would never identify with resistance movements. And that’s why they support Israel. Duh.

  105. 105
    dedc79 says:

    Zaid, why no mention of the approval numbers for the Palestinian Authority from the same poll?

    Very Favorable – 5%
    Mostly Favorable – 15%
    Mostly Unfavorable – 42%
    Very Unfavorable – 33%
    No Opinion – 5%

    Those ratings have sunk at about half the rate as Israel’s, but that’s at least in part b/c they can’t get much lower.

  106. 106
    BobS says:

    @JPL: If you actually watched, you might be aware they’ve been RT for about 5 years now. Regardless, who in the corporate American media is better? I’ll be the first one to concede their pro-Russian bias–which is pretty easy for anyone with average intelligence to filter out– however, anyone watching over the last few years would have a much more accurate picture of the class war we’re losing in United States as well as the often unseemly role our government plays in world affairs (including Georgia and Ukraine).

  107. 107
    Cervantes says:

    @Keith G:

    There aren’t many white American males (of any type) who have been associated with or empathetic toward any resistance movement.

    I get your general point — the establishment is the establishment — no doubt.

    But the way you worded it, here’s what sprang to mind:

    The KKK.

    Ted Metzger and company.

    David Koresh and company.

    Timothy McVeigh and company.

    The Tea Party with its Second Amendment remedies.

    Approximately half the House Republican caucus.

    Clive Bundy and company.

    And so on.

    You could also ask Morris Dees about his perspective.

  108. 108
    Cain says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    Yes, reject Hamas for being so stupid as to try and fight back against the slow generation by generation expulsion and genocide of your people. Don’t they know fighting only makes things worse?

    It’s not the fighting back that I have a problem with. You can’t solve this with violence especially when the other side has better and more powerful weapons. It is using the same old playbook that has gotten them no where. There are plenty of steps that they can take, but they are so idealogically rigid that they won’t take them.

  109. 109
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Violet: they aren’t even low income renters. It’s the rich pissing on their own damn jr. Executives. I find that comical.

  110. 110
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cain: The response creates the illusion of power in a situation that seems hopeless.

    This is powerful to those who have little hope.

    Again, the resistance of the Warsaw Ghetto comes to mind. Why don’t those stupid Jews just roll over and accept their inevitable fate, anyways?

  111. 111
    PurpleGirl says:

    @srv:

    Reagan would have started bombing someone already.

    Ideally a third world, tropical kind of island nation like Grenada. (To protect American medical school students.)

  112. 112
    scav says:

    @dedc79: Well, that’s important if the point is to shoehorn everything into white-hat v. black-hat, pure and perfect morally oppressed v. cackling amoral arch villain. The fact that Israel’s hat is increasingly recognized as smudged and bloodstained and thus less and less awarded automatic respect and credence internationally (although they do keep pulling on the various leashes and choke chains) is evident and might explain why certain elements in power are trying to consolidate the on-ground gains they’ve made now. Local demographic don’t favor them long-term and outside uncritical support is wavering.

  113. 113
    AxelFoley says:

    @Violet:

    Is everything rich, white men against everyone else?

    It has been ever thus.

  114. 114
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @PurpleGirl: That will show those terrorist types in Lebanon, by gum!

    The original wag the dog operation.

  115. 115
    Cervantes says:

    @dedc79:

    Zaid, why no mention of the approval numbers for the Palestinian Authority from the same poll?

    Er … perhaps its because the poll respondents are funding the Israeli Army and not its opponents?

  116. 116
    Cain says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It’s just a surge of adrenaline, but after it wears off, you are either worse off or the same. You’ve made no progress.

    I understand that it gives an illusion of power, and maybe that’s good, but is that what they are thinking as they huddle in their homes, as hell reigns down on them, as kids cry and huddle close? Fear, stress, pain, loss repated in an endless cycle? What they are feeling isn’t strength. It’s just prolonged vengeance with no direction.

  117. 117
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    my memory of the Troubles is Ian Paisley standing next to a column of RC marching for civil rights in accordance with MLK’s strategy of civil non-violence screaming that they were advocating treason.

    And Bob Jones U was Paisley’s home from home in the US, what with upstate SC being traditionally orange.

    I once thought that there’d be the same generational shift over time as both sides got fucking sick of it, but Israel imports a fresh crop of nutjobs to live in the West Bank, rewards religious extremists and Russian-emigré nationalists through its electoral system, and Labor Zionism slowly withers away. The Israeli position is essentially that they would like the Palestinians to just go away now, please, and while only a few history-deficient idiots in Israeli politics who’ll go on the record demanding ethnic cleansing or worse, there’s enough of a fascist fringe that gangs of young men can go out on the streets screaming ‘kill all the Arabs’.

    That’s to say, the comparisons to Putin are not without merit, given how Israeli political demographics were transformed by the arrival of a million Russians who considered the culture they brought with them superior to the one of their new home, disdained the melting pot of non-religious Israeli society, made scarce effort to learn Hebrew, and keep chomping on their pork products.

  118. 118
    Cain says:

    @dedc79:

    How sad, that they would favor Hamas over the Palestinian Authority. I would like to know what they think of Hamas? How do yhou go about polling anyways in a war zone?

  119. 119
    dedc79 says:

    @scav: Not sure how you got from me excerpting polling results that Zaid left out to what you wrote up there.

    If he’s going to make claims about trends in American approval/disapproval of Israel, he shouldn’t be cherry-picking one data point. Note that he also forgot to mention that Israel’s approval rating today is nearly identical to what it was in 1996.

  120. 120
    Cain says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    hah, nice.. so they are being undermined by Russian jews… nice.

  121. 121
    SixStringFanatic says:

    @khead: Well, it is the end of the world as they know it. But I feel fine.

  122. 122
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cain: What did those in the Warsaw Ghetto think as the Germans were pounding on them?

  123. 123
    WaterGirl says:

    @Violet:

    Dear David Von Spreckelsen,

    You know we can hear you, right?

    Sincerely, the 99%

  124. 124
    Botsplainer says:

    @Cain:

    What was the point of that response? Revenge for the killing of a teenager? Now we have a lot more, 4 young boys are now dead, bombed. Hamas ineffectual bombing that gives no result, only death. This isn’t a strategy at all. At least it a strategy from an old and useless playbook that has never worked. Each tiem they do this, they lose even more land.

    At this juncture, the point is to make Israeli civilians so sick of it that they’ll pressure the government to stop.

    The combined efforts of the US and Israel have crushed secular models of mixed economies in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and arguably Iran. Northern Africa is a basket case, and the shit is ready to fly in Jordan. It’s going to be a spectacular set of fairly rigid Islamic states from Tangiers to Karachi, with only a few oases of sanity – Beirut, Istanbul, Kurdistan and Dubai, with shitheadedness reigning everywhere else. They hate each other, but hate Israel worse, and will combine enough to drop something nasty in Tel Aviv and Haifa.

  125. 125
    The Pale Scot says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: No, it’s not going to happen. From memory, the Jewish populations in cities of Greek and Roman antiquity seemed to have had a propensity for rioting and killing their neighbors over perceived slights to their religious beliefs. (in Roman territory especially, the Jews weren’t required to sacrifice to the local gods etc)

    If Israel didn’t have the arabs as an enemy, they’d have been shooting each other down decades ago, that’s part of Netanyahu design. Factions of Palestinians have tried to do Gandhi salt mine types of protests at roadblocks, the Israelis hunt the leaders of peaceful protest down with a vengeance.

  126. 126
    Botsplainer says:

    @Cain:

    You can’t solve this with violence especially when the other side has better and more powerful weapons.

    That’s what asymmetric warfare is about – pick the soft targets, sap the public will to persist.

  127. 127
    pluege says:

    you don’t need a poll to know this:

    conservatives view violence as a first (and often the only) resort to solving problems. Progressives view it as a last resort.

  128. 128
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: They thought that they had no future and they were going to be killed one way or another. I won’t offer an opinion as to whether it is justified for the Palestinians to have the same view or not. But if we have reached the point where not only have they adopted it but the rest of us are justifying it, there is no chance for peace. None.

    If that’s where we are the ONLY way this will be resolved is by one side or the other killing every member of the other side that is not driven from their homes. There is no peace process and we might as well stop objecting as both sides get on with the killing.

  129. 129
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Botsplainer:

    At this juncture, the point is to make Israeli civilians so sick of it that they’ll pressure the government to stop.

    And Cain’s (correct) point is that this isn’t any more likely to work than is the Israeli attempt to bomb the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Human nature just doesn’t work this way. Bombing just intensifies the other side into retaliation.

  130. 130
    Keith G says:

    @White Trash Liberal: You certainly are displaying an untoward amount of animus over conditions that I am essentially just relaying. I did not create the formal meanings, I used them.

    My mistake was to use “many” instead of a word or phrase with more magnification. I used “many” as in “amounting to a large part of…”

    A quick estimation leads me to think that our white male (non Hispanic) population is around 102,680,000. I do not think that a large part of that number have been associated with or empathetic toward any resistance movement (formal definition like Hamas or Tibetan resistance movement) . But if you consider “many” to flatly be more than can fit into a school bus, than my original statement would not be correct.

    Either way, back to the original point (that seems to have gotten lost in the above): White males in America are not used to being oppressed and therefore they are less able to empathize with the emotions of those whom have been aggressively oppressed for generations. These WAMs (the ones who are less able to empathize) are unable to understand, let alone appreciate the actions of resistance moments that spring from that oppression.

  131. 131
    Botsplainer says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Learned everything I needed to from the treatment of the Ethiopian Jews.

  132. 132
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Botsplainer:

    That’s what asymmetric warfare is about – pick the soft targets, sap the public will to persist.

    Name me a time when it’s worked that way. I don’t mean a case of driving out a foreign occupation. Tell me when bombing the soft targets of the natives has ever sapped their will to resist.

  133. 133
    Botsplainer says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    The Palestinians view it as an occupation, which it is.

  134. 134
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @beltane:

    HEY! That reminds me, I’ve been meaning to ask:

    Somebody on FB (a liberal site, actually) put up for mocking purposes a fund-raising ad for a tee-shirt with Reagan-Bush ’84 emblazoned across the front. The pitch was something like, Show your support for the good old times when Amurika was something to be reckoned with (wild paraphrase).

    Here’s my question: They (the RNC or whoever) were suggesting and offering check boxes for various levels of donations: $35, $50, $100, whatever. But the dollar amount they were pushing front and center and BOLDED was $27! Is there actually some cabalistic GOP significance to that number, or are they just trolling us, or is there a good financial-economic-psychological reason for suggesting it as an appropriate “donation” amount, or what? I’m really curious about this.

    Edit: I wasn’t very clear. This was a legit fundraising mailer from a GOP group, but I saw it only because a liberal-left group shared it on their FB page. The lefty group didn’t create it or make it up.

  135. 135
    Keith G says:

    @Cervantes: I get the game. Let’s parse a statement to the nth degree and find a crack and then let’s point it out as an example of mistaken thinking – even if the general frame of the statement is one easily agreed with.

    Someone is wrong on the internet

    At least you are civil about it.

  136. 136
    Cervantes says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    It brings to mind that the Israelis are really boat people, shipped into the Palestinians land thanks to a really stupid idea cooked up after WWII by Churchill et. al., as some sort of apology to the jews for totally ignoring the holocaust for so many years.

    The Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917.

  137. 137
    scav says:

    @dedc79: Israel’s popularity has zip to do with that of its opponent, It’s falling based on its own action and revealed character. Doesn’t matter if it’s beating up an angel, drunk or just another idiot. It’s looking like a mean bully in all instances.

    Eta. And Americans are a bit of an outlier pop in the whole Israel support distribution.

  138. 138
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Botsplainer: What you and they think about it is completely irrelevant in this context. The Israelis think of it as their homeland and their will to fight is based upon that. Thinking otherwise is a fantasy, no matter what the legalities of the matter are.

    Can you name me a time where asymmetric warfare has broken the will of a nation that thinks of itself as being in its homeland?

  139. 139
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes: Yup, this mess was cooked up during the very late afternoon of European Imperialism, with all the arrogance that only the Brits and French were capable of. We have the Brits to thank for the creation of the artificial state of Iraq as well.

  140. 140
    beltane says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Maybe a Balloon Juicer is a mole at the RNC and they are the ones being trolled.

  141. 141
    Cain says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    @Cain: What did those in the Warsaw Ghetto think as the Germans were pounding on them?

    Situation was a little different. You can still do negotiations, you can still do a number of other avenues. I’m not sure if the two experiences are the same.

  142. 142
    beltane says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The State of Israel partially owes its existence to antisemitic European powers who thought it would be a great way to rid themselves of their Jewish populations, especially the new arrivals from Eastern Europe.

  143. 143
    Botsplainer says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Can you name me a time where asymmetric warfare has broken the will of a nation that thinks of itself as being in its homeland?

    Most of the time, the occupied don’t get to project force, but I’d argue that the IRA had some success, at least in the south. Vietnam shoving out the Saigon government counts as well.

  144. 144
    Cervantes says:

    @Keith G:

    I get the game. Let’s parse a statement to the nth degree and find a crack and them let’s point it out as an example of mistaken thinking – even if the general frame of the statement is one easily agreed with.

    I asked you about a portion of your comment. In lieu of re-wording it, you asked me to elaborate my objection to the wording. I did so, while acknowledging that I had no difficulty with other parts of your comment.

    Now instead of thanking me for taking the time to elaborate per your request, you complain.

    And by the way, whether your thinking was mistaken or not, I did not say so. I said you might want to re-visit the wording.

    At least you are civil about it.

    You’re welcome.

  145. 145
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer: Vietnam was really more of a civil war in many ways…the Viet Cong were originally not communist overall, but became that way. A lot of conflict in the South over religion, Catholics vs. Buddhists, for example.

  146. 146
    Cain says:

    @Botsplainer:

    That’s what asymmetric warfare is about – pick the soft targets, sap the public will to persist.

    That’s why satyagraha (non violence) is the correct response against a civilized enemy. It’s hard to support a regime that kills unarmed members or take a beating and then keep coming back.

    As someone above said, those leaders who do that are the most dangerous. When you have nothing else to lose, then it’s time to use the non-violent jihaad.

  147. 147
    Botsplainer says:

    @Cain:

    Israel has a demonstrable history of failing to live up to treaty commitments or of even negotiating in good faith.

  148. 148
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Botsplainer: The last I checked, the British are still in Northern Ireland.

    It wasn’t asymmetric warfare that broke the South Vietnamese government; it was North Vietnamese tanks and artillery once the U.S. had been chased out.

  149. 149
    Cervantes says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    What you and they think about it is completely irrelevant in this context. The Israelis think of it as their homeland and their will to fight is based upon that. Thinking otherwise is a fantasy, no matter what the legalities of the matter are.

    You can’t be saying that the official Israeli perspective is all that counts in this conflict, can you? I assume I missed your point.

  150. 150
    Cain says:

    @Botsplainer:

    The Palestinians view it as an occupation, which it is.

    Only some view it as an occupation, there are plenty of other Palestinians who are willing to be able to lvie peacefully and move on. You aren’t going to lodge the Israelis loose. There is a real possibility that you would lose the land you have. Every occurence, give the Israelis more land to give to Settlers.

    Eventually, they’ll be kicked out as their numbers dwindle from the repeated assaults.

  151. 151
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Violet: maybe if the low-income renters got up early to build up the fires in the hearths of the high-income renters, they could get a break on the rent.

  152. 152
    Cain says:

    @beltane:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The State of Israel partially owes its existence to antisemitic European powers who thought it would be a great way to rid themselves of their Jewish populations, especially the new arrivals from Eastern Europe.

    Why would they think they would get rid of them? People can still become Jews from the main population. Some probably still very much identifiy with the land they live in and do not want to leave. Moving from Poland to Israel is a big deal, everything is completely different.

  153. 153
    Cervantes says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Name me a time when it’s worked that way. I don’t mean a case of driving out a foreign occupation. Tell me when bombing the soft targets of the natives has ever sapped their will to resist.

    Guernica, 1937.

  154. 154
    Botsplainer says:

    @Cain:

    Ah, the old “give Israel some time and they’ll come around” gambit.

    Didn’t work well for the freeing of the slaves in the US, didn’t work well on segregation down South, nor has it worked after 45+ years of pre-emptive occupation (aka land/water theft) in Palestine.

    So when are these people going to enjoy some self government? Another half century of voiceless occupation and smirking displacement by racist Putinists?

  155. 155
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Cervantes: Did you read the part where I was explaining the context of the particular comparison? It was pretty limited, but within that specific context (how likely is it that asymmetric warfare can break their will to fight), yes, the Israeli perspective (not so much the official one but what the population feels) is the only one that matters.

  156. 156
    Cain says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Israel has a demonstrable history of failing to live up to treaty commitments or of even negotiating in good faith.

    They will always point to some incident or something where some wild eyed yahoo decided to get his hate on and attack Israel while in the middle of such negotiations causing Israel reflexively push back. Israel did have progressive rulers, but thanks to the violence, the people have started voting in right wing assholes like the Likud party and that fucking asshole Bibi and Lieberman. Having now strengthened the asshoel part of Israel, we now have a predictable outcome of this.

    It’s too damn bad that more kids are going to die because of die hard assholes who need to wake up to reality and learn to live with the crap they have bene given and give a decent life for their people instead of trying to kill a people who have already established permanent roots with plenty of capabilities to withstand their onslaught.

  157. 157
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Cervantes: No, that didn’t cause the natives to lose their will to fight. It wasn’t really asymmetric warfare in which the lightly armed side caused the other to give way, either. The Republicans lost the Spanish Civil War to a combination of conventional Nationalist military power and the Soviets gutting the military capabilities of the side they were supporting.

  158. 158
    Heliopause says:

    In other words, the issue of Israel and the Palestinians is being polarized

    Barely. Stunning that 41% of self-identified liberals (49% if you include those of the “reality-based community” too afraid to have an opinion) think that the slaughter in Gaza is either just right or want to see more of it. And nauseating that 100% of Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, the absolute farthest left national politicians that our system will endure, are doing exactly squat to stop it.

    But then, given the hysterical level of propaganda emanating not only from the media but from the two mainstream parties, it’s stunning that anybody in this country has an ounce of sympathy for Palestine.

  159. 159
    Cain says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Ah, the old “give Israel some time and they’ll come around” gambit.

    I didn’t say that. My comment regarding satyagraha is fighting, non-violently. It takes enormous discipline to do be non-aggressive to stare into their eyes, take the beating, get up and then come back again. That is still fighting. It is powerful. That’s why the goddam FBI/CIA/NSA will put anybody on watch list if they start talking about non-violent struggle.

    It doesn’t work against Genghis Khan, but it will work against so called moral based civilizations.

  160. 160
    John PM says:

    @khead: But if Obama is the Anti-Christ, as they claim, then he would not be supportive of Israel. So if they want Obama to support Israel, which he has been doing BTW, then he cannot be the Anti-Christ.

  161. 161
    Cervantes says:

    @The Pale Scot: That’s more or less my memory of the situation as well.

    Re those “pointy headed marxists waiting for the historical dialectic to bring down the power structure,” yes, they were largely ineffectual, but there was something about them I appreciated.

  162. 162
    Cervantes says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    No, that didn’t cause the natives [in Guernica] to lose their will to fight.

    You’re mistaken about that.

  163. 163
    El Caganer says:

    @Cain: Actually, we have a real live test of what negotiations will get the Palestinians – in the West Bank. Palestinian Authority was told that to be a serious partner for peace, it had to stop attacks on Israel. It did, and as a reward, what did it get? More settlements.

    As far as violent resistance in Gaza, I don’t really understand the argument. The Israelis launch a raid or an airstrike, Hamas responds with rockets, the Israelis proceed to pound the shit out of them. To say that Hamas should eschew violence is to say – what? That the Israelis will stop targeted assassinations, etc. if Hamas does nothing? What incentive would there be for the Israelis to stop? The rest of the world only bothers to notice when the violence goes big time. Sure, Hamas’ response isn’t getting them anywhere, but there isn’t any response that will get them anywhere. The Palestinians are screwed.

  164. 164
    some guy says:

    @Cain:

    Remind us again of your efforts to support, defend, or ameliorate the suffering of the victims of Zionism? You seem to think the Islamic Resistance Movement is stupid, so please enlighten us as to how you might overcome the apartheid regime.

  165. 165
    Cervantes says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    within that specific context (how likely is it that asymmetric warfare can break their will to fight), yes, the Israeli perspective (not so much the official one but what the population feels) is the only one that matters.

    Well, sure. The Israeli perspective is what drives opinion in Israel.

    A tautology, no?

    (Except, and not that this is what you’re doing, but I don’t like to ascribe any one view to all Israelis; it’s inaccurate to do so.)

  166. 166
    Cervantes says:

    @El Caganer:

    It did, and as a reward, what did it get? More settlements.

    Right. And the technical term for this is “the peace process.”

  167. 167
    some guy says:

    Shorter Cain: subjugated people need to learn to lick the boot impressed upon their face, and do it with a smile, before we Israel’s will hear their lamentations and act with the appropriate level of mercy.

  168. 168
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cain:

    That’s why satyagraha (non violence) is the correct response against a civilized enemy.

    What I have seen from Israel in the past few years, especially lately, I no longer consider them a civilized enemy.

    edited

  169. 169
    Cain says:

    @El Caganer:

    As far as violent resistance in Gaza, I don’t really understand the argument. The Israelis launch a raid or an airstrike, Hamas responds with rockets, the Israelis proceed to pound the shit out of them. To say that Hamas should eschew violence is to say – what? That the Israelis will stop targeted assassinations, etc. if Hamas does nothing? What incentive would there be for the Israelis to stop? The rest of the world only bothers to notice when the violence goes big time. Sure, Hamas’ response isn’t getting them anywhere, but there isn’t any response that will get them anywhere. The Palestinians are screwed.

    Instead they die, slowly. Fenced in.. I suppose that’s probably preferable to in a tepid blaze of glory than some other method. The thing is why NOT respond wtih rockets.. ?

    The overall problem is that, not a single middle eastern country is willing to support Palestine either by butting off oil, or some other pressure. So, yeah, even if Palestinians are well behaved nobody is playing cop. I still feel that non-violence is the way to go about it.

  170. 170
    Cain says:

    @some guy:

    Remind us again of your efforts to support, defend, or ameliorate the suffering of the victims of Zionism? You seem to think the Islamic Resistance Movement is stupid, so please enlighten us as to how you might overcome the apartheid regime.

    I’m no different than anybody else on this blog, I’m reacting to a piece of news, and providing my uninformed opinion. Trying to press me for some personal activism on my part is not really the point of discussing this stuff. There isn’t anything any of us can do here. Perhaps, we can all learn something from the banter. Sorry I have no credentials to offer you.

    My grandparents did take part in the struggle for Indian independence, does that help?

  171. 171
    Cain says:

    @some guy:

    Shorter Cain: subjugated people need to learn to lick the boot impressed upon their face, and do it with a smile, before we Israel’s will hear their lamentations and act with the appropriate level of mercy.

    I looked at what I wrote, I’m not sure how you managed to summarize my postings to “just grin and take it”. But whatever. You’re welcome to attack me. It’s all good. :)

  172. 172
    Keith G says:

    @Cervantes: I apologize for lumping you in with another.

    I see that hate groups like the KKK were used as examples. Again, they do not fit the paradigm. Resistance movements (not groups with a burr up their ass & not localized apocalyptic cults) are defined by their opposition to their own domination, oppression, and exploitation by a larger group using the legitimacy of governmental powers to carry out that systematic oppression. But if I were to agree with a watering down what it means to be a resistance movement (do we really want to equate Clive Bundy with Dennis Banks?) then yes I could understand the confusion.

  173. 173
    Cain says:

    @WaterGirl:

    What I have seen from Israel in the past few years, especially lately, I no longer consider them a civilized enemy.

    They don’t seem to be, do they? Who the fuck uses overwhelming force like that?

  174. 174
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cain:

    Who the fuck uses overwhelming force like that?

    Heartless, godless, soulless predators?

  175. 175
    El Caganer says:

    @Cain: I’m afraid we’re beyond any tactics that might change the political dynamic over there. I think within 20 years Israel will have incorporated the West Bank and expelled the Arab population, both from the West Bank and the original state of Israel. The population of Gaza will have died off or emigrated. Israel won’t run into any brick walls until it tries to go back into Lebanon. And it will try to go back into Lebanon.

  176. 176
    Cervantes says:

    @Cain:

    Who the fuck uses overwhelming force like that?

    Who, indeed? It’s at the tip of my tongue. It’ll come to me. Really.

  177. 177
    some guy says:

    @Cain:

    You mean beside Qatar. And the people in Arab nations? And the people in Europe and the US actively working against the apartheid regimes interest.

    Did I mention the House of Al Thani?

  178. 178
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Too bad there’s no Aeolia Schenberg in these days.

  179. 179
    Cain says:

    @some guy:

    You mean beside Qatar. And the people in Arab nations? And the people in Europe and the US actively working against the apartheid regimes interest.

    Did I mention the House of Al Thani?

    What did they do or are doing? I’m curious, I don’t really know. I don’t see Arab nations doing anything other than to distract their own people from their own plight but instead using it manipulate folks to agitate somewhere else. Just like how our Republican friends are doing it to their base.

  180. 180
    some guy says:

    @Cervantes:

    Funny how non violent supporter Cain fails to mention all the good things the non violent residents of Billin have accrued in their struggle against the Wall these last few years.

    Yet does find the time to re produce widely propogated and proudlyvetted talking points about the violent nature of the “stupid” Hamas.

    Funny that

  181. 181
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Cervantes: @Keith G: Eh….

    Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

    Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

    Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

    Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

    Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

    Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

  182. 182
    Anya says:

    People who think the voilence is ‘about right’ or ‘too little’ either didn’t understand the question or they’re psychopaths.

  183. 183
    Keith G says:

    @Cain: Folks seem to like disagreeing just for disagreeing’s sake.

    Up there some where you seemed to be saying that missiles flying from Gaza to various places in Israel was not a good idea and that one of the many reasons why it was not a good idea is that the very predicable outcome of such missile launches is the over-large amount of civilian casualties that would result from the (again) very predictable IDF response. I think that you also went on to say later that the Hamas decision to launch those missiles (since they knew such an action would never compel Israel to sue for peace) was not a military tactic as much as it was a political tactic.

    The only way it could work as a political tactic is if Hamas goaded Israel into an over-response.

    And what, pray tell, would be the nature of such an over-response?

    I am certain they knew that such a hoped for over response would include many explosions and lots of shrapnel because that is what Israel had done in the past. All of that within an area with a population density of over 13,000 per sq m. (Chicago’s is a bit less than 12,000 per sq m).

    Did I leave anything out? Doesn’t seem too controversial.

  184. 184
    Cervantes says:

    @El Caganer:

    To say that Hamas should eschew violence is to say – what?

    The satyagraha argument that Cain is talking about would go as follows (I’m simplifying, but when it looked as if the Japanese might attack India during WWII, Gandhi said basically this): (1) we should fight them with non-violence (ahimsa); (2) yes, millions of us will die as a result; but (3) millions of us, perhaps more millions, will die, anyway, if we use violence; and millions of other people are risking their lives to end this war; so we should not shirk our share of the danger; and (4) using the force (graha) of non-violence will at least keep us on the side of truth (satya), and love, and peace; so that (5) when we do eventually win, not having butchered anyone, we’ll be able to live with ourselves; and (6) others may subsequently follow this example, thus making a much better world.

    You’ve heard people quoting Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The above is what he meant.

    Application to the case of the Palestinians and Israel is left as an exercise for the reader. (I’ve said a bit about it in recent threads and will not repeat it here.)

  185. 185
    Cervantes says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Thanks, and reading Brzezinski is always a treat, but what’s the relevance to what I said?

  186. 186
    El Caganer says:

    @Cervantes: I guess I’m a product of a much-too-cynical age, as I’m of the opinion that I’m equally dead if shot by an Israeli sniper whether I’m waving a “Peace Now” placard and chanting “The whole world is watching,” or if I’m getting ready to touch off a suicide vest. My community will have one less member and will be no more or less free, prosperous, or happy than it was before, whichever path I choose.

    I suppose I could get even bleaker and quote Dylan: “There’s seven people dead/on a South Dakota farm/Somewhere in the distance/there’s seven new people born.”

  187. 187
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Cervantes: It’s in your response to Cain about overuse of force.

  188. 188
    Keith G says:

    @Cervantes:
    Your inclusion of the satyagraha argument sparked a memory of something I read a while back. A quick look and I found it:

    2. The basic operative assumption that Gandhi makes is that nonviolence constitutes a positive procedure for promoting worthwhile social change. It is not merely that one should refrain from violence, because it is wrong; sometimes violence is not wrong. There can be conditions in which one is justified in inflicting violence—for instance, if the only other choice is acting in a cowardly manner. Violence is also justified for the protection of those under one’s care, or under the care of the larger community. In Gandhi’s view, the best response was based on nonviolence; the second best was violent defense. The worst form of response was submission to a tyrant or running away out of fear of consequences. In Gandhi’s words:
    I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defer her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonour.
    3. This, then, brings us to the central idea in his thesis, satyagraha, which literally means ‘clinging to truth’ or ‘holding fast to truth.’ The notion of satyagraha combines the ideas of truth and nonviolence.

    Googling: satyagraha argument Palestine, leads to many discussions on that combined topic, it seems.

  189. 189
    some guy says:

    @Keith G:

    yes, the subjugated should play by the rules of theior oppressors. why hasn’t Hamas built bomb shelters rather than using smuggled concrete to build tunnels? MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    today’s WaPo: “Much of the Arab world, in fact, no longer supports the militants”.
    today’s WaPo on the suffering of the poor Israelis: “Some have relocated farther away from Gaza, and those who remain show signs of stress”.
    today’s Times: Monday morning, the Abu Jameh family pulled 26 bodies, 19 of them children, from the rubble of their home near the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, the largest toll from a single strike since the battle began July 8.
    today’s Times: Ramadan Comes to gaza- “On Sunday, July 20 Israel intensified its military operations in Gaza’s Al-Shuja’iya, killing nearly 100 people in what Palestinians have decried as a “massacre.” Bodies of children were witnessed strewn in the rubble, with medics failing to remove them due to heavy fire.”

    exscised already from the onliee Times story by Anne Barnard and Judi Rudoren: “It [the Islamic Resistance Movement’s spokesman] said 12 fighters went “behind enemy lines” and could have attacked civilian areas, but waited six hours to confront the army directly.”

    Haaretz on the Hudson is deleting sentences. again. the printed version of this story will explain in a full paragraph how the Resistance fighters waited 6 hours to attack uniformed IDF, rather than “wipe Israel off the face of the Earth.” poof, those sentences written by their own reporters , freely available a few hours ago online, are now sent down the memory hole

  190. 190
    beltane says:

    @Keith G: Gandhi, along with MLK, was also a big proponent of boycotts. Nonviolence in no way precludes the use of economic pressure to end oppression.

  191. 191
    some guy says:

    @beltane:
    \
    BDS supporters, worse than Hitler in their Anti-Semitism

  192. 192
    Cervantes says:

    @El Caganer:

    I’m equally dead if shot by an Israeli sniper whether I’m waving a “Peace Now” placard and chanting “The whole world is watching,” or if I’m getting ready to touch off a suicide vest.

    True, and the contemplation of your death weighs heavily on your mind — but there is also the rest of the Universe to consider.

    My community will have one less member and will be no more or less free, prosperous, or happy than it was before, whichever path I choose.

    But your community will have your example, so what path you choose matters.

    Gandhi’s insight is that if x people are brave enough to take a beating all dressed in black or brave enough to die holding a “Peace Now” sign — rather than beat the oppressor or kill him —then eventually, the oppressor, underneath it all a human being, will see the light.

    Gandhi was aware that x could be a huge number. He himself was beaten and jailed many times. But to him, helping an oppressor see the light was worth the price because it would lead to a better world in the long run.

    As for Bob Dylan’s arithmetic, yes, it’s bleak. Do you find it helpful?

  193. 193
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane:

    Nonviolence in no way precludes the use of economic pressure to end oppression.

    I’m not sure about that. In the abstract it’s true, but do you think Gandhi would have supported our decades-long embargo against Cuba? And when so many Iraqis died as a result of the sanctions we imposed, was that non-violence?

  194. 194
    El Caganer says:

    @Cervantes: Helpful? No. Just reality.

  195. 195
    Cervantes says:

    @some guy:

    BDS supporters, worse than Hitler in their Anti-Semitism

    Yes, one does have to laugh.

    If anyone has made a good case against the BDS campaign, I have not seen it.

  196. 196
    some guy says:

    @Cervantes:

    starving Iraqi’s to death before the 5th Cavalry arrives is a feature, not a bug

  197. 197
    Cervantes says:

    @some guy: Yes, if there are people who lament the absence of non-violent resistance in Palestine, they should take another look, and not via our so-called “major media.”

  198. 198
    Keith G says:

    @some guy: Could you help me out?

    yes, the subjugated should play by the rules of theior oppressors. why hasn’t Hamas built bomb shelters rather than using smuggled concrete to build tunnels? MONSTERS!!!!!!

    Is this typed as a rejoinder to the content of my comment?

    I do not recall telling Hamas what rules to play by. I did note that the choices made by Hamas had predictable consequences and that the delivery of those consequences would probably not be in doubt.

    I can not walk in the shoes of the Palestinians of Gaza. I do not know what their preferred choices during the last few weeks would be. The death toll is almost 600. I bet that if ask, some of that number are okay with being martyrs. I wonder how many others aren’t.

  199. 199
    beltane says:

    @Cervantes: The United States government was not being oppressed by either Cuba or Iraq. It was a powerful country using economic means to coerce a weaker country.There was never any movement by individuals, as far as I am aware of, to boycott Iraqi oil due to Saddam Hussein’s treatment of the Kurds. I do not consider embargoes and blockades to be the same a refusing to do business with entities that are perpetrating injustice. BDS, or a boycott of Koch Industries, is simply a way of saying “Your actions are abhorrent to me. I do not wish to contribute to the prosperity of those who are committing abhorrent acts.”

  200. 200
    Cervantes says:

    @El Caganer:

    Reality! I’m all for reality!

    Reality is all we have — plus, as Gandhi said, it is ours to improve.

  201. 201
    Cain says:

    @some guy:

    Funny how non violent supporter Cain fails to mention all the good things the non violent residents of Billin have accrued in their struggle against the Wall these last few years.

    Yet does find the time to re produce widely propogated and proudlyvetted talking points about the violent nature of the “stupid” Hamas.

    Funny that

    Probably because I don’t really know anything about them. Hey, I’m drinking wine, and I got an hour or so to kill before my next meeting so yeah I did find the time. I’m not sure what talking points regarding Hamas. I’m not part of some collective. This is just armchair, monday night navel gazing, buddy.

  202. 202
    Cain says:

    @Keith G:

    Did I leave anything out? Doesn’t seem too controversial.

    Nope. Well stated. The simple message is try something else. I’m not saying be passive, but there has got to be a better method than to goad Israel into doing atrocities.

  203. 203
    Donald says:

    @Cain: Yeah, fine, I agree that Palestinian violence is both wrong and counterproductive, but why the hell do we always talk about Palestinian violence when Israeli violence has killed more from the very beginning? The Israelis are the bullies and incidentallly, some Palestinians do try nonviolent means of struggle. Palestinians have launched the BDS movement, for instance. And what’s the response? BDS is anti-semitic. Anyone who supports BDS is an anti-semite because there are all the other oppressed people in the world. It’s collective punishment.

    What about the blockade on Gaza, which is 10,000 times more stringent than BDS would ever be? Oh, that’s different. Those Palestinians are violent.

  204. 204
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane:

    The United States government was not being oppressed by either Cuba or Iraq.

    Yes, but the USG claimed that those sanction regimes were justified in order to save Cubans and Iraqis from oppression. Hilarious, I know, but the question is: were those sanctions regimes crafted to be non-violent? We both know the answer.

    It was a powerful country using economic means to coerce a weaker country.There was never any movement by individuals, as far as I am aware of, to boycott Iraqi oil due to Saddam Hussein’s treatment of the Kurds. I do not consider embargoes and blockades to be the same a refusing to do business with entities that are perpetrating injustice. BDS, or a boycott of Koch Industries, is simply a way of saying “Your actions are abhorrent to me. I do not wish to contribute to the prosperity of those who are committing abhorrent acts.”

    I’m with you. I just think the details matter. Evil things have too often been done in the name of “economic pressure.”

  205. 205
    Cain says:

    Gandhi’s insight is that if x people are brave enough to take a beating all dressed in black or brave enough to die holding a “Peace Now” sign — rather than beat the oppressor or kill him —then eventually, the oppressor, underneath it all a human being, will see the light.

    And there is truth in that. We do have a notion of ‘pack’. Killing repeatedly your own kind changes you (unless your psychotic). You cannot repeatedly kill those who won’t raise a hand against you but look you in the eye as you do it.

    To do that.. wow, the emotional forces at work to maintain that I think is incredible because we are wired for violence when attacked.

    It would work, and it’s hard to demonize a group of people who will not raise their hands against you. Islam talks about jihaad as a metaphysical struggle against yourself, non-violence is certainly that.

  206. 206
    dmbeaster says:

    @Keith G:

    The Military wing of Hamas knew that missile launches would bring a very familiar Israeli response. They truly are sacrificing the lives of children for a political effect. That does not for one moment wash the blood of the hands of the Israeli government, but the folks launching those missiles new what would be coming back at them.

    Not that I support Hamas or think their rockets do one bit of good, but in general, knowing there will be such a response is hardly a reason to forgo attacks (if they made sense in the first place). Resistance movements have long had to wrestle with the fact that resistance always brings reprisals by the oppressor against the innocents.

  207. 207
    Cain says:

    @Donald:

    @Cain: Yeah, fine, I agree that Palestinian violence is both wrong and counterproductive, but why the hell do we always talk about Palestinian violence when Israeli violence has killed more from the very beginning? The Israelis are the bullies and incidentallly, some Palestinians do try nonviolent means of struggle. Palestinians have launched the BDS movement, for instance. And what’s the response? BDS is anti-semitic. Anyone who supports BDS is an anti-semite because there are all the other oppressed people in the world. It’s collective punishment.

    What about the blockade on Gaza, which is 10,000 times more stringent than BDS would ever be? Oh, that’s different. Those Palestinians are violent.

    Because Palestinian violence is the trigger. Now, they might actually do violence, and certainly we would see violence from the settlers who illegally occupy their land. Israel sees itself as the victim not as the oppressor. The idea is to change that. But you won’t be able to do that using pea-shooters against an elephant.

    I looked at BDS.. I’m not sure that is going work. I would prefer something along the lines of sitting on the roads blocking the route or breaking an unjust law and doing nothing while they take you. Fill the jails. Crowd them out, push them to their limits. Never raise a finger.

  208. 208
    Donald says:

    @Keith G: One could make a case that violence sometimes works against Israel. Hezbollah drove the Israelis out of Lebanon with violence.

    As for Hamas rocket fire, if I were Palestinian I wouldn’t have supported it, but at this stage Hamas is demanding an end to the blockade as part of any ceasefire agreement. If they get it, violence worked. If they don’t get it, violence worked for the Israelis, which is what I’m betting will happen because our AIPAC dominated government is going over there to “help”.

    Incidentally, the NYT did some cleanup on the story about Hamas’s demands. An early version of the story gave the humanitarian demands plus the demand for prisoners to be released. The later version of the NYT story that I saw an hour ago deleted the humanitarian demand and just left in the part about the prisoners. Pravda strikes again–it would be a shame if Hamas looked good for demanding the end of the blockade and the US and others refused to grant that without forcing Hamas out of power.

  209. 209
    Cain says:

    @dmbeaster:

    Not that I support Hamas or think their rockets do one bit of good, but in general, knowing there will be such a response is hardly a reason to forgo attacks (if they made sense in the first place). Resistance movements have long had to wrestle with the fact that resistance always brings reprisals by the oppressor against the innocents.

    Except they have been doing this for decades. Their population just keeps getting smaller. Hell they are worse off now, they’ve lost land. So, loss of life, and loss of land, and even more restrictions.

  210. 210
    Donald says:

    I don’t think any movement is ever 100 percent nonviolent. The civil rights movement was followed by riots. Not all Indians followed Gandhi. The Partition wasn’t exactly nonviolent.

    In fact, just about the only time Americans absolutely insist on nonviolence is when it has something to do with Palestinians against Israel.

    And of course Israel sees itself as the victim. It does that every time no matter what. There is no form of nonviolent protest they won’t see as an attack on them.

    And here we are, telling the Palestinians they have to be perfect before they can have rights, talking about their violence, and how we have to make allowances for the feelings of the Israelis, who use violence on a daily basis, some of it lethal, against both people in the WB and in Gaza during “ceasefires”.

  211. 211
    Cain says:

    @Donald:

    As for Hamas rocket fire, if I were Palestinian I wouldn’t have supported it, but at this stage Hamas is demanding an end to the blockade as part of any ceasefire agreement. If they get it, violence worked. If they don’t get it, violence worked for the Israelis, which is what I’m betting will happen because our AIPAC dominated government is going over there to “help”.

    What cards do they have on the table do they have that could bring Israel to the table. The only thing they have is that the slaughter of unarmed civilians makes Israel look bad enough that they come to the negotiation table, but Hamas has nothing that they could use to force Israel to do anything. Their form of violence might as well be blowing cigarette smoke in their nose for all the good it does them.

  212. 212
    Donald says:

    What makes the American judgment of the Palestinians all the more obscene is that we help fund their oppression. We can’t seem to stop that, living in a democracy where both parties suck up to Israel to a truly extraordinary degree, and yet we tell them to be a nation of Gandhis.

  213. 213
    Keith G says:

    @dmbeaster: To fight for freedom is to provoke. And if one is a provocateur in our lifetime, one hopes that the result of the provocation is uploaded to Youtube. I agree. The power of the lunch counter sit-ins was due to the video images of young Black students being covered in thrown food, punched, and eventually dragged off to jail.

    Resistance movements have long had to wrestle with the fact that resistance always brings reprisals by the oppressor against the innocents.

    I’m thinking that some spend less time wrestling than others.

  214. 214
    Cervantes says:

    @Cain:

    It doesn’t work against Genghis Khan

    Maybe not, but was it tried?

    A little further west, in ancient India, more than two thousand years before Gandhi, the ruthless Emperor Ashoka eventually became so disgusted and disturbed by what he and his conquering armies had done that he eschewed violence from then on, and instituted a great many other progressive reforms besides.

    Granted, what overcame Ashoka was not the pure satyagraha of his victims — they defended themselves with weapons, just not successfully — but it was the horror he felt at the murder and mayhem, the continuing pain and grief he had caused.

    So if ruthless Ashoka was converted by the suffering of nations wielding arms against him, who’s to say Genghis Khan himself would not have succumbed to satyagraha?

    (And yes, I know you weren’t being literal. This is just a small thought-experiment, not a counter-argument.)

  215. 215
    some guy says:

    more than 550 Gazans, 25 Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians — world leaders are demanding an immediate halt to the hostilities. But the operation has uncovered more tunnels

  216. 216
    Donald says:

    @Keith G: Right. There hasn’t been enough evidence that Israel is brutal to the Palestinians. That’s the only reason that 100 Senators all voted to support Israel in this conflict. They are so offended by violence that they felt the need to support the side doing most of the killing. We should continue to focus on the violence of the oppressed, because only when they reach a standard of moral perfection that we set for them will we then get off our fat asses and force our government to stop giving weapons to the Israelis blowing up hospitals.

    Again, the problem here is that some Palestinians have used nonviolence and it hasn’t worked. They aren’t perfect and never will be. Mandela wasn’t perfect either, not by a long shot, if we use Gandhian standards. Most Americans are not Gandhian on anything except other people’s rights.

  217. 217
    some guy says:

    That has Israel struggling with a more distilled version of the dilemma it has faced in repeated rounds against [ the Islamic Resistance Movement,] the Islamist Movement that dominates Gaza’s resistance groups. If it stops now, it faces the prospect of a newly embittered enemy retaining the capacity to attack. But if it stays the course, it is liable to kill many more civilians and face international condemnation from Cameroon, Canada, Kenneth Roth of Human Rights for some watch and other observers. AI is sure, at some time in the near future, to point out that using flechet munitions against a civilian population is , in and of itself, a war crime, carries no weight, but still, JOHN KERRY AND BAN KI-MOON, together at last in the town the Egyptian coup leader, general Engineer Doctor al-Sisi made famous? how often does THAT happen? Cairo Knights, such lovely Knights

  218. 218
    Keith G says:

    @Donald:

    As for Hamas rocket fire, if I were Palestinian I wouldn’t have supported it, but at this stage Hamas is demanding an end to the blockade as part of any ceasefire agreement. If they get it, violence worked. If they don’t get it, violence worked for the Israelis, which is what I’m betting will happen because our AIPAC dominated government is going over there to “help”.

    Here’s the thing (god I hope I can get this in an understandable form)…

    I do not think that the issues that will bring a period of “near-solution quiet” to the area are yet in play. All we are seeing now is a whole lot of pre-dance posturing. These activities are not only extremely destructive but are very less-than-necessary. This is just a prolonged pissing contest between groups of political leaders. For some of these leaders it almost seems that staying in power in more important than using that power to change things.

    Of course violence can work. We are humans. We perfected intra-species violence to near sacramental status. And the justifications can roll off the tongue or the page with so much ease.

    We will see.

    Maybe these 600 deaths will be the ones that turn the tide. Think so?

  219. 219
    some guy says:

    @Cain:

    there has got to be a better method than to goad Israel into doing atrocities.

    Keith G. could not have said it better himself

  220. 220
    some guy says:

    targeting 10 year olds on a beach for playing futbol, using the best and brightest naval shells fired from the sea (towards a shack occupied by cousins, and futbol, and sand ) the American taxpayers can provide. why has Hamas forced us to kill them?

  221. 221
    some guy says:

    the elected general of Egypt and John Kerry will try to work this all out in the mourning. , the House of al Thani has absolitely nothing to do with recent unpleasantness in the home of the 5th Fleet, and only offer the Resistance as a carrier. not a virus, simply a carrier

  222. 222
    some guy says:

    “With the Islamic Resistance Movement there, there is no other option but ‘mowing the grass.’ There is no option for a political solution,” said Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, using an Israeli euphemism for periodic military operations to temporarily roll back the arsenal held by the Resistance

  223. 223
    some guy says:

    “We’ll never go back to the period before the aggression. We’ll never go back to the slow death,” Mr. Haniya said in a televised address. “Gaza will be the graveyard for the invaders, as it always was in history.”

    Israel seized Gaza from Egypt in the 1967 war

  224. 224
    Chris says:

    @El Caganer:

    The rest of the world only bothers to notice when the violence goes big time.

    This.

    People remember the big events like 2006, 2008/09, or this. But in between these things, how often do we read an item somewhere in the news to the effect of “new settlements announced in West Bank/East Jerusalem?” It’s phrased nicely and inoffensively, as the equivalent of “so we decided to build some new suburbs because the city population keeps growing.” What it actually means: yet another group of Arabs tossed on their land either through violence or through the threat of it. A very real threat, manifested by running bulldozers over people, Tienanmen Square style.

    It’s why the permanent hysterics of “OMG! Terrorism! Stop terrorism and THEN we can talk!” are such horseshit. Terrorism, as in “violence against unarmed civilians for political reasons,” is a daily, ongoing reality for everyone who lives on land that Israel might someday decide it wants… and it pretty much has been throughout, regardless of the wars and truces declared on paper between Israel, Fatah and Hamas.

  225. 225
    Chris says:

    @El Caganer:

    I’m afraid we’re beyond any tactics that might change the political dynamic over there.

    This.

    Is it immoral to throw rockets at civilian population centers? Well, no shit, though I’m one of these people who considers the use of force pretty much wrong by definition (while conceding that it can be the lesser wrong at times). But in a strictly practical sense, there’s no evidence that a more peaceful approach would work any better at achieving their aims. As I said on an earlier thread – that kind of lose-lose situation does a lot to empower the “if we’re all going down, let’s go down fighting” crowd. In this case, Hamas.

    @Cervantes:

    Gandhi’s insight is that if x people are brave enough to take a beating all dressed in black or brave enough to die holding a “Peace Now” sign — rather than beat the oppressor or kill him —then eventually, the oppressor, underneath it all a human being, will see the light.

    But the insight seems to assume that it was, in fact, the peace movement and the reaction to it that achieved Gandhi’s goals.

    Yes, the sight of Indians taking a beating while holding peace signs probably created a lot of sympathy for Gandhi, but is there anything to suggest that that weighed on the British government’s decisions more than, say, the fact that they were so economically ruined after World War Two that maintaining the empire wasn’t worth the trouble anymore? Would Gandhi’s strategy have worked as well if it had been tried in 1857 instead?

    Similarly, with South Africa – how much of the apartheid government’s willingness to talk came from Mandela’s movement and how much of it came as a reaction to growing international pressure? If the regime had been able to count on the kind of support from the U.S. that Israel gets now, instead of an embargo, would it have had the same incentive to negotiate?

  226. 226
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    The last I checked, the British are still in Northern Ireland.

    The fight was/is between the protestant NI population and government and the Catholic population. The protestant are descendants of border scottish that were being pushed off their land. Their Calvinist creed made them them extremely antagonistic toward RCs. The protestants do not consider themselves Irish, they say they are members of the UK. And they have benefited from centuries of Jim Crow type laws. Which has fucked themselves up as much as the RCs, since it calcified inefficient economic practices and utilization of population resources. Think “my life is shit but at least I’m not Catholic.” Just like the South.

    Somewhat mythically previous efforts to colonize Ireland resulted in the English immigrants taking on the culture on the land and becoming just as recalcitrant toward the English authorities as the locals, with the scots the Crown found colonists that were xenophobic and bitter enough to avoid this.

    The Brits would leave in a heartbeat except for the likelyhood that the protestants would be bombing London instead of the IRA, the protestants think they’re owed for keeping the RCs down for four centuries.

  227. 227
    jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    At the risk of being called an anti-semite, I have decided that the Israel’s policies toward Palestinians is Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom
    played out in real time. Or, at least Col. Sutpen’s story arc, with the Palestinians being Charles Bon. The question is whether the US is Henry Sutpen or Wash Jones.

  228. 228
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @aimai: But what should Israel do about Hamas shooting rockets into Israel? Perhaps Israel is overreacting, but I really don’t understand what Hamas is doing except pissing off a very powerful country and putting Palestinians in danger’s way.

  229. 229
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris:

    But the insight seems to assume that it was, in fact, the peace movement and the reaction to it that achieved Gandhi’s goals.

    No, the insight as I stated it here was simply a conditional: if this, then that.

    As for what actually happened, it was more complicated. For example, you ask if the British gave up in India not because of Gandhi’s resistance movement but because they were tired after WWII. Yet if you looked at what they kept doing elsewhere, in Kenya or Malaya or Kuwait or Jordan, let alone the so-called Suez Crisis, then they did not seem too tired at all.

    Plus we say “the British” as if they were of one mind, but like everyone else, they were not.

    So it’s complicated.

  230. 230
    Cervantes says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    But what should Israel do about Hamas shooting rockets into Israel?

    Well, I’ve heard that non-violent resistance is a morally superior strategy, so perhaps they should try that.

    Where are the Israeli GANDHIs?

  231. 231
    Tone In DC says:

    @James E. Powell:

    It’s an incredible brand – White Christian Males – Fucking Shit Up since 1492!

    LULz.

  232. 232
    El Caganer says:

    @Patricia Kayden: They could try taking up Hamas’ offer of a 10-year cease-fire. That would be a good start.

  233. 233
    Someguy says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the Israeli problem. Iran is working on a solution to it. What Israel is doing now is just laying the groundwork, in advance, for Iran to justify what they are planning on the world stage.

    As for white males… they’re a pernicious and persistent problem we’re just going to have to deal with down the road.

  234. 234
    tybee says:

    @Cervantes:

    ok. i laughed.

  235. 235
    bob says:

    @Violet: White men are a scourge on society and we’re fortunate to live in a world that sees their number dwindling.

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