"Why Won't Israelis Let Themselves be Killed?"

Discuss whatever you want here ... movies, books, recipes, politics, beer, wine, TV ... everything except classical music.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Belle
Posts: 2693
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

"Why Won't Israelis Let Themselves be Killed?"

Post by Belle » Wed May 12, 2021 4:51 pm

Another superb commentary from Brendan O'Neill about the perils of living in Israel. Fortunately our current government is a big supporter of Israel, unlike the Labor Party.

Author Brendan O'Neill was a working-class boy who won a scholarship to a grammar school and used this to leverage more critical and sociologically imaginative thinking than that cohort altogether.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/05/1 ... be-killed/

Rach3
Posts: 3660
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: "Why Won't Israelis Let Themselves be Killed?"

Post by Rach3 » Wed May 12, 2021 6:14 pm

Nichols Kristof in NYT today commenting on Israel's East Jerusalem expansion, predictable Arab protest,followed by Israeli police raid on the Temple Mount while Bibi is under election pressure and fraud pressure. As "Dragnet" Sgt.Friday used to say, " Just the facts,Ma'am" :


"Saying Hamas must pay a “very heavy price” for belligerence, Israeli bombs destroyed a 13-story apartment building in Gaza that had a Hamas presence. And saying Israel “ignited fire” and is “responsible for the consequences,” Hamas launched more rockets at Israel.

We’re now seeing the worst fighting in seven years between Israelis and Palestinians, and again a basic pattern asserts itself: When missiles are flying, hard-liners on each side are ascendant. Civilians die, but extremists on one side empower those on the other.

The late Eyad el-Sarraj, a prominent psychiatrist in Gaza, described this dynamic when I visited him during a past cycle of violence: “Extremists need each other, support each other.” He lamented that Israel’s siege of Gaza had turned Palestinian fanatics into popular heroes.

The recent fighting was prompted in part by Israel’s latest land grab in East Jerusalem, part of a pattern of unequal treatment of Palestinians. Two prominent human rights organizations this year issued reports likening Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to apartheid. One group, B’Tselem, described a “regime of Jewish supremacy” and concluded, “This is apartheid.” Human Rights Watch published a 224-page report declaring that Israeli conduct in some areas amounts to “crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

Personally, I’m wary of the term apartheid because there are significant differences from ancien régime South Africa. But putting aside nomenclature, there is no doubt that the ongoing Israeli misrule of Palestinians is both unjust and creates a tinderbox.

It’s also true that Hamas not only attacks Israeli civilians but also oppresses its own people. But as American taxpayers, we don’t have much influence over Hamas, while we do have influence over Israel and we provide several billion dollars a year in military assistance to a rich country and thus subsidize bombings of Palestinians.

Is that really a better use of our taxes than, say, paying for Covid-19 vaccinations abroad or national pre-K at home? Shouldn’t our vast sums of aid to Israel be conditioned on reducing conflict rather than aggravating it, on building conditions for peace rather than creating obstacles to it?

The obvious way out of the Middle East morass is a two-state solution, but that is becoming difficult to cling to even as a dream. A recent survey showed that Israeli Jews and Palestinians actually agree on something: Only 13 percent, with little variation among groups, think Israel wants a two-state solution.

Hard-liners in Israel sometimes accuse Americans of being naïve about what works in a tough neighborhood. But those hard-liners have repeatedly showed their own naïveté in pursuing policies that backfired. Consider that it was Israel itself that helped nurture Hamas back in the late 1980s and the 1990s. Israel was then concerned with Yasir Arafat’s Fatah movement, so it cracked down on Fatah and allowed Hamas to rise as a counterforce."

Since then the Middle East has been caught in a “Boomerang Syndrome,” in which extremists on each side mount violent assaults, which ultimately lead to attacks against their own side as well. Hamas’s past shelling undermined political moderates in Israel. And Israel’s siege of Gaza destroyed a Palestinian business community that could have been a moderate counterweight to Hamas, while land grabs in the West Bank and East Jerusalem made the Palestinian leadership seem irrelevant.

It’s true that force sometimes works. In my conversations in Gaza over the years, I’ve found that many Palestinians have complicated views. Some resent Hamas as oppressive and incompetent, and many dislike missile launches at Israel because they know they will face retaliation. Then again, they have endured economic distress, fear and funerals because of Israel, so some acknowledge a bitter satisfaction to seeing missile launches and anticipating that Israeli mothers will grieve as they do.

Israel’s future security depends in part on good will in America and on some modus vivendi with Palestinians, yet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has frittered both away. History suggests that Israel cannot consistently deter nonstate terrorists, but it can very effectively deter nation-states — so it should welcome a Palestinian state. Yet as extremism on each side foments extremism on the other, that possibility fades.

The Biden administration has been timid and restrained, slowing the U.N. Security Council’s engagement on the issue, and it has yet to name an ambassador to Israel. But the stakes are too high for evasions, and President Biden should stand with others on the Security Council to demand a cease-fire before this escalates further.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken helpfully said “it’s vital now to de-escalate.” The administration should also express strong concern about the planned evictions of Palestinians that provoked the crisis. Dithering and vacillation help no one.

A basic truth of the Middle East is that anyone who predicts with any confidence what’s going to happen is too dogmatic to be worth listening to. But for now it appears that the winners in the current fighting are Netanyahu, who may be able to use the upheaval to get another chance to continue as prime minister, and Hamas, which is showing itself relevant in a way that the Palestinian Authority is not.

Meanwhile, millions of Palestinians and Israelis lose, and the Boomerang Syndrome spirals on."

barney
Posts: 5705
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: "Why Won't Israelis Let Themselves be Killed?"

Post by barney » Wed May 12, 2021 6:43 pm

Not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. I already criticised on these pages the fact that Jewish settlers can sue to regain pre-1948 property but there is no avenue for Palestinians. There is often bloody-mindedness, cruelty and violence on the Israeli side, just as there is with Hamas and Hezbollah and the PA.

But the double standards that Brendan O'Neill highlights are very often anti-Semitic. I've often asked opponents of Israel if it is hypocritical to ignore far more egregious human rights violations in other countries, from China to North Korea to Saudi Arabia to Pakistan to Afghanistan etc. They always squirm but never admit it.

Israel is the only democracy in the region, holding several elections a year to prove it! Of the Palestinians, they say "one man, one vote, one time". As O'Neill observes, the PA's term ended 12 years ago, with no sign of an election to come. The UNHRC exists to scorch Israel. When I look at its resolutions and the countries promulgating them, it makes me sick. No country is under more permanent existential threat than Israel, except perhaps Taiwan.

barney
Posts: 5705
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: "Why Won't Israelis Let Themselves be Killed?"

Post by barney » Wed May 12, 2021 6:47 pm

Thanks Steve. Kristof's account is even-handed and accurate.
It's typical of me that when talking with ardent pro-Israelis I find myself talking up the Palestinian case, and when talking with ardent anti-Israelis I talk up Israel's case. Human nature, or perhaps I'm just a contrarian.

Rach3
Posts: 3660
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: "Why Won't Israelis Let Themselves be Killed?"

Post by Rach3 » Wed May 12, 2021 7:30 pm

barney wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 6:47 pm
Thanks Steve. Kristof's account is even-handed and accurate.
It's typical of me that when talking with ardent pro-Israelis I find myself talking up the Palestinian case, and when talking with ardent anti-Israelis I talk up Israel's case.
Same here.

maestrob
Posts: 11223
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: "Why Won't Israelis Let Themselves be Killed?"

Post by maestrob » Thu May 13, 2021 9:06 am

Because of the terrible history in the world of Jewish suppression, criticizing Israel has been branded "anti-Semitic."

Abbas called for elections recently, then cancelled them when he realized that Hamas would win and the PLO would become irrelevant.

Hamas took power democratically with an election sanctioned by the second Bush administration. So much for democracy in the Middle East.

Things are toxic in Israel & Palestine because the people there make it so. All we can do is watch in horror. Until the people there change, this will continue.

Barney, since you've studied this and I haven't, my ignorance compels me to ask, "Is there much forgiveness in the Old Testament?"

I got this below from Google, but I wonder if you could expand on the issue as it relates to how Jews and Arabs view each other right now?
The Old Testament has very little to offer on interpersonal forgiveness. The most salient example is Joseph’s forgiveness of his brothers who had sold him into slavery (Genesis 45:1-15), although this is arguably more a story about reconciliation than it is about genuine repentance and forgiveness. Elsewhere in the Old Testament, the focus is on petitionary prayers to God for the forgiveness of wayward individuals or groups, especially through the sacrificial system established with the covenant. Examples include animal atonement offerings (Leviticus 5:14-16, 6:67; Numbers 28), Job’s prayer for pardon (Job 7:21) and Moses’ plea for the restoration of Israel (Exodus 32:32). In the prophetic literature, God’s forgiving responses are recorded, as in the promise to Jeremiah to restore Israel (Jeremiah 33:8), and in Isaiah to “blot out” and “not remember” Israel’s sins (Isaiah 43:25). God’s forgiveness stands out as a theme throughout the Old Testament.
Please forgive my ignorance.

lennygoran
Posts: 16969
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: "Why Won't Israelis Let Themselves be Killed?"

Post by lennygoran » Thu May 13, 2021 9:44 am

barney wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 6:47 pm
It's typical of me that when talking with ardent pro-Israelis I find myself talking up the Palestinian case, and when talking with ardent anti-Israelis I talk up Israel's case. Human nature, or perhaps I'm just a contrarian.
Barney this made me think of the demonstrations over
"the Death of Klinghoffer is an American opera, with music by John Adams to an English-language libretto by Alice Goodman. First produced in Brussels and New York in 1991, the opera is based on the hijacking of the passenger liner Achille Lauro by the Palestine Liberation Front in 1985, and the hijackers' murder of a 69-year-old Jewish-American passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, who was wheelchair-bound.

The concept of the opera originated with theatre director Peter Sellars,[1] who was a major collaborator, as was choreographer Mark Morris. It was commissioned by five American and European opera companies, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The opera has generated controversy, including allegations by Klinghoffer's two daughters and others that the opera is antisemitic and glorifies terrorism. The work's creators and others have disputed these criticisms.[2] "

I'm glad I saw it but the Met had to agree not to show it HD style-a second viewing of it would have been helpful for me. Regards, Len

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 63 guests