Hizbullah wants civil war in Lebanon


by Sunny
4th December, 2006 at 4:34 am    

Abu Kais, writing on his blog From Beirut to the Beltway, explains how Hizbullah is leading Lebanon into civil war just because the government does not want to give in to its demands.

But time is running out for Hizbullah and Aoun. The resentment towards them and their supporters is reaching dangerous levels. There have been many spontaneous protests in several Lebanese cities, and it is clear that there are people who will not sit and watch the militia and its Christian cover besieging their government and paralyzing the country.

Unless they plan on a military coup, I don’t see how they will succeed in toppling the government, which is enjoying the support of parliament, not to mention most of the world. If they don’t end their occupation of downtown Beirut soon, civil war will come knocking.

It should come as no surprise that Iran and Syria would rather have Lebanon as their own controllable satellite-state than its own entity. Hizbullah is merely doing their job for them. How sad.


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  1. Leon — on 4th December, 2006 at 10:22 am  

    Indeed although the current government is seen as pro western so this is more a tug a war…

  2. Bert Preast — on 4th December, 2006 at 11:23 am  

    First thing I said when Hisbollah attacked Israel in the summer was that this is their response to the “Cedar revolution”. Hisbollah have run the place since the 80s and a war with Israel was the perfect way for them to regain lost influence.

    Worked well, didn’t it?

  3. Anas — on 4th December, 2006 at 11:31 am  

    Can I mention Israel now?

  4. Bert Preast — on 4th December, 2006 at 11:35 am  

    You can if you ask where their captured soldiers are?

  5. Sunny — on 4th December, 2006 at 11:49 am  

    Well you do that on every thread Anas, we’ve come to expect it from you.

  6. Jai — on 4th December, 2006 at 12:17 pm  

    =>”Can I mention Israel now?”

    It’s too damn early for Tequila, goddammit…..

  7. Chairwoman — on 4th December, 2006 at 12:28 pm  

    Pass the lime, salt and Triple Sec please

  8. Chairwoman — on 4th December, 2006 at 12:29 pm  

    Bert – Anas probably knows where the captured soldiers are.

  9. Kismet Hardy — on 4th December, 2006 at 12:32 pm  

    If they really want to be civil, they should leave out the civilians and have a picnic in the woods. Whoever doesn’t get blown up by the pretty little cluster bombs wins

  10. Anas — on 4th December, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

    Bert – Anas probably knows where the captured soldiers are.

    Not even in jest, CW. You don’t know which intelligence agency that little quote might find its way to and it could be forest gate all over again.

  11. Chairwoman — on 4th December, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

    I’m sorry Anas. Indescretion and stupidity seem to be my middle names the last couple of days.

    Of course it was in jest. It was sardonic and tongue in cheek.

  12. Anas — on 4th December, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

    Indescretion and stupidity seem to be my middle names the last couple of days.

    Hey, join the club :)

  13. Chairwoman — on 4th December, 2006 at 1:03 pm  

    Yeah, but I’m old enough to know better :-)

  14. Leon — on 4th December, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

    Whoever doesn’t get blown up by the pretty little cluster bombs wins

    What you mean the thousands that Israel dropped while “withdrawing” this summer.

  15. Refresh — on 4th December, 2006 at 3:54 pm  

    If Israel can’t be mentioned in the context of this thread – then I’d say you’ve totally lost the plot. Or hoping everyone else has.

  16. Chairwoman — on 4th December, 2006 at 4:50 pm  

    Yes this is the time to mention Israel.

    This is the time to mention how Hizbollah cunningly goaded Israel into conflict, giving themselves the perfect opportunity for a coup, and turning a two religion state into a single one.

    Happy now?

  17. El Cid — on 4th December, 2006 at 5:03 pm  

    Fuck it, I’m diving in.
    All this goes to show — unless someone can suggest to me why it might be in Israel’s interests to have an unstable Lebanon a la 1980s — how fucking stupid, reprehensible, and cuntish Olmert’s invasion was. From a position of strength, Israel — high on the drug that makes Americans doolally (superior military technology) — has somehow contrived to strengthen the arms of its enemies.
    No excuses. What a bunch of fuckwits.

  18. Chairwoman — on 4th December, 2006 at 5:11 pm  

    I agree.

    Total incompetence, and if you knew me, you’d know that inefficient and incompetent are deep insults.

    If you read any of the Israeli blogs, you’ll know in exactly how much esteem he is held.

  19. Leon — on 4th December, 2006 at 5:19 pm  

    I have and I’ve found it interesting. From levels of support (96% Israelis backing the invasion and something like 85% backing the tactics used) the Israel government recieved during the ‘War’ to a fallout in the polls after.

    Talk about ‘what have you done for me lately?’ attitude!

  20. Ravi Naik — on 4th December, 2006 at 5:58 pm  

    “This is the time to mention how Hizbollah cunningly goaded Israel into conflict”

    Cunningly? I beg to differ. Israel managed to get into this conflict by itself by sheer stupidity. Israel also betrayed the scores of moderate Lebanese who hate the Syrian government and Hizbollah. The war only managed to strengthen Hizbollah, nothing else was achieved. This is a far cry from previous Israeli operations, which were carried efficiently with minimum human loss.

  21. El Cid — on 4th December, 2006 at 6:24 pm  

    I have heard it said before and the doomsayers have usually been wrong, but the following is a very well argued synopsis of why hizbollah and friends are growing in confidence:
    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/james_k_galbraith/2006/12/the_dollar_melts_as_iraq_burns.html

  22. Chairwoman — on 4th December, 2006 at 6:28 pm  

    Because of my old friends incompetence and inefficiency. The war achieved absolutely nothing for the Israelis. We Jews are not a people who admire stupidity.

    I am of the opinion that no country should be led by someone who has not seen military action. I am tired of seeing young men everywhere being sent to kill and maim, die and be wounded, by men being waited on by servants, whose idea of bleeding is cutting their faces whilst shaving.

    For a country like Israel that is always on alert to be governed by an accountant or whatever desk-bound career Olmert followed, is insanity. Bad enough to vote for him, but unforgivable to ask people to do so.

  23. Chairwoman — on 4th December, 2006 at 6:31 pm  

    #21 When I was in NYC three years ago the exchange rate was similar to now. I wouldn’t set great store by a theory based on current interest rates. Although you never know.

  24. raz — on 4th December, 2006 at 6:49 pm  

    I don’t normally get involved in Middle East debates, but I find it interesting to assess Israel’s military performance in various wars in the context of the moral ‘high ground’. In the 1967 and 1973 wars (Israel’s great victories) Israel was clearly under attack, its existence threatened by an enemy committed to destroying the Jewish state. I would say that Israel was in the ‘right’ during these wars, and it won convincingly and famously. By contrast, Israel’s moral stance in both Palestinan and Lebanese affairs is on much shakier ground, and it is striking that in contrast to the great successes of 67/73, Israel has failed to quash Palestinan militancy even after 30+years, was forced out of Lebanon after a fruitless 20 year occupation, and then got a spanking by Hezbollah earlier this year. What is also interesting is that in 67/73, Israel was facing a far bigger enemy in the shape of the combined Arab armies, and was at a huge military disadvantage – yet they still triumphed in style. Today, Israel is a regional military superpower, fortified by billions of dollars worth of state of the art US weaponary, and in both the Palestinan and Lebanese conflicts, Israel is now fighting a smaller, much less powerful enemy. And yet, after decades of fighting, no victory is in sight – indeed the recent Lebanon war was a huge blow to the reputation of the Israeli military. I guess what is really apparent here is similar to what we have seen in the US experience in Iraq – it doesn’t matter how powerful you are, there are some problems military force just can’t solve.

  25. Leon — on 4th December, 2006 at 7:31 pm  

    We Jews are not a people who admire stupidity.

    Statements like that always make me wonder which ‘people’ admire stupidity?

  26. Chairwoman — on 4th December, 2006 at 8:04 pm  

    Considering the lame duck governments we have landed ourselves with here in the past 20 years…

    Plus of course, the millions who voted for George W…

  27. Leon — on 4th December, 2006 at 8:09 pm  

    Point taken but you can hardly call them people in the sense you meant before (making reference to Jews as a people).

  28. ZinZin — on 4th December, 2006 at 8:11 pm  

    We Jews are not a people who admire stupidity.

    Statements like that always make me wonder which ‘people’ admire stupidity?

    I admire George Costanza. He won a contest.

  29. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 9:31 am  

    Chairwoman,
    Are you an Israeli voter? No? Then such comments are frankly unhelpful and stoopid (IMHO and with all due respect). They also give the game away because it suggests that you only support Israel because you are Jewish (that defensive tribalism that I have alluded to in the past).
    You are effectively saying ‘I agree with you, even though I am a Jew’. It’s like a mini-ummah. But in the cold light of day it would be better if your Jewishness was irrelevent. Otherwise, how could any non-Jewish criticisms of Israel be anything other than anti-semite — an intellectual straightjacket me and millions others refuse to accept and resent because it is contrived to stifle debate and inevitably leads to slanging matches?

  30. Chairwoman — on 5th December, 2006 at 10:22 am  

    El Cid

    I support Israel because they are beleaguered. Whether you want to bring out the old yada yada about the biggest army in the region etc., be my guest. But I love maps, and when I look at a map, I see an extremely small country surrounded by many large ones that are opposed to it. It’s a fact, denying it won’t make it true. If some kind of accord cannot be reached, then one day, those other nations will overrun Israel, and that will be that.

    Criticism of a government, or an act that government performs does not mean that one doesn’t support the country. My husband was a great supporter of Liverpool F.C. This did not stop him criticising certain managers, or their actions. It also didn’t stop him supporting the club. I know it’s a poor analogy, but it makes a point.

    Olmert was wrong for exactly the same reason as Tony Blair. He fought a war that had no benefit to his country or people, that failed to promote external support for his country’s cause, and strengthened the hand of his enemy at the expense of his friends. And he did it all for the same reason as Blair did. George Bush ‘asked’ him to. And I’m not anti-American either. I wish I’d moved there years ago. But I would never have voted for Bush.

  31. Chairwoman — on 5th December, 2006 at 10:30 am  

    http://www.mapsofwar.com/images/EMPIRE17.swf

    Just after I posted the above, I found this interesting little map of war. Take a look just out of intellectual interest.

  32. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 10:37 am  

    hey that’s cool (of course I knew that already, but it took me a lot longer to learn it. I now realise I could have put my feet up all along and just waited for such nifty little multimedia map to come along and teach me in 90 seconds)

  33. Sahil — on 5th December, 2006 at 11:01 am  

    Hi, I read an article in the guardian today:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1964025,00.html

    Its polemical (surprise), but it raises and interesting question as to whether Jews, that are not citizens of Israel should be allowed to join the IDF. The author compares it to Muslims who head out to Tel Aviv to suicide bomb cafes, but, the central point is quite valid. Plus it also raises a question of which loyalty matters more: Nationalism VS Ethnic or Religious identity. IMO, if you are a dual citizen then you cannot join any professional army of either state, let alone if you’re not even a citizen of that state. Any thoughts??

  34. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 11:28 am  

    Until Palestine has Nation State status, a Southasian subcontinental Muslim who decides to fight for the Palestinian cause would be basing that decision on political and/or religious identity. I don’t see a conflict there unless you were fighting British forces aligned to Israeli forces. Ismael Patel suggests that that would be regarded by British authorities as illegal. Is that true – I’m no lawyer, so I can’t say.

    Another hypothetical: If a Southasian subcontinental British Muslim decided to return to Bangladesh/Pakistan to fight Muslim terrorist forces aligned to the Jamaati Islami (preferbaly gun down every fucking last one of them), would that be regarded as haram/anti-Islam by religious “scholars”?

  35. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 11:34 am  

    Also, I’m waiting for the first person to equate fighting for the Palestinian cause to Suicide Bombing(and that old chestnut antisemitism) so that I can call them a tired old cocksucker.

  36. soru — on 5th December, 2006 at 11:41 am  

    Sahil: that article is the rather amusing logical conseqence of multiculturalism. If one culture says going to war without wearing uniform is ok, and another says occupation of land is ok, then the only logically possible position for a consistent multiculturalist, one who refuses to make moral judgements between cultures, is to say that both sides are right.

    So they support both sides of the consequent war.

  37. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 11:43 am  

    OK, perhaps I should go to CiF and do to the few commenters there who have already suggested it.

  38. Sahil — on 5th December, 2006 at 11:46 am  

    HE HE!!

  39. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 11:49 am  

    Also, I’m waiting for the first person to equate fighting for the Palestinian cause to Suicide Bombing(and that old chestnut antisemitism) so that I can call them a tired old cocksucker

    But Sid, that’s a little unfair. It’s suicide bombers themselves who equate fighting for the Palestinians with suicide bombing, like that Laurel and Hardy duo from Zionist Occupied London and Derby who blew themselves up in Israel, and the four turds who blew themselves up in London. They said they were fighting for Palestine. Methinks you should aim some of your ire to them.

  40. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 11:55 am  

    soru – that is such a simplistic analogy that you could probably work it into a Bernard Manning routine.

  41. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 12:00 pm  

    Jagdeep

    Not everyone who supports the Palestinian cause, Muslim or otherwise, supports suicide bombing. This is an important point to grasp though I understand that it presents a ‘leap of faith’ for you.

  42. soru — on 5th December, 2006 at 12:07 pm  

    Sid: do you know the reason the West Bank exists, that international maps of Israel have a ‘dent’ in them?

    Because of this man: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glubb_Pasha
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordanian_Legion

    The Legion was the most successful of the Arab armies during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The Legion was initially removed to Transjordanian territory, under instruction from the United Nations, prior to the end of the British Mandate. With the commencement of hostilities the Legion re-entered Palestine.

    There was considerable embarrassment from the United Kingdom government that British officers were employed in the Legion during the conflict and regular British officers, including a brigade commander, were instructed to return to Transjordan. This led to the bizarre spectacle of British officers leaving their units to return to Transjordan before sneaking back across the border to rejoin the Arab Legion. Without exception all of the affected officers returned to their units. One British MP called for Glubb Pasha to be imprisoned for serving in a foreign army without the King’s permission.

    That’s a much better comparison than suicide bombers, and shows that there is actually symmetry – I am sure at least one MP would agree with the idea of outlawing service in the IDF.

  43. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 12:10 pm  

    Sid, you misunderstand me, although I appreciate the red mist that descends on this subject makes it difficult to appreciate the point I was making.

    So I’ll spell it out to make myself clear. Your anger towards the ‘tired old cocksuckers’ who equate fighting for the Palestinian cause with suicide bombing should be directed in the primary instance to those who ACTUALLY DO carry out and support suicide bombing in the Palestinian cause, ie: Laurel and Hardy from Derby and Hounslow, and the four turds of London, who all said their actions were for the Palestinian cause, plus others who condone or exculpate them for their acts. Surely, those proponents deserve a light spank of the wrist? No? In accompaniment to the dissing of those who mention them? Surely they both deserve a stern finger wagging?

    There is no ‘leap of faith’ I have to make regarding understanding that not all supporters of Palestinian rights endorse suicide bombing — I love those that dont! I wish them all the best of luck.

  44. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 12:12 pm  

    On this issue of British citizens fighting abroad, I read somewhere that some ex-army personnel are employed as mercenaries in foreign wars.

  45. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 12:19 pm  

    Jagdeep, I can’t account for the stupdity of others nor can I claim to know their motives. But there’s nothing to stop you finger wagging at them either. But to reduce all support of Palestinians by Brits to suicide bombing is unfair of you.

    Unless of course you balance it by suggesting that all Britsh Jews who join the IDF do so to torture Palestinians in IDF detention centres and humiliate them at checkpoints etc etc etc.

  46. soru — on 5th December, 2006 at 12:20 pm  

    Not everyone who supports the Palestinian cause, Muslim or otherwise, supports suicide bombing.

    But those who don’t aren’t doing anything illegal under UK law. When Pasha captured jerusalem with a column of armoured cars, only one MP thought he was breaking the law, 600+ presumably didn’t.

    By calling for things currently illegal to be made legal, I think the CiF guy is just being ignorant about what the law actually is. But it would be very easy to read him, instead, as calling for the legalisation of at least some things currently considered terrorism or war crimes.

  47. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 12:26 pm  

    Excuse me Sid, where did I reduce all supporters for Palestine rights to supporters of suicide bombing? I think you’re having an argument with someone else and treating me as a proxy.

    My point is very simple. Is it worthwhile me repeating it? If ‘tired old cocksuckers’ add suicide bombing to the equation it’s because those who carry out suicide bombing, and support it, do these acts in the first place — including people with London, Yorkshire and Midlands accents. I can’t believe that the rage directed at those who mention this can be greater than that felt towards those who actually do that in the first place, and those who ignore or condone those acts.

  48. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 12:30 pm  

    soru – that’s the point. If Palestine had nationhood status, then it wouldn’t be possible to equate support of Palestininans to joining a “terrorist” outfit.

    Another hypothetical: A guy has dual US/Bangldeshi nationality. If the USA were to start funding Islamist groups (via Saudi Arabia) in Bangladesh (as has happened), would it be illegal if he decided to attack US interests in Bangladesh?

  49. bananabrain — on 5th December, 2006 at 12:52 pm  

    to return to the original subject, which is of course “what the hell are hizb’ullah up to?” i don’t think there’s anything “sad” about it. iran play the long game. what is in it for them is the victory of the ‘ummah, by which they mean the shi’a. this means sciri, the sadrites and what-have-you in iraq, it means hizb’ullah, it means establishing hegemony over the “persian gulf”, it means iranian logistical support to the sudanese government (in exchange for access to their uranium deposits), the shari’a courts in somalia and so on. in the geopolitical field it means a shi’a nuclear bomb, which is of course disguised as an “islamic” bomb in order to position it against the “jewish” and “christian” bombs. i think it was king abdullah of jordan who pointed the “shi’a crescent” strategy out, although of course many people had already figured it out. this is their long-term aim. hizb’ullah are not idiots. they started a fight with the israelis with the aim of garnering support, increasing the martyr count and the sympathy vote and destabilising lebanon enough to take over the government. this is being achieved by the targeted assassination of anti-syrian warlords/politicians (the distinction in lebanon is not great) such as hariri and gemayel, the resignation of pro-syrian cabinet ministers and the street protest model that worked so well in iran and itself and the short-lived “cedar revolution”. the syrians are happy enough to go along with it in the meantime because if the iranians are facing off against the americans and israelis then it keeps the pressure off them. we already know they are perfectly happy and able to cooperate in terms of insurgent and terrorist groups.

    it actually looks increasingly likely to me like the best option is actually to formalise the battle lines through partition, thus giving a distinct set of entities. thus, if iraq is partitioned along ethnic divisions, the shi’a get annexed to iran in the south, the sunni triangle comes under the protection of the saudis (thus, incidentally, giving them a border with the syrians) and the kurds get independence (including their own oil) which they have deserved all along – plus they are pro-israeli and pro-US which will annoy everyone else in the area. the syrians then get isolated from the iranians and everyone else, the gulf states cosy up to the west out of fear of iran, the saudis have to take some of their own responsibility for a change and the conduit between the iranians and lebanon is interrupted, thus hamstringing hizb’ullah at a stroke.

    the only black spot in this scenario is that it’s going to really upset the turks, who don’t want kurdish independence, but you might be able to buy them off with EU membership, an isolated syria and a deactivated lebanon. if you can get the kurds to make peace with the turks in exchange for oil wealth and western support, the whole dynamic changes.

    unfortunately, the other black spot in this scenario is probably more sectarian strife in iraq whilst they fix the borders, but i find it hard to believe that more people are going to die than are already doing so under the present botched arrangements.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  50. soru — on 5th December, 2006 at 12:53 pm  

    If Palestine had nationhood status, then it wouldn’t be possible to equate support of Palestininans to joining a “terrorist” outfit.

    I suspect you have had your brain a bit addled by the multiculturalist/postmodernist idea that anything that anyone states sincerely should be accepted as true.

    If the US government supports a terrorist act, then it is still a terrorist act, no matter how many times, and how sincerely, they call it freedom fighting. People lie, even and especially to themselves, and you are allowed to call them on it. You don’t have to take their word for it.

    If they call shit sweet, you don’t have to eat it.

  51. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:00 pm  

    Jagdeep, yes of course, you’re right. British born suicide bombers are sick to the bone. So are serial killers. There are a confluence of factors that make up them that way. But I have as much responsibility for their actions as a Mancunian has for Myra Hindley.

  52. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

    bananbrain

    So you think that it is because Iran and the Shias want to boss the Sunni part of Islam?

    Interesting post, but just one question I want to ask. If all of this is true, why the hell did Israel fall for the provocation and do exactly what they wanted? If your contextualisation is true, they must have been laughing and rubbing their hands with glee at Israel’s actions. So why did Israel fall hook line and sinker?

  53. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:02 pm  

    bananabrain.. or should I say Prince Metternich.. got it figured it out have we? you are so in denial about Israel’s blood-stained dim-witted two-bob short-sighted mean-spirited murderous role in all this.. i think it is terribly sad for the lebanese.. and if you don’t think it is, then why should i give a shit about your people?

  54. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:03 pm  

    I suspect you have had your brain a bit addled by the multiculturalist/postmodernist idea that anything that anyone states sincerely should be accepted as true.

    soru – sorry I don’t have a liberal arts degree. So you’ll have to explain what that means. And do try to keep the patronising tone to a minimum, if you will.

  55. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:06 pm  

    Sid, it’s a great tragedy that someone as passionate as you, and commited to non violence, feels so bound up with the cause which also attracts individuals who do carry out suicide bombing in the name of something you feel passionate about. I feel for you, I really do. But they do exist, and they are part of the context, and you can’t deny that.

  56. Leon — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:16 pm  

    it’s a great tragedy that someone as passionate as you, and commited to non violence, feels so bound up with the cause which also attracts individuals who do carry out suicide bombing in the name of something you feel passionate about.

    Why is it a tragedy? How does Sid have any responsiblity for those people?

  57. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:18 pm  

    Why is it a tragedy? How does Sid have any responsiblity for those people?

    It’s a tragedy that the issue he feels passionate about is stigmatised by suicide bombers Leon.

  58. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:22 pm  

    that could be said of any number of situations. it still doesn’t detract from any sid’s position, even if it makes it easier for those who might oppose him.. but if we go down this route, we’ll be going around in circles

  59. Chairwoman — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:23 pm  

    War’s a bad scene man.

    Yes I know I said it earlier, but it’s the truth. However, we all know what it means.

    Surely it is better that supporters of all sides put on uniforms and go and fight each other openly, than that one side sends its troops disguised as civillians on the transport system of the capital city of a country not directly connected with the dispute, to detonate themselves amongst their fellow citizens.

    Or that the same side, again disguised as civillians, conducts its war from residential areas, and when cornered, openly calls, on national radio, for women, not serving in the armed forces, to come and form a human shield.

    Far better for everybody to put their money where their moths are. And if Sid, Anas, Refresh, Nyrone, Sahil and anyone else want to ship out to the middle east, put on a uniform and fight Israelis, then that is their perogative. If they want to slope about pretending they are not what they are and exploding themselves and all around them (which I know they don’t) then straight to hell for them.

    Jagdeep and El Cid – Why did Israel allow itself to be provoked? Same two reasons as I gave earlier. They elected a man unsuitable to being what The Godfather called a wartime consiglieri, and because that man facilitated George Bush.

  60. Chairwoman — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:25 pm  

    That should have said mouths. I have not idea where they keep their moths.

  61. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:27 pm  

    Exactly CW!

  62. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:29 pm  

    El Cid I didnt detract from any of Sids position. I just said that you can’t dissasociate that phenomenon from the issue — and the context of this is not primarily the fault of those who point this out, but by those who carry out the acts and condone them. Having made this point three times now, yes, it does seem like going round and round in circles!

  63. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:30 pm  

    Looks like you have reduced support of the Palestinian cause to the enigma of suicide bombers then Jagdeep. That’s unfortunate.

    I think its fair to say that we also believe in democracy, in spite of Bush/Blair bombing 600,000+ in Iraq, in 3 short years in it’s name.

  64. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:41 pm  

    Sid, I have re-stated my point a number of times, and if you can’t understand it, or misrepresent it willfully, there’s nothing much more that I can do.

    Once more then:

    De-contextualising or denying the reality of suicide bombing from the cause is just as egregious as conflating them in their entirety.

  65. soru — on 5th December, 2006 at 1:51 pm  

    So you’ll have to explain what that means.

    It’s pretty straightforward. There are two basic ways of looking at the world, of arguing for a position:

    1. I am right, and you are wrong.

    2. You have no right to say I am wrong.

    The first is called, for historical reasons, modernist, the second post-modernist. CiF guy is making an argument of the second type – he is not explicitly arguing that making war on Israel is the right thing to do. Instead, as the headline says ‘If Britons can join the Israeli army, those who fight for Palestine can’t be treated as terrorists’.

    If you permit one, you must permit the other, as otherwise you would be making a culturally-specific judgement, which you have to right to do, any more than you have a valid logical reason to outlaw eating swans but permit eating geese.

    I prefer a modernist view, one where you believe the things you are saying to be true, and don’t say them if you don’t believe them.

  66. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:00 pm  

    soru, there is a third, which is used by people who deny the Palestinian cause:

    3. Only I have the right to say what is right or wrong.

    Also culturally specific, but rather more culturally relativist. It aims to frame the argument in the narrow strictures of an abuse on your side, while denying the right to accept analogous abuses on my side.

    Call it neo-modernist.

  67. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:07 pm  

    Sid,

    Your number (3) ‘Only I have the right to say what is right or wrong’ is the same as soru’s (1) ‘I am right, and you are wrong’, isnt it?

  68. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

    Sid, Jagdeep, Soru
    Please put a sock in it. I’m losing the will to live

  69. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:09 pm  

    Not necessarily, you’re right to say something does not mean you are right or wrong. Just that you have more “rights”.

  70. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:16 pm  

    Rights? What do rights have to do with it?

    Your point (3) is egregious because it proclaims that X is depriving Y of his ‘rights’ simply by making an argument, as though X is a dictator censoring the other. That’s just silly.

  71. soru — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

    I’d agree that there is a worst-case view where you slip between the two modes of argument depending on what’s convenient for your ‘side’.

    I’d disagree that that’s a tactic that’s solely used by either side. In fact, you could say that claiming it is is pretty much an example of that kind of thing in itself.

    So I hope you didn’t just do that, then I don’t have to disagree with you:-)

  72. Kismet Hardy — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

    I think my services are required to quell the flames of homosexual rage burning through the very soul of this threat

    I’m reading Proost and going to see velasquez in a minute. I’m so full of pretentious I am like a weeping willow finding beauty in the mud that creeps beneath my roots

    I’m torn. Sid I like because he’s my dad. But I suspect Jagdeep would buy me more beer.

    Blood or booze? Hm. Oh look, I’ve landed back in the gutter. Tits

  73. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

    Yes its silly Jagdeep. Its the extension of the second of suru’s maxims. But that does not mean it does not get applied.

  74. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:23 pm  

    Kismet, Sid is your dad??
    I could have sworn you were the long lost Colonel’s

  75. Sahil — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

    “Far better for everybody to put their money where their moths are. And if Sid, Anas, Refresh, Nyrone, Sahil and anyone else want to ship out to the middle east, put on a uniform and fight Israelis, then that is their perogative. If they want to slope about pretending they are not what they are and exploding themselves and all around them (which I know they don’t) then straight to hell for them.”

    Maybe I wasn’t clear. I believe that ANY British citizen that partakes in warfare (terrorism/suicide bombing goes without saying), e.g. joining Islamic Jihad, or the IDF, that is not directly accountable to the Bristish Military, should be prosecuted in the UK for treason if they ever return. This goes for Maggi’s son, who had eyes for Oil when he went off on his jolly little adventure. BTW I was under the impression that Palestine is not allowed to have a standing army? So anyone joining Hamas et al, should automatically be considered a non-enemy combanant/terrorist.

    But this is all by-the-by as NO British national should be allowed by the British state to participate in armed conflicts without the mandate of the British Army. If such was the case, the inconsistecy above would not exist. This is the entire issue of whether ethnicity or religion, should override nationality in such contexts and what that means for domestic and international law.

    Thanks for the posts about the extent to which mercenaries are just rampant. Their country of nationality should be sticking these guys in jail. I mean I really do not understand the concept of a private army in today’s world. States should have the only monpoly of violence in a given border, obvioulsy if a border is disputed, only participants who are disputing the claim should be involved. Foreign participants should be prosected by their own countries. But I guess there’s too much money to be made, and the fact that the 5 permanent members of the UN council are also the world’s largest arms dealers doesn’t really inspire much.

  76. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:27 pm  

    Kismet choose beer. Unless you come from Transylvania you can’t drink blood. But beer makes everything nice.

  77. Bert Preast — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:31 pm  

    I don’t see the problem here. A Brit going to join the IDF is on a par with a Brit going to join the PA police. However, a Brit who goes to join the Al Aqsa brigades – well, he’s more on a par with a Brit joining Mossad, surely?

    Also, to qualify as a mercenary you need to be on a different payscale to the regular forces – so Brits in the IDF or PA police are not defined as mercenaries. So, nothing illegal.

  78. Leon — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

    Nice, got a headache now…*searches for painkillers*

  79. Sahil — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

    Bert, just because it is not illegal does not make this correct. Do you not find the concept of private armies and contracters ‘of death’ (yes my term) frankly nuts in today’s world. Furthermore different standards of conduct apply to private contracters than state combatants. So for example in Iraq, many private security firms have frankly tortured citizens and are not allowed to be prosecuted. Where does the resposibility of such entities lie? Or who holds such armies to account for their actions?? This makes absolutely no sense to me. Just as i cannot understand how a British national can enter foreign soil, participate in armed warfare (paid or unpaid) and head back to Britin without any consequence. This should be illegal.

  80. Bert Preast — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

    Sahil – having fought as a mercenary myself, no. And as where I was the conduct of the mercenary forces was markedly better than that of the regulars, I disagree completely. You may be aghast at the actions of some private contractors in Iraq currently, but I bet a whole shitload more innocents are being killed by Iraqi army and police regulars.

    Perhaps I’m onto something here – if all wars boil down to money, maybe mercenaries should be the only soldiers permitted. Those who can afford the best get to win, and the local people can get on with their lives while their government’s conflicts are fought by foreign professionals on their behalf? Or is it all a bit too ancient Greek?

  81. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 2:57 pm  

    Kismet

    What Belinda Cockbox said. When you going to update your blog?

  82. Sahil — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

    Okay Bert let me play out scenario and see whether you think its okay. Lets say in some small oil rich state a coup takes place where 99% of the people are against the dictator, and they rise up to remove him physically from office. Now this dictator, can hire foriegn mercenaries via issuing debt on behalf of this country, to create a stranglehold on power. How on earth is this accceptable?

    As for local people getting on with their lives in such conflicts like Congo, you know that is simply not possible. And I do not deny that home soldiers can be worse in their conduct that foreign fighter, but they have a chain of command via the govenment. At least something exists. And yeah its all a bit old skool for me :-D

  83. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:15 pm  

    El Cid was a mercenary

  84. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

    Yes, shame he was played by Charlton Cocksucker Heston.

  85. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:23 pm  

    So is everyone who plays for Chelsea

  86. Bert Preast — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:25 pm  

    Sahil – Ah, but in order to rise up against the dictator they would be permitted only to employ foreign mercenaries, you see? So basically without a strong middle class to pay there wages you can forget about revolutions. Hmmm. Okay, you’re right. Maybe my master plan does need a little more thinking through.

  87. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:32 pm  

    Bert, were you really a mercenary? How much will you charge to be on my side in a potentially volatile family get together over the christmas holidays?

  88. soru — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:32 pm  

    You could always try televising the revolution, and selling exclusive coverage rights to pay the wages of the mercs.

    Economically, that might even work out – I think you could overthrow the average african dictator on the budget of, say, Lost, or Big Brother.

  89. Jagdeep — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

    Charlton Cocksucker Heston

    Sid, you have got cocks on your mind today.

  90. bananabrain — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

    @jagdeep –

    iran want to boss *everyone*. first the shi’as. then the islamic world. then everyone else. they are scary people who will get the bomb if someone doesn’t stop them.

    and why did israel fall for the provocation? because of the perception that not to respond to people kidnapping your citizens, whether in uniform or out of them (not that these people distinguish in any case) would be seen as weakness and encourage more of it, particularly given that the stated objective was to exchange them for high-profile terrorist prisoners among others. plus they’ve been worried about hizb’ullah for ages and were waiting for a chance to have a go at their rocket launchers without getting into too much international trouble. plus miscalculation of how hard it would be, plus general bone-headed israeli bloodymindedness about “nobody’s going to push us around”. they let hizb’ullah pick the fight in their own way, on their own ground, at their own time and then they were surprised when they found it hard to “win”, if that’s what you call what they did. olmert isn’t a war leader either, or even an ex-soldier. he thought it would improve his security credentials – and, in that, it spectacularly backfired.

    @el cid:

    bloodstained, yes. the difference is that they know damn well that killing lebanese civilians is counterproductive and didn’t make it an objective or celebrate it. it was an unavoidable consequence of hizb’ullah’s tactics and strategy and if you don’t think it bothers them and me, you are sadly mistaken.

    dim-witted two-bob short-sighted, i think i’ve made that clear in my response to jagdeep.

    mean-spirited i don’t think i can agree with. the hizbies started it for their own purposes and used the predictable deaths of their own civilians to achieve their objectives. if anyone is murderous i think it is them. the worst thing you can accuse the israelis of is of treating the lives of enemy civilians more casually then their own.

    i also think it is terribly sad for the lebanese. i never said i didn’t. what you should be asking is who gains from this situation. certainly not the israelis. they have everything to gain from a stable, peaceful lebanon and syria and iran have everything to lose. they know that just as well as i do and you ought to.

    incidentally, if you make it illegal in this country for brits to join the IDF then they won’t actually do it. do you actually know, however, whether these are people with joint citizenship, or whether they are, as it were, ex-brits who have emigrated to israel? in which case, it’s a non-issue. the same, i suspect, goes for the palestinian police etc, if not for the al-aqsa paramilitaries.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  91. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:38 pm  

    iran want to boss *everyone*. first the shi’as. then the islamic world. then everyone else. they are scary people who will get the bomb if someone doesn’t stop them.

    Yes, but to be fair, at least they don’t have a mini apartheid state in their backyard.

  92. bananabrain — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:43 pm  

    why would that worry them, when they operate their own and want to conquer the world?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  93. Sunny — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:48 pm  

    Yes, but to be fair, at least they don’t have a mini apartheid state in their backyard.

    Erm, they do, if you count the way Baha’i are treated, along with other non-Shia groups.

  94. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:48 pm  

    you better than anyone whould be aware of the ridiculous sight of claiming some group want to “conquer the world”.

    Iran operate their own aparteid state? You’re deluded or yuo’ll grasp at anything to obscure Israel’s transgressions.

    But I do agree that Iran have learnt from the recent Lebanon bombings, that you can win wars by goading your adversary. I’ve written about it here.

  95. Sahil — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:49 pm  

    “do you actually know, however, whether these are people with joint citizenship, or whether they are, as it were, ex-brits who have emigrated to israel?”

    That’s the crux Bananabrain. It’s an issue of whether individuals are heading into conflict zones not because they have a nationalistic mandate, rather an ethnic or religious motivation. So does that make such action illegal. Furthermore if they are dual citizens, what kind of implications does that have for their suitability for participating in military conflict, for example what happens if UK and Israel go to war. Either way if a dual citizen participates, they are commiting treason, no? Plus I wanted to know, that if I’m a dual citizen of Israel and Britian, does that mean I’ll have to complete my compulsary time at the IDF??

  96. Don — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:53 pm  

    Ah, the evocative sound of skulls hitting opposite sides of the same brick wall. Must be an I/P thread.

  97. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 3:55 pm  

    Welcome to Sunny’s Place.

  98. bananabrain — on 5th December, 2006 at 4:47 pm  

    @sid:

    i’m not “claiming” it. they say it constantly. it’s a doctrine known as “exporting the [islamic] revolution”. it’s been a central tenet of iranian state policy since 1978. we’re not talking the protocols of the elders of zion here – this is actually a) serious and b) not made up.

    Iran operate their own apartheid state? You’re deluded or you’ll grasp at anything to obscure Israel’s transgressions.

    oh reeeeeeally. try being an iranian christian, jew, baha’i, zoroastrian or those poor buggers the yezidis, let alone sunni, like sunny pointed out. in fact, try being any kind of religious minority in the so-called islamic world and then compare it with being a palestinian – or even an israeli arab – and you’ll see why the israeli arabs haven’t emigrated. in fact, try finding out what it’s like to be a palestinian in lebanon, syria, egypt or even kuwait these days.

    fortunately for you, insulting me is exactly the same as addressing the argument – not.

    But I do agree that Iran have learnt from the recent Lebanon bombings, that you can win wars by goading your adversary.

    that’s my point – they haven’t *learnt* it. it was their idea all along.

    @sahil:

    dual citizenship is basically a bit of a bugger, which is why i think the UK banned it a while back. i don’t think the israelis did, partly because there are an awful lot of places you can’t travel with an israeli passport, like malaysia for example. it doesn’t make it illegal unless it’s illegal under the law of one of the states concerned. if i, as a brit, were to go and serve in the IDF and it was illegal in the UK for me to do so, then clearly i’m taking a risk of prosecution in the UK – but that’s precisely what the law’s there for. either the law is there or it isn’t. if it is, it’s illegal, if it isn’t, it isn’t. whether something is *morally* right or not is entirely another matter. and whether something is *treason* or not depends on how treason is defined – if i were spying on the UK on behalf of israel, for example, that might be treason. i’m not a lawyer, so i don’t know.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  99. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 4:59 pm  

    that’s my point – they haven’t *learnt* it. it was their idea all along

    Wow. Is there nothing those ingenious imans didn’t invent?

  100. Sunny — on 5th December, 2006 at 5:03 pm  

    Sid, why don’t you list the points that make Israel an ‘apatheid state’ and I’ll provide similar examples from Iran.

  101. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 5:04 pm  

    So now its Muslims who ‘do’ world domination. And the Shia specifically.

    *strokes white cat in lap and cackles hysterically*

  102. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 5:08 pm  

    Try these for starter sunny:

    this (beware of shocking stomach turning images)

    The International Laws of Belligerent Occupation

    Belligerent occupation is governed by The Hague Regulations of 1907, as well as by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and the customary laws of belligerent occupation. Security Council Resolution 1322 (2000), paragraph 3 continued: “Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and its responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in a Time of War of 12 August 1949;…” Again, the Security Council vote was 14 to 0, becoming obligatory international law.

    The Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the West Bank, to the Gaza Strip, and to the entire City of Jerusalem, in order to protect the Palestinians living there. The Palestinian People living in this Palestinian Land are “protected persons” within the meaning of the Fourth Geneva Convention. All of their rights are sacred under international law.

    There are 149 substantive articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention that protect the rights of every one of these Palestinians living in occupied Palestine. The Israeli Government is currently violating, and has since 1967 been violating, almost each and every one of these sacred rights of the Palestinian People recognized by the Fourth Geneva Convention. Indeed, violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention are war crimes.

    So this is not a symmetrical situation. As matters of fact and of law, the gross and repeated violations of Palestinian rights by the Israeli army and Israeli settlers living illegally in occupied Palestine constitute war crimes. Conversely, the Palestinian people are defending themselves and their land and their homes against Israeli war crimes and Israeli war criminals, both military and civilian.

    The U.N. Human Rights Commission

    Indeed, it is far more serious than that. On 19 October 2000 a Special Session of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights adopted a Resolution set forth in U.N. Document E/CN.4/S-5/L.2/Rev. 1, “Condemning the provocative visit to Al-Haram Al-Sharif on 28 September 2000 by Ariel Sharon, the Likud party leader, which triggered the tragic events that followed in occupied East Jerusalem and the other occupied Palestinian territories, resulting in a high number of deaths and injuries among Palestinian civilians.” The U.N. Human Rights Commission then said it was “[g]ravely concerned” about several different types of atrocities inflicted by Israel upon the Palestinian People, which it denominated “war crimes, flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity.”

    In operative paragraph 1 of its 19 October 2000 Resolution, the U.N. Human Rights Commission then: “Strongly condemns the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force in violation of international humanitarian law by the Israeli occupying Power against innocent and unarmed Palestinian civilians…including many children, in the occupied territories, which constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity…” And in paragraph 5 of its 19 October 2000 Resolution, the U.N. Human Rights Commission:”Also affirms that the deliberate and systematic killing of civilians and children by the Israeli occupying authorities constitutes a flagrant and grave violation of the right to life and also constitutes a crime against humanity;…” Article 68 of the United Nations Charter had expressly required the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council to “set up” this Commission “for the promotion of human rights.”

    Israel’s War Crimes against Palestinians

    We all have a general idea of what a war crime is, so I am not going to elaborate upon that term here. But there are different degrees of heinousness for war crimes. In particular are the more serious war crimes denominated “grave breaches” of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Since the start of the Al Aqsa Intifada, the world has seen those inflicted every day by Israel against the Palestinian People living in occupied Palestine: e.g., willful killing of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli army and Israel’s illegal paramilitary settlers. These Israeli “grave breaches” of the Fourth Geneva Convention mandate universal prosecution for their perpetrators, whether military or civilian, as well as prosecution for their commanders, whether military or civilian, including Israel’s political leaders.

    Israel’s Crimes Against Humanity

    I want to focus for a moment on Israel’s “crime against humanity” against the Palestinian People — as determined by the U.N. Human Rights Commission itself, set up pursuant to the requirements of the United Nations Charter. What is a “crime against humanity”? This concept goes all the way back to the Nuremberg Charter of 1945 for the trial of the major Nazi war criminals. And in the Nuremberg Charter of 1945, drafted by the United States Government, there was created and inserted a new type of international crime specifically intended to deal with the Nazi persecution of the Jewish People.

    The paradigmatic example of a “crime against humanity” is what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jewish People. This is where the concept of crime against humanity came from. And this is what the U.N. Human Rights Commission determined that Israel is currently doing to the Palestinian People: Crimes against humanity. Legally, just like what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jews.

    The Precursor to Genocide

    Moreover, a crime against humanity is the direct historical and legal precursor to the international crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The theory here was that what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jewish People required a special international treaty that would codify and universalize the Nuremberg concept of “crime against humanity.” And that treaty ultimately became the 1948 Genocide Convention.

    In fairness, you will note that the U.N. Human Rights Commission did not go so far as to condemn Israel for committing genocide against the Palestinian People. But it has condemned Israel for committing crimes against humanity, which is the direct precursor to genocide. And I submit that if something is not done quite soon by the American people and the International Community to stop Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity (and) against the Palestinian people, it could very well degenerate into genocide, if Israel is not there already. And in this regard, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is what international lawyers call a genocidaire–one who has already committed genocide in the past.

  103. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 5:17 pm  

    In case you thought the I/P conflict was symmetrical:

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/

  104. Bert Preast — on 5th December, 2006 at 5:22 pm  

    Who’s killed more Palestinians? Israel, Syria or Jordan?

  105. bananabrain — on 5th December, 2006 at 5:26 pm  

    oh, for feck’s sake. as if singling israel out for everything in the world actually achieved anything. i can’t be arsed with this any more. i think i need a holiday from PP, like katy.

    congratulations, sid.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  106. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 5:33 pm  

    Muslim regulars on PP seem to have no qualms when it comes to denounce Muslim abuses. Shame the same cannot be said of Jewish regulars of Israeli crimes. In such cases, we get a note of exasperation with singling “israel out for everything in the world”.

    Hardly everything in the world. But you could start with accepting just the crimes of Israel. But there doesn’t seem to be any chance of that.

  107. Chairwoman — on 5th December, 2006 at 6:02 pm  

    Sid – that is patently untrue. You are all apologists for things done by Muslims in exactly the same way as you accuse us of. The only thing you don’t admit to is supporting suicide bombers. Bananabrain, Katy and I have always said that things haven’t been handled well in Gaza and the West Bank. And we have all said that we are in favour of a two state solution.

    Perhaps we don’t accept the veracity of everything said by the UN. Why should we? The UN is no friend of Israel. Nor is the good old Red Cross. Did you know that because of Muslim pressure, Israel is the ONLY member country who is NEVER allowed to sit on the rotating group of the Security Council? Did you know that Mogon Dovid Adom, the Israeli Red Cross/Crescent has only recently been admitted into the fold? Muslim pressure kept it out. And even now, as a member, out of Israel their ambulances are not allowed to display the star as it would offend Muslims? Why should Jews or Israel believe everything said by these crass, and frequently corrupt, self-servers. It’s not as though any Muslim country would support Israel against another Muslim nation, is it?

    Like bananbrain says, Israel, and by association, Jews are always judged by a different standard than the rest of the world.

    I tried to engage with you, because I believe that it is important for Muslims and Jews outside the Middle East to know each other and work towards a peaceful solution. This has failed dismally.

    Like Katy and banabrain, I am, reluctantly, bowing out of PP. A lot of it has been fun, but this thread has displayed its true colours.

    Well done.

    You are now ethnically cleansed.

  108. bananabrain — on 5th December, 2006 at 6:07 pm  

    what i am saying is that we can’t have a serious discussion without people like you, anas and utbah turning it into an “israel is worse than the nazis” rant, which does no service to anyone involved. people like you are the reason jews feel singled out for abuse and prejudice. i have made my feelings about the lebanon debacle abundantly clear above. i fail to see why, in order to have any further discussion, i am required to respond point-by-point to your post #102 and ‘prove that i’m ok’ by denouncing everything you think israel has done. you’re a mccarthyist and you’re avoiding the actual discussion by diverting it into this complete bullshit about genocide. show me a mass grave. show me a gas chamber. show me a policy saying “we want to kill palestinians”. show me *SOMETHING* other than this endless, tiresome, bigoted litany of demonisation and propaganda and then you’ll have something to complain about – and i’ll join right in there. you know absolutely feck-all about israel, jews or the middle east and every time you launch one of these diatribes it just confirms my suspicion that it’s impossible to participate in one of these discussions without someone treating you not as a participant, but as a jew.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  109. Don — on 5th December, 2006 at 6:14 pm  

    On the matter of UK subjects serving in foreign forces; my understanding is that it is illegal for a UK subject to serve in the armed forces of a state which is at war with a state with whom the UK is at peace.

    As Palestine is not recognised by the UK as a sovereign state (although the EU position seems ambivilant), and no declared war exists, it is legal for subjects to serve either in the IDF or in an armed group legally existing in Palestine (so long as it wasn’t a proscribed terrorist organisation).

    I think I remember that opponents of Lord Byron argued that by fighting for Greek independence against the Ottoman Empire he was committing treason, but were thwarted because Greece was not technically a state.

    I’m sure Katy would be able to give a more definitive answer, were she not on sabbatical. It’s a grey area, which of course means any charges brought would mainly result in a lot of lawyers having their kids’ school fees paid for the next decade or so.

    Bananabrain,

    If you know of a site where people who disagree on I/P can maintain a more civilised level of debate than here, share it. If you don’t, stick around and don’t get all huffy. It’s probably the most volatile and polarised issue in the world right now – at least a meaningful measure of mutual respect is maintained here. With a few exceptions.

    Sid,

    ‘shocking stomach turning images’

    Beneath you. Dead Israeli kids less stomach turning? Shall we all start swapping carnage porn? I never click on those links; I know full well what a human body looks like (and smells like) when it has been fucked up by munitions and it is very difficult to tell what its political or religious affiliations were.

  110. Don — on 5th December, 2006 at 6:51 pm  

    ‘it’s impossible to participate in one of these discussions without someone treating you not as a participant, but as a jew.’

    Unfortunately true. But that ‘someone’ ain’t everyone, and even those who do that have a personal respect for CW, Katy and B’brain, the heat of debate notwithstanding. Which allows for constructive, although slow and often impassioned, movement towards progress. What were you expecting? An epiphany of mutual brotherhood?

    Sid is flat out wrong when he says that ‘Muslim regulars on PP seem to have no qualms when it comes to denounce Muslim abuses. Shame the same cannot be said of Jewish regulars of Israeli crimes.’

    And CW is flat out wrong when she says that ‘ You are all apologists for things done by Muslims’

    Both being wrong seems like a fair starting point.

    Chairwoman,

    ‘I am, reluctantly, bowing out of PP. A lot of it has been fun, but this thread has displayed its true colours.’

    The true colours of whom? Sunny? Me? Jai? Miraxx, Vikrant? Kismet? Leon? Arif? Sonia? that’s a lot of true colours.

  111. sonia — on 5th December, 2006 at 6:59 pm  

    very sad all this.

  112. Jai — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:03 pm  

    Chairwoman please don’t leave PP (at least not permanently). We need you here just like we need Katy.

    ****************************

    With regards to the constant arguments about I/P which regularly rear their ugly heads on PP, it is depressing how people comfortably sitting thousands of miles away from the geographical areas of focus destroy their online friendships with their compatriots over these issues despite not actually living in Middle-Eastern regions concerned. It’s bad enough that Katy’s been harrassed off PP — now her mother has suffered the same fate, apparently.

    Unless you have friends and/or family living in the Israel/Palestine region, or are planning to move their or even “join the struggle” in an armed physical sense, then ask yourselves if it’s worth constantly attacking each other about this issue ad nauseam and causing actual emotional hurt to the person on the other side of the computer screen. Healthy debate is one thing, but when it starts really adversely affecting commenters in the “real world” sense then perhaps it’s going too far.

    If the answer is “Yes, it’s still worth it”, then carry on. Otherwise take a step back and consider the stupidity and pointlessness of being an “armchair warrior” who is not actually risking his own neck in the struggle he so vociferously argues on behalf, is going to go back to his “normal life” after he logs off and switches off his computer, and casually debates strategy and foreign policy regarding this loaded issue like people observing pieces on a chessboard.

  113. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:13 pm  

    Piss off then you childish whining shameless apologists.
    There’s nothing that Sid said that was abusive and outside of the realms of accetable political discourse. You may disagree with him, fine, but your head in the sand intellectual-pygmy attitudes is ultimately not in Israel’s interests. Whatever

  114. Sid — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:16 pm  

    Holy shit.

    CW, Bananabrain and Katy – I’m truly sorry to cause this amount of offence. I didn’t think you would take this discussion this badly.

    I thought we were discussing Israeli transgressions vs Iranian/Hizbollah crimes. When Sunny said to post a list of Israeli crimes against the Palestinians before he posted a list of Iranian crimes against its minorities, that’s what I did in the spirit of debate, not to offend.

    I apologise for that link to the Lebanese bombings – that was unnecessary. Once again, I didn’t mean to offend you, whom I respect and consider three of the highest quality people who post on PP. I appeal to you to reconsider not posting here and to accept my deepest apologies.

  115. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:18 pm  

    You have nothing to apologise for.

  116. sonia — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:21 pm  

    yeah don’t go chairwoman.

    anyway back to the point of hizbollah. it wouldn’t suprise me if tomorrow israel said right ive had it with you lot, im packing my bags and going to scotland or something – and hizbollah still insisted on leading lebanon into war.

    taste of power and killing usually tends to lead to perpetual nastiness. one has only to look at bangladesh! – boy we can’t seem to stop our bloodlust. and we haven’t got any ‘excuses’ about religion or anything like that. we just can’t seem to get over our differences in any way apart from murder and more murder.

  117. sonia — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:22 pm  

    yes and chairwoman please dont go off anywhere, i always find your posts amusing and informative.

  118. Katy — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:23 pm  

    As the person on the site who has thrown my jewishness in my face the most, it is appropriate that you’re the one who weighs in there with that, El Cid.

    I am not an Israel apologist. I just don’t agree

    (a) that they are the same as/worse than the Nazis. Hitler killed eighteen million people in fifteen years. The I/P conflict has been going on for the best part of fifty years with a death toll of under twenty thousand, I believe. That’s a pretty crap genocide, as I think someone else pointed out elsewhere.

    (b) that what is happening in Israel is worse than anything happening anywhere else in the world

    (c) that the Palestinians share none of the blame for the situation as it currently stands.

    I have always said that Israel treats the Palestinians badly and I have always advocated a two-state solution. I resent the three Jewish commentators being lumped in as apologists by you and by Sid. It’s coming to something when pointing out that the other side shares some of the blame amounts to being an apologist.

    And I am not coming back either, for the same reason as bananabrain gave: I’m tired of being the token Jew, and before you start throwing abuse at me, you’re one of the people who treated me as one.

  119. Katy — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:27 pm  

    For the record, Sid, your recital of the Israelis-as-neo-Nazis stomach-turning-images stuff that is usually trotted out wasn’t what did it for me, it was your lofty announcement that “the Jewish commentators” are incapable of facing up to Israeli crimes but the Muslim commentators are.

    Whatever you and the rest of the Evil Nazi Israel brigade might think of my views, I have never, ever lumped groups of people in on this website on the basis of their religion, ever. You will never find a post or a comment from me on this site saying “Muslims do this, Muslims do that, Muslims always…, Muslims never…” – and I am disgusted when other people do. That was the last straw for me.

  120. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:30 pm  

    regarding point (a) you may recall how you once complemented me for my put down of someone who said just that
    If I recall I also suspected of you being Jewish merely from what you said in defence of Israel, and so I wanted to test my theory that what you were saying was fuelled by your relgious/cultural identity by identifyinmg whether you were Jewish or not.. That you turned out to be Jewish merely served to prove my point, which in turn is a critique of disingenuous tribalist reasoning.
    Moreover, when it comes to tokens.. there are at least three of you and only one of me.. the token catholic

  121. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:33 pm  

    as for point (b) the main diffrence is that this particular conflict affects us all, while (c) it kind of depends on which era we are talking aboiut as it tendxs to swing back and forth.
    the invasion of Lebanon was outrageous, full fucking stop

  122. Chairwoman — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:34 pm  

    El cid – Apologists? No. Whining? No. Intellectual pygmies? You reckon?

    Just people who independently decided that they had had enough of blame always being apportioned one way.

    Sid – Like Don, I’ve been around long enough not to be squeamish. A dead and mutilated child is never less than a terrible, terrible thing.

    Unfortunately the list looked like another one-sided diatribe, and you know, sometimes one’s just had enough.

    Also I really objected to being accused as someone who supported Israel blindly, not opnly is it untrue, but I talked about the stupidity of the Lebanese invasions earlier on this thread.

    Don – you know who I meant. I said thread, not site.

    Jai – I do this to keep my brain active, for entertainment, and to a degree to be part of a cyber community. I can find stress anywhere. I don’t have to invite it.

  123. Chairwoman — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:35 pm  

    This conflict in real terms affects none of us. Frankly it’s the constant terrier-like worrying of it that keeps it going.

  124. Katy — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:38 pm  

    I know you agree with some of my views. In fact, I remember that when I posted about Israel you accused me of suffering from Jewish paranoia even though you didn’t disagree with what I’d written. Once you found out that I was jewish you were at pains to accuse me of Jewish paranoia and Jewish oversensitivity at every term. It’s there on the threads, El Cid. It was bad enough that other commenters noticed, as I recall, and it was only then that you stopped doing it.

  125. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:40 pm  

    actually Sid, I just noticed the comparison with Nazi Germany in your post. I imagine it was a cut and paste job but it’s a very unsound comparison and not one I accept.

  126. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:42 pm  

    And what’s more I stand by it.
    And?

  127. Katy — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:43 pm  

    Also I really objected to being accused as someone who supported Israel blindly, not opnly is it untrue, but I talked about the stupidity of the Lebanese invasions earlier on this thread.

    Same here. But we’re Jewish, aren’t we, so we’re apologists for Israel even when… we aren’t apologising for them.

  128. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:44 pm  

    for the record Chairwoman, post#124 is a god example of “whining”

  129. Katy — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:44 pm  

    And… I’m off.

  130. Chairwoman — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:47 pm  

    If you think that’s whining, you’ve obviously never heard it done by experts.

  131. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:48 pm  

    Well, Chairwoman has agreed that the invasion was dumb. But was it morally unjustified? Was the targeting of a fellow democracy’s infrastructure disgraceful? Was it a crime?
    Are you pulling your punches?

  132. Don — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:52 pm  

    Katy, CW, B’brain,

    Please, please. Sid was pursuing a debate vigorously and has generously and honestly apologised for any offence. You guys are too valuable to lose.

    El Cid,

    I have long regarded you as a ‘mate’ in these debates, but #113 is polarising and Katy is right to take offence. If she cares to take you on, mano-a-mano, then this is the place to do it. And I think you’ll come off second best. I respect many of your standpoints, but I do think you have issues with jewishness which you should consider.

    Fuck’s sake, we all know each other well enough to back off a little. It’s a hot issue, people get heated. But this is not a single issue site; bugger NGN, this squabbling, argumentative, but ultimately functioning community is Sunny’s real legacy.

  133. Leon — on 5th December, 2006 at 7:54 pm  

    The true colours of whom? Sunny? Me? Jai? Miraxx, Vikrant? Kismet? Leon? Arif? Sonia? that’s a lot of true colours.

    Aint that the fucking truth.

  134. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 8:04 pm  

    I tell you what I’ll do Don

    — I’ll stop challenging people in the habit of saying adverse things about “Jews” (oh it still happens, mainly amongst older folks)
    — I’ll stop my unofficial grassroots campaign trying persuade Spurs fans that they should stop referring to themselves as “yids” and I will trying in turn to stop Arsenal fans from calling them “fucking yids” because more impressionable youngsters of all races wwere picking up some very nasty songs.
    — I won’t take my kids to a Nazi concentration camp so that they appreciate the full horrors of the Holocaust. Shit, too late! I did that for that the October half-term when I took advantage of a conference in Munich to holiday in Germany. Dachau is just outside Munich don’t you know.
    — I will also cut off all ties with my mate the jewish consultant and try to persuade my wife to change boss because she has a jewish boss.
    — I will also stop watching Curb your Enthusiasm and reveal my true colours, for I am Mel Gibson

  135. Chairwoman — on 5th December, 2006 at 8:05 pm  

    El Cid – When a foolish decision is made, everything that stems from that is just more of the same.

    If the intent was to lay waste a fellow democracy and its infrastructure then it was both disgraceful and a crime.

    Now I know I will be accused of dissembling, but IMHO Olmert had a Rush Of Blood to the Head. He went in without a gameplan, and with no experienced hand on his shoulder to tell him to take a deep breath. While I am sure that Shimon Perez would have tried to reason with him, but there is always a couple of hotheads around to encourage this sort of lunacy.

    So no, although the results are the same as if the intention was the destruction of Lebanon, I feel that the tail wagged the dog, and he has been left with a disaster he has no idea how to rectify.

  136. Chairwoman — on 5th December, 2006 at 8:10 pm  

    El cid – Look what’s happened here, your # 113 put the whole thread into hyperdrive. You Olmerted, but luckily for you, nobody died.

  137. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 8:13 pm  

    Like Katy and banabrain, I am, reluctantly, bowing out of PP. A lot of it has been fun, but this thread has displayed its true colours.

    Any analogies for this?

  138. Don — on 5th December, 2006 at 8:43 pm  

    El Cid,

    I’m sorry to have offended you, as I do value you, and I am not accusing you of anti-semitism. But you have repeatedly and strongly dismissed Katy’s and Chairwoman’s position on I/P as being invalidated by intrinsic jewish bias. You also attack other posters as being invalidated by intrinsically moslem bias. Sometimes that’s fair, sometimes it isn’t.

    I can see Katy being pissed of at comments like #113. I think you were out of order, I hope we are still ok.

  139. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 8:46 pm  

    We’re still ok. Hwr, I may take a PP break too. That’s not intended as emotional blackmail.

  140. Clairwil — on 5th December, 2006 at 8:50 pm  

    God what a truly depressing thread.

    ‘Like Katy and banabrain, I am, reluctantly, bowing out of PP. A lot of it has been fun, but this thread has displayed its true colours.’

    Please reconsider, not least because you will all be missed and please bear in in mind it’s only a minority of commentators that appear to have some issues with Jewishness.

  141. El Cid — on 5th December, 2006 at 8:56 pm  

    go fuck yourself clairwil. hasta la vista baby

  142. Clairwil — on 5th December, 2006 at 9:05 pm  

    ‘go fuck yourself clairwil. hasta la vista baby’

    Pah El Cid,
    If you want me to ‘go fuck’ myself your going to have to try a whole lot harder than that.

  143. Ravi Naik — on 5th December, 2006 at 10:22 pm  

    This thread has been a very interesting read.

    It shows two things. First, the importance of having people of various backgrounds to give us different perspectives. Second, the difficulty in resolving this I/P conflict: we all share the same core values, and yet it feels like everyone is out of control when discussing this subject. Surely, no one is lying or being dishonest.

    I feel, like El Cid, that Israel’s actions in Lebanon were an outrage for moral reasons, let alone bringing any benefit for Israelis. However, I felt that Chairwoman’s response in #22 was that Israel made a mistake. And I think the main objection to her comment was that she didn’t condemn Israel in harsher terms.

    I guess we are all guilty of this. We can criticise our country… but we get defensive when other people do it, specially when they bring only one side of the story or worst, pictures of dead children from one side of the conflict.

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