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Gaza and Egypt:

Sixty years ago, when Egypt occupied Gaza, it refused to grant the local Arab residents, native Gazans and refugees from the Arab-Israeli war of 1947-48, citizenship. Instead, the Egyptian government intentionally cut them off from Egypt and kept them impoverished, so they could be used as a propaganda and military weapon against Israel. When Israel took over Gaza in 1967, it opened the border with Israel, providing tens of thousands of jobs for Gazans, and increasing the standard of living there dramatically, albeit from very low levels. After a wave of suicide attacks from Gaza, Israel gradually closed off the border with Israel, and finally closed it off entirely when Hamas took over last year. Meanwhile, Israel no longer occupies Gaza, and the population has sunken back into abject poverty.

With the Gazan's breach of the border with Egypt, and Egypt's refusal to use force to seal the border, things have come full circle. It's time to ask why Egypt, with 80 million people, can't grant Gaza's one million full Egyptian citizenship, and allow them to live in Sinai or even Cairo instead of being stuck in Gaza.

No matter what happens in the near future between the Palestinians and Israel, I doubt Israel will ever allow the reasonably free movement between Gaza and Israel that existed through the early 1990s. Giving the Gazans Egyptian citizenship, and making Egypt responsible for security in the area, would benefit Israel, the Gazans, and even Egypt itself, by destroying Hamas's base (Hamas being affiliated with Egypt's anti-government Muslim Brotherhood). It would also benefit the Palestinians in the West Bank, by allowing the more moderate residents there to reach an accommodation with Israel, perhaps in concert with Jordan.

If Israeli leaders had any p.r. sense and/or vision, they would use this opportunity to loudly ask why Egypt, which refused custody of Gaza when Israel returned the Sinai, is so adamant about refusing to do its part to relieve Palestinian suffering.

Dennis Kucinich (mail):
If Israeli leaders had any p.r. sense and/pr vision, they would use this opportunity to loudly ask why Egypt, which refused custody of Gaza when Israel returned the Sinai, is so adamant about refusing to do its part to relieve Palestinian suffering.
Interesting proposal. "Loudly asking" why Egypt is "so adamant about refusing to do its part"? As a diplomatic strategy, brash insults combined with neither sticks nor carrots is about as doomed to failure as it gets, and thus has approximately no chance of helping the Palestinians in any way. But it would likely be very successful at deflecting perceived responsibility from Israel to Egypt, thus reducing the political strength of Israelis and foreigners who oppose the Israeli government's tactics. Sounds like a perfect strategy for DavidB!
1.26.2008 2:20pm
Just Saying:
You know, the scary part is that it's entirely plausible the above is the actual Dennis Kucinich.
1.26.2008 2:33pm
Lazlo Hollyfeld:
Bernstein's post is a brilliant example of why law professors should stick to topics that they are more than superficially acquainted with. Repeat after me:

Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians.

Just because they speak the same language, practice the same religion, and share certain historical experiences does not make them the same. Just try confusing a Chilean for a Peruvian and then pooh-poohing away the difference and see what reaction you get. Bernstein is absolutely right that the various Arab governments have continuously used the Palestinian issue for their own cynical purposes. But that doesn’t detract one iota from the Palestinians grievances. One reason that Egypt did not grant Gazans citizenship (which Gazans did not clamor for) was to prevent Israel from denying a separate Palestinian identity and dealing with the refugee effort; something they did for the longest time with the West Bank and Jordan
1.26.2008 2:45pm
jim47:
While I am sympathetic to DB's suggestion that Egypt should annex Gaza, I'd be very skeptical of DB's proposal for convincing Egypt. In my experience asking someone why they haven't done a thing that they should be doing is more likely to elicit an explanation for why they shouldn't be doing it than capitulation. So any such action really would be for the PR value, and honestly, I think Israel has been right to make its security a higher priority than public relations — there is a significant portion of Israel's audience that isn't ever going to be happy with anything Israel can feasibly do.
1.26.2008 2:50pm
Michael Gray (mail):
Israel's border with Egypt is mostly unfenced, Mr. Bernstein. Letting highly motivated Hamas terrorists free access to the Sinai (as Egyptian citizens) poses a fierce security risk to Israel. Accordingly, you may wish to modify your proposal so as to address this issue (e.g., by putting up a barrier between the Negev and the Sinai - and somehow dealing with the Bedouin seasonal migration).
1.26.2008 2:52pm
Laura S.:

Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians.


Ah another laughable strawman rendition of D.B. argument.

Lets assume what you say is at base true. Is there another (compatible) way of reading D.B.'s argument? Yes. Israel takes a lot of flak for keeping the border with Gaza closed. Ergo, one might reasonably ask why Egypt gets away with keeping its border closed too. Especially in light of the fact that the residents of Gaza have a history of making war against Israel but not Egypt.
1.26.2008 3:00pm
Al Goreski:
If I remember correctly, from Michael Oren's great book ,Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, Israel really didn't want to capture Gaza. They knew it would also be trouble to keep, but the panic stricken retreating Egyptian Army made it a necessity to follow it into Egypt and capture Gaza. They were hoping Egypt would make a show of holding Gaza and the Israelis would be happy to let them keep it. Unfortunately, the Egyptian Army did not stop to dry their pee-wet pants and kept running. Ironic, that centuries after Moses led his people form Egypt that his people have returned to it several times in order to defend themselves and it continues to be a plague upon them.
1.26.2008 3:16pm
Gideon Kanner (mail):
The unintentionally funny thing about this kerfuffle is that many of the people who call themselves Palestinians (a term ingeniously invented in the 1950s) are one or two generations removed from their grandparents who emigrated to British Mandatory Palestine from Egypt, inter alia, to take advantage of the improved economic conditions brought about by Jewish settlers' revival of local agriculture and commerce.

The othet noteworthy thing is that it is now dramatically clear that though not for security reasons, Egypt has been maintaining a wall between itself and Gaza without any big deal being made of it, while the Israelis are constantly ragged on because they maintain a fence and stretches of a wall between themselves and Arab terrorists trying to infiltrate Israel from the "West Bank" to set off bombs and kill people.
1.26.2008 3:16pm
Dan Simon (mail) (www):
Palestinians are not Egyptians.

That misses the point completely. The Palestinians are "refugees", remember? They don't have a state of their own, and need a country to take them in.

More precisely, the current population of the Gaza Strip is only as large as it is because massive international aid continues to keep it alive, on the condition that it agrees to continue its eternal war with the state of Israel. If the aid had been cut off at some point (or never started), hundreds of thousands of residents would long ago have left, by hook or by crook, fleeing certain starvation. Indeed, even with the aid, it appears that hundreds of thousands have already left as soon as the first opportunity arose. And even if they're forced to return, the aid will end one day, and most of the current residents will have to find someplace else to live.

The only question is whether Egypt--the fleeing refugees' first stop--will treat them decently, and allow them to resettle there, or whether they will treat them the way they did last time: corraling them into miserable camps and demanding that the rest of the world pay to keep them alive.
1.26.2008 3:18pm
Bottomfish (mail):
Would granting Egyptian citizenship be acceptable to Egyptians?
1.26.2008 3:37pm
Bad (mail) (www):
"Instead, the Egyptian government intentionally cut them off from Egypt and kept them impoverished, so they could be used as a propaganda and military weapon against Israel."

Yes, because granting citizenship to a million refugees is something most nations would otherwise jump at.
1.26.2008 3:44pm
Passing By:
Oh my goodness.... This reads like high comedy.

Sixty years ago, when Egypt occupied Gaza, it refused to grant the local Arab residents, native Gazans and refugees from the Arab-Israeli war of 1947-48, citizenship.

Can you imagine the spittle we would have to squeegee off of the inside of our monitors had Bernstein been reacting to an editorial which commenced, "More than forty years ago, when Israel occupied Gaza, it refused to grant the local Arab residents, native Gazans and refugees from the Arab-Israeli war of 1947-48, citizenship."

You say that's different? Because the Palestinians and Egyptians both speak Arabic, creating a common bond that supersedes all others? Besides, it's not like the Palestinians come from historic Palestine/Israel or anything, such that they would have ties to the land or their homes. (No, this is not acceptance of the tiresome yammering of people like Kanner, that the Palestinians magically appeared in the British Mandate and can thus be magically ethnically cleansed from the region's history.) And as I'm sure Bernstein would have argued in 1903 when the British proposed creating a Jewish state in British East Africa, "It's just land, right?"

Giving the Gazans Egyptian citizenship, and making Egypt responsible for security in the area, would benefit Israel, the Gazans, and even Egypt itself, by destroying Hamas's base (Hamas being affiliated with Egypt's anti-government Muslim Brotherhood).

As Jim Hoagland notes,
Arab leaders were telling Bush in their pushback — albeit in code — that the Palestinian refugees and their plight are the creation and responsibility of the West. Arab states will not take financial, social or political responsibility for the Palestinians just to help out Bush, Abbas, Israel — or even the Palestinians.
But not all hope is lost - If Israel and the west wish to convince Egypt to formally annex Gaza and make all of its residents Egyptian citizens... they can get out the checkbook. I'm confident that an annual check ending with nine or ten zeroes will be sufficiently convincing.

(Quick double-take....)

...making Egypt responsible for security in the area...

If we apply the standard post-war occupation formula of 20 troops per thousand residents, that's 75,000 troops. So Israel gets Egyptian soldiers, tanks, and perhaps a military base or two right on its border? Who wouldn't think that is a brilliant idea.

Which isn't to say that I don't think Egypt could get Gaza under control.... But Israel doesn't even want blue helmets in the Palestinian territories. Egyptian soldiers? You have to be joking.
1.26.2008 3:51pm
Lazlo Hollyfeld:
Ergo, one might reasonably ask why Egypt gets away with keeping its border closed too.

In Response to Laura, the answer is Israel. Israel’s peace deal with Egypt encompasses, among other things, protocols for border access and security between Egypt and Gaza. A cursory look at the news in recent days will be replete Israeli annoyance at Egypt’s opening of the border. The reason that Israel wants the border closed, is also obvious. Israel knows that Egyptians sympathetic to Palestinians and hostile to Israel would help smuggle arms and supplies to militants in Gaza.

The Palestinians are "refugees", remember? They don't have a state of their own, and need a country to take them in.

That is a silly argument grounded on false facts. The people in Gaza can be divided into native Gazans and refugees from the West Bank and those from inside the Green Line. Once Israel occupied it in the ’67 war it undertook responsibility for the civilian population. If that is what you call “aid”, then it is mandated under international law and Israel cannot use it as an excuse to move out the inhabitants. That is what we used to call ethnic cleansing.


The unintentionally funny thing about this kerfuffle is that many of the people who call themselves Palestinians (a term ingeniously invented in the 1950s) are one or two generations removed from their grandparents who emigrated to British Mandatory Palestine from Egypt

… and I would add that many of the people who call themselves Israeli are New York Jews who emigrated to Israel in the 1960s and 1970s. This argument has been used by the most vile anti-Semites for years against Jewish communities from Russia to Latin America. The irony would be so delicious if it wasn’t so sad.
1.26.2008 3:54pm
VFBVFB (mail):
The idea of having Egypt annex Gaza is not new. However, it is not realistic. The Egyptians, who do not view it as being in their security interest, have consistently rejected this idea. (They also assume that it would be expensive, but I’d suppose that they can dealt with by a big enough foreign aid package.)

However, Lazlo Hollyfeld’s assumption that it cannot work because, “Palestinians are not Egyptians” it wrong. This is because it doesn’t matter what the people are, but what people can be. National and ethnic identity is not genetic, and it can change over time. People's identities are in many ways caused by the national government they are citizens of.

There are no longer any Prussians, because Prussia is now a part of Germany. There is no Prussian soccer team to root for, or Prussian flag to salute. Similarly, if Gaza became a part of Egypt, with their citizens eligible to participate in all aspects of Egyptian life, over time, the Gaza Palestinians would start identifying as Egyptian. Imagine if a kid from Khan Yunis starred on the Egyptian soccer team. That would have to make someone in Gaza identify with Egypt more.
1.26.2008 4:07pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
"Bedouins" are also not "Egyptians" in any meaningful sense, but they are nevertheless citizens of Egypts.

"Just because they speak the same language, practice the same religion, and share certain historical experiences does not make them the same." It's a pretty good start for refugee absorption, and it's more than could be said about the hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries, including Egypt, that Israel absorbed after their expulsion, who did not speak Hebrew. Leading Palestinians like Yasser Arafat and Edward Said actually have more family roots in Egypt than "Palestine", because there was no geographic entity of "Palestine" until the British mandate, and people moved back and forth. And Gaza could still be granted local autonomy, assuming anyone actually wanted to stay there.

In the early '70s, Israel tried to build permanent housing for some of the Gaza refugees, but the PLO arranged to stop it. Why improve people's live when you can use them as political tools? A Hamas-led "Palestinian" Gaza has no future for its residents; an Egyptian Gaza, with free access to Egypt and Egyptian citizenship for its residents, does.
1.26.2008 4:07pm
DG:
Of all the Israeli's, "New York Jews" as probably one of the smallest minorities. I will hazard there are far more of Polish, North African, Yemeni, or probably even Indian extraction. Although some love to point to Brooklyn settlers, thats really a very small group. Of course, Lazlo knows that.

Why is it such a big issue to point out that some segment of the palestinian population are fairly recent immigrants? Certainly, the population has ballooned in a relatively short period of time - partly from organic growth (thanks UN welfare programs) and partially from emigration, in the first half of the 20th century.
1.26.2008 4:13pm
Thoughtful (mail):
Professor Bernstein continues to be sardonically, albeit unintentionally, humorous. In addition to comments already made, I'd like to compliment him on the howler that he knows more about P. R. than the government of Israel.
1.26.2008 4:15pm
33yearprof:
The Arabs don't want their Palestinian "brothers" (for good reason).

The Israelis don't want their Palestine "enemies" (for good reason).

Too bad, Palestinians.
1.26.2008 4:24pm
VFBVFB (mail):
--- Yes, because granting citizenship to a million refugees is something most nations would otherwise jump at. ---

Most nations wouldn’t jump at granting citizenship to a million refugees. But what you overlook is that in the pan-Arab nationalist ideology of the Egyptians who refused to grant Gazan’s citizenship, there is one historic Arab nation. The pan-Arab ideology was that the national identities that various Arabs had was merely the result of colonialism. That is why they attempted to create the United Arab Republic. Thus, the Egyptian refusal to grant Gazans citizenship is not like the American refusal to grant all Bosnian refuges citizenship. It would be more akin to if Canada invades the United States, and Nevada refused to grant voting rights to refugees from occupied Montana.
1.26.2008 4:24pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> Just because they speak the same language, practice the same religion, and share certain historical experiences does not make them the same.

Would it be rude to ask why they're so immature?

Even the most piss-poor US state has more diversity and folks somehow manage to get along.

And, speaking of piss-poor Americans, the rest of us look down on them for harboring grudges for 30 years.

At some point, it doesn't matter whether they got shafted in 49. The point now is that they've done nothing since then but wallow in victimhood and invent new ways to kill themselves. Why should anyone care how miserable they've managed to keep themselves?

Oh, I forgot. The miserable state of the Palestinians is an excuse to hate Jews. Carry on then.
1.26.2008 4:25pm
EH (mail):
Nobody in the region will ever lift a finger to help the Palestinians, they are too useful to all sides just the way they are. All sides of their equation benefit from their plight. Well, except them of course.
1.26.2008 4:35pm
Brian G (mail) (www):

Yes, because granting citizenship to a million refugees is something most nations would otherwise jump at.


President Hillary Clinton and a Dem Congress would circa 2011 if they thought the 2012 re-election campaign would be close.

Also, I am shocked to not have seen any stories about how Israel was behind the breaking down of that wall and thus the cause of all the present problems.
1.26.2008 5:30pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
If Israeli leaders had any p.r. sense and/or vision, they would use this opportunity to loudly ask why Egypt, which refused custody of Gaza when Israel returned the Sinai, is so adamant about refusing to do its part to relieve Palestinian suffering.

Isn't that exactly what Egypt is now doing, in allowing the Palestinians from Gaza to stock up on necessary food, fuel and aid supplies?

It's the Israeli's who thought they would starve the people into submission. No luck. Reminds me of a balloon -- you squeeze it hard enough, it pops somewhere.

If Israel controls the ports and airspace, and was content to let the Gazan exports like tomatoes rot rather than allowing them through the borders to raise money, why should Egypt now take responsibility for an impoverished -- and righteously angry -- population?

Israel gambled big and lost. They continue through their mean-spirited collective punishment tactics to gain themselves enemies, rather than to love their neighbors as they would themselves. When will they learn that the more they treat the population bad, the more the people will be forced into the arms of Hamas -- clearly the big winner in these past few days.

Don't blame Egypt for selling them necessary goods to keep people from starving, being cold and in the dark.
1.26.2008 5:33pm
MDJD2B (mail):

Nobody in the region will ever lift a finger to help the Palestinians, they are too useful to all sides just the way they are. All sides of their equation benefit from their plight.

How are they useful to Israel?
1.26.2008 5:35pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
Bian, sadly, while I haven't seen that one, I've seen people as sensible as Megan McArdle (nee Jane Galt) saying that the Egyptians closing the border was entirely Israel's fault.

I guess the trifecta here would be for someone to make both claims: that Israel was behind Egypt closing the border and was behind Hamas breeching the border.
1.26.2008 5:35pm
K Parker (mail):
Lazlo Hollyfeld, that's pure irrelevance. The US and Europe both have large refugee populations from Vietnam, North Africa, the Middle East, etc. Emphasizing how close Egypt and Palestine are in terms of language, religion, and ethnicity does nothing to diminish the outrage of Egypt's refusal to lend them their nationality.

EH,

I understand how the Arab states benefit from exploiting the Palestinians. But how is it that Israel benefits?
1.26.2008 5:41pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
Imho, only a comprehensive aid plan akin to the Marshall Plan where the US was smart enough after the second war (unlike the first) to recognize that treating it's enemies humanely as people, will work at this point.

But until Israel reigns in it's missles -- intent on taking out militants without trials, and tut-tutting at the dead innocent civilians also killed -- such a massive aid and rebuilding program has no chance of success. Hence the sorry mess Israel currently finds herself in.

They never never should have taken on territory in 1967 that they were incapable of controlling or providing for. The generations of righteously angry don't disappear so quickly, and the actions of Israel to date do absolutely nothing to reassure the Palestian people that they will be treated fairly and in good faith.

Compensation for those who lost their lands, for starters. Relinquishing control of the still-occupied lands ports and airspace is another. Prisoner release for those detained without trial. Monetary compensation coming from Israel for those innocents killed.

These truly are shrewd p.r. moves, and realistic efforts that could be taken by Israel before any forward progress in the region will be made. Why not lower the overall Israeli standard of living just a bit to compensate her neighbors for all the damage done to it? Otherwise, continue gambling big -- going for it all, and losing. I wonder if the Israeli's who have lost loved ones in retribution attacks would have gladly paid such a small price overall in order to stop the cycle of deathand human killing. I sure would. Forgiveness is the only way to break such a cycle, because calls for revenge, revenge and more killing surely is not working. Can't we all agree on that at least?
1.26.2008 5:44pm
fishbane (mail):
Emphasizing how close The U.S and Mexico are in terms of language, religion, and ethnicity does nothing to diminish the outrage of the U.S's refusal to lend them their nationality.


(Sure Spanish is not English. Doesn't seem to matter much in border states, though. Anecdote is not data, but when I lived in the Mission in San Francisco, I picked up un pocito of Spanish, and everyone I dealt with could more than make up my missing vocabulary. Frankly, I have more trouble communicating with some of the Polish and Russian immigrants in my Brooklyn neighborhood now.)
1.26.2008 5:58pm
Gideon Kanner (mail):
Earth to Passing by:

Read Mark Twain's description of the 19th century Holy Land. You will find it at the tail end of Innocents Abroad, and there you will find a description of a barren, underpopulated land, neglected by its Turkish rulers, and largeky abandoned by those who once lived there. So where did all those Arabs (pardon me, "Palestinians") come from, you ask? Like I said, a lot of them came from Egypt, Syria, Iraq etc. Read a book by Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial, instead of watching CNN and you may learn something.

Oh, and on that "ethnic cleansing" business, the only people in the Middle East who got ethnically cleansed are Jews who had lived in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Mesopotamia, Yemen etc. for thousands of years but got expelled by the Arabs in the 1940s. So kvetch all you want, but Jews have cultural-historical ties to the Holy Land that go back thousands of years, and a legitimate claim to reestablishing a homeland there. They offered repeatedly to share it with the Arabs who responded: No! No! No! - No recognition, no negotiation and no peace, and offered to drive the Jews into the sea. Now they complain about losing wars that they started, and about mistreatment by their fellow Arab-Egyptians, and about the consequences of their own counterproductive behavior. How do you say chutzpa in Arabic?
1.26.2008 6:09pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

Compensation for those who lost their lands, for starters


Uh, you are aware that it has been the standing position of Israel for decades that it was willing to pay compensation for the lands and buildings lost by Arabs who left Israel in 1948 and that the reason that this has not taken place is that the Arab countries refuse to reciprocate and pay compensation for the property lost by the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from their countries?

I also note that the the amount of compensation that Israel might pay is less than you might think due to the fact that the lands farmed by Arabs were largely rented from absentee landowners in Egypt, Syria, and Turkey.
1.26.2008 6:11pm
emsl (mail):
As usual, the standard ranting from the "everything is Israel's fault" point of view. Pre-67, Egypt and the Gazans universally called for the absolute destruction of Israel. Israel at this point was neither in the West Bank nor Gaza. It did not matter; the Arab world was comprehensively anti-Israel. After 67, when Israel defended itself from what was to be a coordinated attack to destroy it, Israel found itself controlling Gaza and the West Bank. Israel then tries to give Gaza back to Egypt but is refused. Turn the clock forward, and Israel completely withdraws from Gaza. The response is the election of Hamas and continuing terrorism and rocket attacks. Surprising no one, Gazans still call for the absolute destruction of Israel. As long as the inhabitants of Gaza are still artificially segregated from the countries that should have absorbed them, nothing will change. Israel absorbed the Jews expelled or who fled from the Arab countries; it is time for those countries to step up.
1.26.2008 6:13pm
JohnAnnArbor:
Historically, refugees have been allowed to settle elsewhere. When the Arab nations expelled their large Jewish populations in the late '40s and early '50s, Israel took them in and settled them, not holding them in camps.

When the victorious Allies expelled millions of Germans from Königsberg and the surrounding parts of East Prussia, from parts of present Poland and other places that, pre-war, were in Germany, the refugees were resettled. Germany lost the war. Tough.

The Arabs lost their wars to exterminate every Jew in the Middle East, but came up with the brilliant tactic of never admitting it. They did this by heaping abuse on the refugees and confining them in slums, rather than allowing them resettlement elsewhere. They then mounted a PR campaign to blame that on Israel. It's been amazingly successful, but that doesn't change the fact that the "refugees" are only in those camps because the Arabs, didn't want to solve the relatively small problem (compared to what Europe was going through at the same time) by resettling the refugees. No, they wanted to create a much larger, continuous problem, instead.
1.26.2008 6:25pm
Dennis Kucinich (mail):
"As usual, the standard ranting from the "everything is Israel's fault" point of view."

one thing i hate about this dispute is how both sides feel this need to characterize any disagreement with any aspect of their position as a total embrace of the other. i won't defend the equivalence of both sides (i see nothing remotely defensible about the palestinian tactic of suicide terrorism, or hamas generally) but that doesn't mean every single thing the israeli government does in response is justified, or that the majority of palestinians who aren't engaged in terrorism have no legitimate grievances. or that davidb's absurd proposal has any chance of succeeding at anything other than helping the israeli hardliners politically.

but in their eagerness to twist people's words to say something they never did, characterize anything other than total fealty to their position as unjustified bias in favor of the other side, etc., the two sides really are equivalent.
1.26.2008 6:26pm
Gideon Kanner (mail):
Two more dispatches from Earth:

TO Gary Anderson; Try not to be shocked, but Israel returned abandoned Arab homes inside Israel to their rightful owners who showed evidence of title. And the homes of those Arabs who fled in 1948 but refused to deal with Israel, were acquired by eminent domain and their record owners (at least those of them who would take the money) were paid fair market value. With interest.

To Thoughtful: anybody, and that includes a newborn puppy, has more p.r. sense than the Israelis.
1.26.2008 6:30pm
JohnAnnArbor:

Uh, you are aware that it has been the standing position of Israel for decades that it was willing to pay compensation for the lands and buildings lost by Arabs who left Israel in 1948 and that the reason that this has not taken place is that the Arab countries refuse to reciprocate and pay compensation for the property lost by the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from their countries?

More than that. They (Palestinian and Arab leaders) also want to prevent monetary compensation as an option. When a poll was taken in the Palestinian areas that showed a VAST majority (over 80%) would be fine with such compensation instead of "returning," the pollster's lives were threatened and their offices and data thoroughly destroyed. Always, always, killing Jews comes before practical solutions.
1.26.2008 6:31pm
JohnAnnArbor:
As for Jerusalem (to open up another issue), does anyone with a brain think Arab control would lead to Jewish access to their holy sites?

Please.

The list of Muslim sites under Israeli control damaged or destroyed is zero, despite common rantings from the Arab world. The mosques in Jerusalem are open for business. (They use that to both toss rocks at Jews and to dig up their basements in an attempt to destroy any and all pre-Islamic archaeological evidence.)

The list of Jewish sites in Palestinian-controlled areas damaged or destroyed?
Every. Single. One.

But, of course, all problems are because of the Israelis. /sarc
1.26.2008 6:37pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
it has been the standing position of Israel for decades that it was willing to pay compensation for the lands and buildings lost by Arabs who left Israel in 1948 and that the reason that this has not taken place is that the Arab countries refuse to reciprocate and pay compensation for the property lost by the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from their countries?

Sounds like the offer was conditioned on "reciprocation" and Israel was determined to keep what lands it could, up until reality set in.

Those "hundred of thousands of Jewish refugees" don't seem to have much leverage from "their countries" as the Palestinians currently do. Reality man. Face it and don't expect Egypt to pull your 'nads out of the current fire that Israel has managed to kindle all by itself.

I really have no dog in this fight, I just hate to see innocents killed. And I fear that by continuing to encourage the flames, we may well see more and more civilian deaths on both sides because of stubborness, stupidity, and the refusal to recognize reality.
1.26.2008 6:46pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
I'm just glad that children and old people in Gaza tonight are going to bed with full tummies, warm homes, and even a smoke or two with their neighbors.

It's a humanitarian thing, not an Israeli or Palestinian thing.

When the Jewish people were in trouble remember, many others stepped to the plate to go to bat for them in their time of suffering.

We didn't say: other Jews, you need to take care of your own, and leave us out of it because they are not our people.

People are people, and their is no excuse especially for deliberately causing the suffering of children or the elderly. Those Sharon-type tactics just don't work. Nor does refusing to accept resonsibility for consequences and trying to push your troubles off on others.

Israel is strong now; it's time for her to step up to the plate and stop making sorry excuses. People are people are people are people... and on and on, no matter who begat who.
1.26.2008 6:54pm
Stuart M. (mail):
Gary Anderson, one of the reasons we have an Israel now precisely because when Jews were in trouble other people didn't help them and decided to leave them to their fate.

If the Palestinians (and their Arab brothers) were half as concerned about their own welfare as they were about killing Jews and destroying Israel, this conflict would have been over a long time ago.
1.26.2008 7:09pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
one of the reasons we have an Israel now precisely because when Jews were in trouble other people didn't help them and decided to leave them to their fate.

You seem to have a short-term memory. I think a lot of the families of American soldiers -- veterans and those never came home -- as well as humanitarian Catholics who risked their own families' lives to provide shelter for Jewish children, might disagree with your take on history.

I hope we don't have to fight another world war just to prove it. Never forget.
1.26.2008 7:38pm
Ariel Soiffer:
Gary Anderson wrote:


Imho, only a comprehensive aid plan akin to the Marshall Plan where the US was smart enough after the second war (unlike the first) to recognize that treating it's enemies humanely as people, will work at this point.


Guess what? The "Palestinians" have received more than twice as much aid per capita as the Marshall plan recipients - for more than twice as long. The amount of money that has been showered on them is insuperable.

More generally, before 1948, Jews were referred to as "Palestinians". Arabs in that area were called Arabs or Southern Syrians. Not only do the modern Palestinians share a language with other Arabs, a culture, and a history - there never was a nation of Palestine, there never was a distinct Palestinian culture, and there never was a distinct Palestinian version of Arabic. My mother is from Morocco and her Moroccan Jewish Arabic is hardly comprehensible to an Egyptian. Egyptian Arabic is identical to Gazan Arabic. Jordanian Arabic is identical to West Bank Arabic. This is not an accident but instead is rather telling.

As for the notion of facing "reality" - my mother was just as expelled from Morocco as the "Palestinians" were. The difference is that we didn't wage war on Morocco. What you're saying is that we should reward war-like behavior by giving more payments to those who continue to wage war ("leverage") and not reward those who go on and become productive people doing whatever it is that they do. If you increase the incentive to wage war - guess what - you get more war.
1.26.2008 7:41pm
GatoRat:
But until Israel reigns in it's missles...

Are you freaking serious? Which side is lobbing missiles indiscriminately at civilian targets? Which side is randomly blowing up women and children?

I also hasten to point out that the land now known as Israel was previously owned by the Ottoman empire. The fiction that large numbers of Palestinians owned their own land is just that; fiction.

People are people, and their is no excuse especially for deliberately causing the suffering of children or the elderly.

I disagree. When a people give aid and comfort to terrorists, they should be given no quarter. If the Palestinians really wanted peace, they could have it by rejecting the politics of self-destruction. The current condition of Gaza is entirely on the shoulders of the Palestinians and the problems can ultimately only be solved by them as well.
1.26.2008 8:11pm
Can't find a good name:
Giving the Gazans Egyptian citizenship, and making Egypt responsible for security in the area, would benefit Israel, the Gazans, and even Egypt itself, by destroying Hamas's base (Hamas being affiliated with Egypt's anti-government Muslim Brotherhood).


I don't see how the latter follows. Since Hamas is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and a large percentage of the Gazan population is pro-Hamas, for Egypt to give the Gazans citizenship would mean bringing hundreds of thousands of potential Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers into their country. (Even if Hamas lost power in Gaza as the result of an Egyptian takeover, that wouldn't mean that their support in Gaza would necessarily evaporate.)
1.26.2008 8:30pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
The amount of money that has been showered on them is insuperable.

And, even adjusting for inflation, all for naught so long as the crops rot at the borders because Isreal is bent on punitive policies and continues to control the port, land, and air access in preventing the Palestinians from making a productive go at commerce.

What you're saying is that we should reward war-like behavior by giving more payments to those who continue to wage war

No. I'm saying Israel ought to wise up and face the reality on the ground as it stands. The Sharon-endorsed destructive policies of hatred aren't making her any safer in the region, (ie/starving them into submission was bound to fail, don't you see).

If you increase the incentive to wage war - guess what - you get more war.

Exactly. Which is why you don't kick a dog and expect him to lick your hand. Or kill its pups and expect him to forget it anytime soon. Or leave your enemy with no way out by backing him into a corner.

I'm glad Israel finally confronted its extremists who argued that land is worth more than human lives. That "G-d gave this to us". Sadly though, it comes very late in the game, and the consequences of previous actions are hard to undo.

Hence the call for a neutrally established Marshall plan, to rebuild and let the Palestinian people have their own free state, not just to provide temporary aid to those currently living in the Middle East ghettos.

I really wish more of the European Jews would have found it within themselves to fight back against the Germans at the time. I suspect if they had, Israel would not be demonizing the Palestinian people now -- including innocent children and even the elderly -- and instead would have clearer heads to confront the future in a more realistic manner. Because the policies they've been pursing thus far really haven't been all that successful when you look at the situation on the ground today, eh?
1.26.2008 8:31pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
Which side is lobbing missiles indiscriminately at civilian targets? Which side is randomly blowing up women and children?

Which side has had more innocents killed? Intentionally or not, the Jews are sadly winning that one, to their own detriment.

The fiction that large numbers of Palestinians owned their own land is just that; fiction.

And some might say, the fiction that you can just artificially transplant a people, and create a majority Jewish (or any religion) state that will be recognized as legitimate by all, "independent" and sustainable over a permanent period of time is just that -- fiction.

People are people, and their is no excuse especially for deliberately causing the suffering of children or the elderly.

I disagree.


And I suspect until people like you wise up and change their minds (blaming... children? newborns? 5, 6, 7, 8 year olds -- be serious, man!) there will be no peace in the region.

Hath not a Palestian eyes? Hath not a Palestian hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer as a Jew is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Palestinian wrong a Jew, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Jew wrong a Palestinian, what should his sufferance be by Jewish example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
...
The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.


Enough of this for now.
1.26.2008 8:43pm
Dennis Kucinich (mail):
When a people give aid and comfort to terrorists, they should be given no quarter. If the Palestinians really wanted peace, they could have it by rejecting the politics of self-destruction. The current condition of Gaza is entirely on the shoulders of the Palestinians and the problems can ultimately only be solved by them as well.
This kind of collectivism is not selling me on your position. It is individual Palestinians who give aid and comfort to terrorists, not some collective hive-mind. People do not become guilty of the crimes of their neighbors merely by virtue of belonging to the same ethnic group: that is the crudest sort of racism.
1.26.2008 9:08pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
one of the reasons we have an Israel now precisely because when Jews were in trouble other people didn't help them and decided to leave them to their fate.

You seem to have a short-term memory. I think a lot of the families of American soldiers -- veterans and those never came home -- as well as humanitarian Catholics who risked their own families' lives to provide shelter for Jewish children, might disagree with your take on history.
This is so ignorant it's offensive. Not only was WWII not fought to help the Jews, the allies went out of their way not to help the Jews so that no one could claim that the war was on behalf of the Jews, which they correctly thought would make the war less popular.
1.26.2008 10:00pm
neurodoc:
Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians. Palestinians are not Egyptians.
Lazlo Holleyfeld, before the State of Israel was recognized by the United Nations in 1948, there was no question about the origins of the "Palestinians." Up until that time, it was only Jews living in the Holy Land who identified themselves as "Palestinians," publishing Palestinian newspapers, establishing a Palestinian National Symphony, operating Palestinian banks, etc. It was only after the Jewish state came into being that those Palestinians, the only ones there had ever been up until that point in history, came to be known as Israelis. So those you refer to now as "Palestinians" are not the original "Palestinians," they are people who took on the identity for tendentious political purposes. And they are not nearly as separate and distinct an ethnic group as you would have it. (Some of them still have the accents of the isolated Egyptian villages their forbears lived in up until they migrated to where they are now, that for the most part within the last 100 years.)

Passing By: Arab states will not take financial, social or political responsibility for the Palestinians just to help out Bush, Abbas, Israel — or even the Palestinians.
Right! For 60 years, those Arab states have been waging war against Israel ostensibly on behalf of the Palestinians, and agitating ceaselessly in every forum possible in concert with the international Left (formerly the Soviet Union was with them), especially the UN, in the name of the Palestinian cause, but they're not going to contribute constructively to peace efforts. (Oh, and how about the Arabs have treated the "Palestinian" diaspora in their midst. No demonstration of any love there to be sure.)
1.26.2008 10:16pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
It's never time to ask why a foreign country doesn't inconvenience itself for no discernible benefit. Not being Egyptians, all we can reasonably do is ask why our own country does not inconvenience itself for no discernible benefit. Therefore, it's time to ask why the United States, which has been able to absorb 11 million Mexicans within the past ten years, can't grant Gaza's one million full American citizenship, and allow them to live in LA or even Manhattan instead of being stuck in Gaza.
1.26.2008 10:52pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
TT, that would be okay with me, but Egypt is far more directly responsible for the Gazans' plight than is the U.S., including a 20 year occupation in which the Gazans were mercilessly used for political purposes by Nasser et al.
1.26.2008 10:59pm
Laura S.:
Gary writes:

Isn't that exactly what Egypt is now doing, in allowing the Palestinians from Gaza to stock up on necessary food, fuel and aid supplies?


What are you talking about? The Egyptians were quite eager to seal the gap that opened. They have continued to embargo Gaza in all respects.


It's the Israeli's who thought they would starve the people into submission. No luck. Reminds me of a balloon -- you squeeze it hard enough, it pops somewhere.


What? No: border operations require cooperation between Israel and Gaza. No cooperation is therefore a logical follow through of not dealing with Hamas. No squeezing involved. Anyways, wouldn't you seal a hostile border? Exactly.


If Israel controls the ports and airspace, and was content to let the Gazan exports like tomatoes rot rather than allowing them through the borders to raise money, why should Egypt now take responsibility for an impoverished -- and righteously angry -- population?


Righteously angry? Do you realize that your remarks are so far disconnected from reality that they qualify as rank propaganda?
1.26.2008 11:01pm
GatoRat:
This kind of collectivism is not selling me on your position. It is individual Palestinians who give aid and comfort to terrorists, not some collective hive-mind.

If the Palestinian people wanted peace, they could have it. The terrorist flourish not because of the actions of an isolated few, but because an entire society refuses to police itself.

Which side has had more innocents killed? Intentionally or not, the Jews are sadly winning that one, to their own detriment.

When you are attacked by terrorists and have rockets and mortars randomly shot at you, are you supposed to sit back and do nothing? Retaliation is inevitable and given how the terrorists are hidden by a general population that tacitly supports their actions, civilians will be killed.

Gary, you completely fail to appreciate that the Palestinians could have put an end to this violence years ago on their own accord. It is the Palestinians who stubbornly refuse to give up their vow to drive Israel into the sea. The Israelis are more than willing to leave the Palestinians alone if accorded the same privilege.

The notion that Israel and Palestinian Territory are morally equal offenders is utterly corrupt. (And you don't really believe it either--if someone robs your home, do you demand only the actually perpetrator be tried and punished or those who aided and abetted him? I'll wager the latter.)
1.26.2008 11:01pm
neurodoc:
Professor Bernstein, of course what you quoted of that Gary Anderson post was "so ignorant it's offensive," but then too it wasn't entirely coherent (whose "short-term memory", and as to what exactly?!), and it was only one of so many ignorant and/or offensive comments by Gary Anderson on the subject of Israel. How about:
I really wish more of the European Jews would have found it within themselves to fight back against the Germans at the time. I suspect if they had, Israel would not be demonizing the Palestinian people now -- including innocent children and even the elderly
Do you really want to engage with crap like that?
1.26.2008 11:24pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Neuro, I haven't read the comments that closely, but that other line caught my eye.
1.26.2008 11:45pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Contrary to Gary Anderson's ignorant ranting about Israel treats Palestinians, here's a quote from the NYTimes about the situation:
Ahlan Ashour, 38, came with his wife to visit the Egyptian family, the Barhoums, who had put them up for 24 days during an earlier period when the Rafah crossing was shut. Mr. Ashour’s wife, Mohsin Elloulu, said she was struck by how much poorer the Egyptians of Rafah are. “At least our streets are paved,” she said of Gaza. The current lack of electricity and supplies is terrible, she said. “But materially, we’re so much more advanced in Gaza.” A driver here, she said, makes less than $1.50 a day, and in normal times in Gaza, $27. “But nothing is normal now,” she said.
1.27.2008 1:03am
Gary Anderson (mail):
This is so ignorant it's offensive. Not only was WWII not fought to help the Jews, the allies went out of their way not to help the Jews so that no one could claim that the war was on behalf of the Jews

DB: you should see a therapist for your bottled up anger, I think. Plenty of American lives were lost in fighting that war, and their sacrifices clearly helped to save the lives of Jews -- those still living when the concentration camps were liberated.

Intentional or not, if millions of American boys had not died in that fighting, the Jews clearly would be worse off. Their deaths enabled many of "your" people to survive, and prosper (not monetarily, but through their human generations that they lived to sire and bear). Please don't deny that plenty of American lives were lost, and the Jews were indeed helped by these sacrifices -- when clearly America could have chosen to remain neutral and uncaring about what they found in those camps they liberated.

I know you want to claim the eternal victim role, and I do thank you for not "deleting" what you find so offensive, but do rethink your history. No American soldier ever demanded "thanks" from the Jews, but for you to spit on their contributions here -- in America no less -- is sad. People care about people. People care about children, and other innocents being treated poorly. It's always been the American way. Whether the victims are Jews, Ethiopians, Palestinians, or Europeans -- some people see human life, not "us" and "them". But then, our tradtions may be different than yours -- some don't have that "fear gene" everybody's always out to get them, especially when the evidence directly contradicts that.
1.27.2008 10:32am
Gary Anderson (mail):
but Egypt is far more directly responsible for the Gazans' plight than is the U.S.,

And Israel is clearly far more directly responsible than Eqypt.

Again, they are a "strong" not victimized country now, why should the world have to clean up after their failed, Sharon policies? If you never take responsibility for your own consequences, you never change that "poor me" mindset and learn to adjust your past to work with the present and build a more secure future.

(aka/ you made your bed, now lie in it)

(And I note you didn't respond with angry denial about how some religions, individually, sheltered children not their own because as humans, they thought it was the right thing to do -- no matter what the child's genetic lineage)
1.27.2008 10:36am
Gary Anderson (mail):
(whose "short-term memory", and as to what exactly?!),

The short-term memory that would enable the haters in here to claim that the sacrifices of American soldiers and allies in WWII did not help the Jewish people who escaped the ovens, were taken in as refugees, and even had a "homeland" handed to them and subsidized over the years by American taxpayers.

The ingraditude is amazing.
1.27.2008 10:41am
Gary Anderson (mail):
Contrary to Gary Anderson's ignorant ranting about Israel treats Palestinians, here's a quote from the NYTimes about the situation

Yeah, I'm sure that makes the parents of children killed as collateral damage when "militants" are assasinated without trial feel much better, and abates their righteous anger at Israel for killing their child.

Paved roads are more valued than human lives and all that...

This really is one of the saddest threads I've read, because it shows there really is no hope for the future because of the distinctions made between "our" children and theirs. I never thought a parent could somehow justify the loss of an innocent child's lives, but that may be why the numbers continually add up...
1.27.2008 10:46am
Gary Anderson (mail):
I really wish more of the European Jews would have found it within themselves to fight back against the Germans at the time. I suspect if they had, Israel would not be demonizing the Palestinian people now -- including innocent children and even the elderly

Do unto others as you've had done to you and yours,
don't you see it at play here?

Better to fight back hard, at the time, toward those directly causing your pain, rather than bottling it up and letting it erupt years later against a less strong enemy. If you had taken on the Germans with whatever you had, you'd not be killing innocent Palestinians now, I do strongly believe.

The anger at being victimized would have abated long long ago.
1.27.2008 10:49am
Ariel:
Gary,

I thought it was telling that you didn't respond at all to the comments about leaving Morocco. What you're saying is that the poor, deprived Palestinians should get paid for going to war, while those thrown out of their homes, who lived thousands of miles away and had no conflict, should get nothing.

In terms of your mindboggling assertion about the closing of Gaza - the Palestinians had received more aid than that Marshall Plan before they started their intifada and have now received more than twice as much. Gaza wasn't closed down immediately either - it took quite some time. I assume you're being purposefully obtuse by suggesting that the Palestinians were kicked - they received plenty of money before deciding to go to war.

Part of the problem here is that you're either confusing cause and effect or ignorant of the order of events. Let me help you out: (1) Palestinians start second intifada (2) Much later, Israel closes the border.

So is Israel kicking the dog when it's down? Or is there any sort of defense that you would permit a Jew to exercise on his behalf? To be more precise, what defenses is a Jew allowed to exert when suicide bombers and rockets are being sent across a border? Or are Jews supposed to just turn the other cheek and die meekly and nicely like we did for much of our history?

Finally, as to the success of Israeli defensive measures - it depends on what you mean by success. While the number of attempted Palestinian mass murders has remained fairly constant, the number of successes in murdering Israelis has dropped dramatically since 2003. I know that you place no value on Israeli lives but an Israeli might. So by that measure, Israel might consider their policies fairly successful.

Yes, Israel has not completely stopped the Palestinians from attempting mass murder. Part of the problem that you are not acknowledging is that Palestinians are indoctrinated from the time they are children. Perhaps you heard about the Hamas version of Mickey Mouse indoctrinating kids to be suicide bombers? This is not an isolated event and is not limited to Hamas. I encourage you to watch one of the videos; it's chilling to watch a 5-year old hoping to commit mass murder by suicide.

When Israel destroyed the Palestinian TV station, the EU immediately paid for it to be rebuilt and threatened Israel not to destroy it again.

Other measures of success might include the quality of life in the territories. Under Israeli rule, from 1967-1993, every measure of quality of life for Palestinians increased, including lower infant mortality, longer lifespan, higher GDP, more universities, etc. Nevertheless, the Palestinians decided to go to war with Israel.

When one party decides to go to war with the other, normally the border between the two is closed. The Palestinians are lucky that the Israelis are so nice that they continue to provide them with electricity and water. Do you think America would do the same for Mexico if they were firing rockets over the border?

There was a great article a couple of years ago about an Israeli doctor who treated Palestinian patients. The big quote in the article from him was something about how it gets harder to treat them when they call for your death. And that's the point - this is a society that has been indoctrinated into being depraved and considering Jews and Israelis as the epitome of evil, even as they are shown heretofore unknown kindness from a population that they seek to eradicate.
1.27.2008 11:07am
NaG (mail):
Gary Anderson: "If you never take responsibility for your own consequences, you never change that 'poor me' mindset and learn to adjust your past to work with the present and build a more secure future."

Why do you only apply that argument to the Israelis? If anyone has embraced the "poor me" mindset and refused to adapt to build a better future, it's the Palestineans.

The Arab response to its humiliating military defeats has been to do whatever will most exacerbate the suffering of the Palestineans in order to put pressure on Israel. And the Palestinean leaders have helpfully embraced that approach, to their own detriment. The sooner that everyone just accepts the presence of Israel, the better.

I will also note that had Egypt not invaded Israel, Israel would not be in Gaza. Thus, Egypt is the primary cause of Gazan suffering.
1.27.2008 11:13am
Sam Hall (mail):
David M. Nieporent

David, David, those are facts and will have no meaning at all to the pro-arabs here.
1.27.2008 12:09pm
Sam Hall (mail):
Gary Anderson said " Intentional or not, if millions of American boys had not died in that fighting, the Jews clearly would be worse off."

The U.S. lost 418,500 people in WWII, 416,800 military and 1,700 Civilians and many of those were against Japan not in Europe.

Please get your facts right if you want to debate with the grownups.
1.27.2008 12:30pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Gary,

I shouldn't even bother to respond to you, but I'll just ask if you dispute the following historical facts:
(1) Before WWII, the U.S. refused to take in more than a handful of refugees from Germany, and, unlike the UK, refused to even take Jewish children who had sponsors in the U.S.

(2) The U.S., and UK, intentionally downplayed reports of Jewish suffering in Europe during WWII, lest this lead to sympathy for the Nazis among some potential war supporters and allies.

(3) During WWII, the U.S. did almost nothing specifically to rescue European Jews until 1944, when political pressure got Roosevelt to act.

(4) After WWII, the U.S. barely relaxed its immigration policies for Jewish refugees, and housed Jewish displaced persons in their former concentration camp barracks, under deplorable conditions.

Of course, the remaining Jews in Europe benefited when the U.S. emerged victorious against the Nazis. And the fact that Americans, and American policy, was largely indifferent to the fate of the Jews doesn't make the U.S. the moral equivalent of perpetrators, nor does it differentiate the U.S. from just about every other country.

But that doesn't mean that we have to buy into the fairy tale that WWII was in any way, shape, or form, fought on behalf of the Jews of Europe, or that any American soldiers died on specific missions to save European Jews. I recommend Fussell's book Wartime for a discussion of what American soldiers thought they were fighting for, and it wasn't the Jews.

BTW, if the goal had been to save European Jews, the last policy in the world that FDR and Churchill would have insisted on was unconditional surrender. I'm not saying unconditional surrender was a correct or incorrect policy (though I'm inclined to the latter), but that a negotiated surrender a year or two earlier in the war, as some German officers wanted, would have saved hundreds of thousands of Jews (and, for that matter, Germans, and, for that matter, tens of thousands of allied soldiers).

Finally, if you don't know enough history to know that "millions" of American boys weren't killed in WWII, it wouldn't be surprising if you are ignorant of everything
else. And by the way, I, and other American Jews are as American as you are, and I suspect that my principles are more "American" than yours.
1.27.2008 12:33pm
NaG (mail):
Gary Anderson: "Better to fight back hard, at the time, toward those directly causing your pain, rather than bottling it up and letting it erupt years later against a less strong enemy. If you had taken on the Germans with whatever you had, you'd not be killing innocent Palestinians now, I do strongly believe."

This is the kind of comment that causes people to lose respect for the speaker.

All that would have happened if the minority Jewish population had fought back with what little they had left against the Nazi regime would have been a slightly quicker extermination. Not to mention that Jews have not "erupted" against anybody -- they were given the land of Israel by UN decree and then repeatedly attacked by Arab neighbors.
1.27.2008 1:21pm
Yankev (mail):

I'd like to compliment him on the howler that he knows more about P. R. than the government of Israel.
Sadly, almost anyone knows more about PR than the government of Israel. This should hardly come as news.
1.27.2008 2:51pm
Yankev (mail):
While we're engaged in the futile task of educating Gary Anderson

Hence the call for a neutrally established Marshall plan, to rebuild and let the Palestinian people have their own free state, not just to provide temporary aid to those currently living in the Middle East ghettos.
If you read Wall Street Journal news articles from the beginning of Oslo, you will find that Israel offered to do exactly that -- help the Palestinians develop an independent economy, including trade and manufacture. The same article quotes Palestinian spokesmen rejecting the offer because they wanted nothing to do with the hated Jews.

And if you read some US history, you will learn that when the US adopted the Marshall Plan, Germany and Japan had unconditionally surrendered and ceased all hostilities. Quite different from being asked to aid an enemy on your very borders, sworn to your destruction and the extermination of your people, launching continuous attacks against your civilian population, taking advantage of every humnaitarian act on your part to wage further terror, and conducting a ceaseless campaign of lies aimed at your total and permanent destruction.
1.27.2008 3:12pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
Of course, the remaining Jews in Europe benefited when the U.S. emerged victorious against the Nazis. And the fact that Americans, and American policy, was largely indifferent to the fate of the Jews doesn't make the U.S. the moral equivalent of perpetrators, nor does it differentiate the U.S. from just about every other country.

Beautiful! I think you're starting to get it, instead of spitting on the graves of the millions of Americans who sacrificed (the mothers fathers sisters and brothers, and all the homeland folks who also sacrificed when the soldiers didn't come home, or came home wounded or otherwise affected. Don't downplay the numbers "killed" fighting in a war that clearly benefitted the Jewish people via the soldiers' push to victory.)

You assume every non-Jew is stupid. Your perogative. But again, don't spit on all those graves. And don't blame anti-semitism as the reason that the rest of the world is not willing to look the other way as Israel constructs her ghettos, intentionally pursues policies that affect innocent children, and ends up failing in these punitive measures.

Say Egypt declines the offer to clean up after Israel, and care for these people. What then? Ethnic cleansing? Genetically select Jewish-states? It's funny really how much you're adopting the policies of a once dreaded regime in order to advance your own state's interests.

And remember commenters: I might be a minority in here as a non-Jew, but sadly there is a larger reality of neutral people out there with no allegiance to either Israel or Palestine that does see children as children, people as people, and will seek humanitarian measures for the Palestinians. So really, I'd scratch the ethnic cleansing option and start taking responsibility now.
1.27.2008 4:21pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
(And you don't really believe it either--if someone robs your home, do you demand only the actually perpetrator be tried and punished or those who aided and abetted him? I'll wager the latter.)


I think we just disagree on the basic facts on the ground: exactly who robbed who of their homes? God help the United States if the latter choice is indeed true. We'll be paying for Israel's errors ad finitum. Get it?
1.27.2008 4:30pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
And by the way, I, and other American Jews are as American as you are

I forget DB.
Don't you, and members of your family, hedge your bets and hold dual citizenship? Remember what Teddy Roosevelt said about that?

And make sure you thank all us lesser Americans who have family serving in the American military that you are so eager to spit on, and paying for Israel's support via our taxes. (Thanks AIPAC for passing the hat to Americans of all ethnicities!)
1.27.2008 4:48pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
I am not a dual-citizen, and I'll wager that I have as many close family relatives who are veterans as you.
1.27.2008 4:55pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
Not veterans.
Who've you got over there in the Middle East serving actively? (And not the mandatory stint in the Israeli Army either?)

Tell me: your wife, inlaws... no dual citizens among them, eh? Funny, I thought I read you being high on that concept here.

Look, I'm glad you're pro-Israel. Just like I'm glad the Cuban immigrants are pro-Cuba. Funny how their priorities haven't been allowed to take over America's foreign policy interests though, for the good of the country (United States).

You justify killing Palestinian children all you like. Some of us out here will understandably have none of it though. We can't understand how collective punishment continues to be pursued, even as it continues to prove unsuccessful to say the least.
1.27.2008 5:25pm
stonetools (mail):
Actually, the best solution- Offer every Palestinian inGaza and the West Bank US Citizenship.

The camps would be empty within a year. The only problem would be folks sneaking INTO the camps to pose as Palestinian refugees.
There, problem solved.
1.27.2008 5:37pm
K Parker (mail):
Can't TPTB here just send Gary away for good? What a blot on any meaningful discussion here....
1.27.2008 5:38pm
Ariel:
Gary,

You really are hopelessly ignorant. WRT Cuba, Cuban-Americans are quite instrumental in setting policy.
1.27.2008 5:54pm
michael (mail) (www):
With the use of suicide bombers, the Palestinians, in a moral and p.r. useful inchoateness, have engaged in a savage war crime. Their lack of fearfulness in promoting it I think is related to their feeling that they aren't going to lose and be held to account. We confuse that with a proper sense of legitimacy in their action. The Israelis understandably feel 'rotten tomatoes' if that is indeed what is happening is the lesser of evils.

As to 'the allies went out of their way not to help the Jews,' one of the wise men who LBJ consulted as the VN war got unpopular, had been in a position of war planning during WWII. He asked Felix Franfurter, his neighbor, about the reality of concentration camp killing of Jews during the war. This was in a search to see what action might be appropriate. Justice Frankfurter doubted the reality of it and was thus was one one of those Americans who 'went out of their way not to help the Jews.'
1.27.2008 5:55pm
Tomtron (mail):
David wants Palestinians lose the right to be citizens of their homeland and move to Egypt. Ahmadinejad wants Israelis to lose the right to be citizens of their homeland and move to Europe.
1.27.2008 5:59pm
Yankev (mail):

Can't TPTB here just send Gary away for good? What a blot on any meaningful discussion here....

Careful K. Parker, or Gary will accuse you of being Jewish and start asking about your family's military service record, too. Besides, think of all the valuable things we have learned from Gary over the time he's been here.

1) Jewish Americans are not real Americans.
2) Jews,or at least the Jews who post at VC, put Israel's needs above those of the US.
3) Jews as a people are cowards, attacking the weak and defenseless who have not harmed them, but not confronting those who do them actual harm. And they certainly do not serve in the US armed forces, at least not in combat roles.
4) Jews as a people are vengeful.
5) Jews have no sense of mercy. (Never mind that Israeli hospitals not only give free treatment to Gazans and other Palestinians who cannot afford to pay, admitting into Israel on humanitarian grounds, but in fact they also treat those who have committed terror attacks on Israelis. Never happened.)
6) Jews are greedy and have a hunger for other people's land. And if they can trick non-Jews into footing the bill, so much the better.
7) Jews are such blatant liars that they make up facts even when it's easy to call them on it, so there's no sense even looking into first hand sources that a Jew points out to you.
8) Jews hold grudges, and lack the virtue of Christian foregiveness.
9) Because Jews think they have the right to defend themselves, even when those attacking them are hiding behind civilians, Jews do not value non_Jewish life.
10) American Jews have taken over US foreign policy for the benefit of Israel and to the detriment of real Americans.
11) Jews are ingrates, especially when it comes to the sacrifices made by real Americans who served in the armed forces.
12) Jews look down on non-Jews and consider them lesser Americans (in the case of US non-Jews) or sub-humans (in the case of Arabs).
13) Jews make much too big a deal out of anti-semitism. It is illegitimate to protest anti-semitic acts or statements unless and until they rise to the level of the Holocaust. Anything else is just a cynical method of extortion or fund raising, or a scare tactic designed to cover up Nazi-like atrocities by Israel.
14) Jews cynically accuse people of being anti-semitic who are not, in order to silence criticism.

Where would we go to learn this kind of important informantion if not for Gary?

And so far as I know, Gary has never accused the Jews of deicide, inventing and spreading AIDS to decimate the gentile population, or killing non-Jewish babies to use their blood in religious rituals. Even if he did, so long as he has not personally shoved anyone into a gas chamber, it would be wrong to criticise him.
1.27.2008 6:07pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):
I really like how:


Intentional or not, if millions of American boys had not died in that fighting, the Jews clearly would be worse off.


changes to:


millions of Americans who sacrificed (the mothers fathers sisters and brothers, and all the homeland folks who also sacrificed when the soldiers didn't come home, or came home wounded or otherwise affected.


Wow.

Kind of makes me wonder about all of your other "facts".

Is Israel blameless or perfect? Of course not. However, how do you deal with a group of people who refuse to be anything other than victims? Israel pulled out of Gaza, and they are still being attacked. What to do?

I know. Open the border between Gaza and Israel, with no guards or checkpoints. Surely that will keep the "Palestinian freedom fighters" from attacking Israelis. And if not, I'm sure its because Israel did something else wrong, since the "Palestinians" are completely blameless for their situaution. Nothing that's happened could possibly be THEIR fault.
NOT.

Personally, I think Israel should stay out of Gaza, completely evacuate the West Bank and unilaterally release ALL of the "Palestinian" prisoners. Let the "Palestinians" govern themselves. Allow movement of goods and people to and from Israel and the "Palestinian" territories only after all attacks against Israel have ceased for 30 days and ALL Israeli prisoners have been released.

They can choose to live as neighbors or enemies. THEIR actions would determine their fate.
1.27.2008 6:11pm
NaG (mail):
Gary Anderson: "And remember commenters: I might be a minority in here as a non-Jew, but sadly there is a larger reality of neutral people out there with no allegiance to either Israel or Palestine that does see children as children, people as people, and will seek humanitarian measures for the Palestinians. So really, I'd scratch the ethnic cleansing option and start taking responsibility now."

Actually, Gary Anderson, even non-Jews like me think you're batty.

If Israel really wanted "ethnic cleansing," it wouldn't be walling itself off from Palestineans. If Palestineans really wanted to improve their lot in life, they wouldn't be lobbing rockets indiscriminately and engaging in suicide bombings. Frankly, the Palestineans lost the moral high ground as soon as they sunk to terrorism. People are people and children are children, but terrorism simply will not be rewarded. If Palestinean leaders chose the Ghandi route, they probably would have most of what they want already. But no, they had to go bomb things. And they have reaped the bitter harvest as a result.
1.27.2008 6:55pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Personally, I think Israel should stay out of Gaza,
Yes; in general, I think unilateral disengagement is Israel's only realistic hope. The problem is that then rockets keep coming out of Gaza.
1.27.2008 7:26pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
Careful K. Parker, or Gary will accuse you of being Jewish and start asking about your family's military service record, too. Besides, think of all the valuable things we have learned from Gary over the time he's been here.

And how much time did you waste typing up that crappy list that I didn't even bother reading? Poor you, eh?

But no, they had to go bomb things. And they have reaped the bitter harvest as a result.

What y'all are missing is the ability to distinguish between Palestinians: Not all Palestinians are bombers, you know. Especially not the children. Justice is hard work, not something so easy as "all Palestianians are X". Imagine if we lumped Jews/Israelis together like that.

reaped the bitter harvest as a result
Sadly for Israel, the harvest is not yet over. Reality people. And recognize what is NOT working.
1.27.2008 8:03pm
DoubleTapper (mail) (www):
Way off topic but...what's with the 72 virgins anyway? Has anyone ever seen them?

I've been around and I know what their ideal woman looks like. Yuck!

I've got a better offer for them. Don't blow yourself up. Repent, and come visit us in Israel.

Here are 72 of our finest waiting to show you true paradise. No painful suicide required!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH8t9Gz7fgE

DoubleTapper
http://DoubleTapper.blogspot.com
DoubleTapper@gmail.com
1.28.2008 8:05am
Yankev (mail):
RETRACTION: I realized this morning that #13 on my crappy list that Gary did not bother reading was largely taken from the comments of another poster on another thread, and not from Gary's. The same is true of the final sentence of that post. I regret the confusion.

The other items on my crappy list remain a fair synopsis of views that Gary has posted at one time or another.
1.28.2008 9:05am
Thsw (mail):
Why would Palestinians want Egyptian citizenship?

Egypt has refused to re-seal the border because they no longer wish to be Israel's proxy jailers.
Whilst the Israeli settlements have gone Israel still occupies Gaza in that (until the recent jail break) it had total control of all crossings and borders and sea and airspace.

David Bernstein's blog is a shining example of Israel's long term plan to wipe Gaza off the map.
1.28.2008 10:14am
NaG (mail):
Gary Anderson: "What y'all are missing is the ability to distinguish between Palestinians: Not all Palestinians are bombers, you know."

Well, duh. What's your point? Fact remains that Palestinean culture has embraced terrorism as a means for righting perceived wrongs, which in itself invalidates any moral standing in the matter. Yes, some Palestineans deserve better -- but as a whole they have voted for Hamas and supported folks like Arafat who have stubbornly stood in the way of a better Palestinean life. Instead of blaming Israel -- who could indeed be a great partner in obtaining that better life -- they should be re-evaluating their own path and the path their leaders have set forth.

As for Israel, I'm pretty sure they don't see the current situation as "not working." They still have their country, enjoy quite a bit of wealth, the security is pretty good, and there's really nothing anyone can do about it. Sure, it could be even better, but compared to what the Palestineans and surrounding Arab countries want (which is to exterminate the Jews and/or "drive them into the sea"), it's a rather good position to be in.
1.28.2008 10:57am
wfjag:
Professor:

While I generally agree with your points, they are overstated:

(

1) Before WWII, the U.S. refused to take in more than a handful of refugees from Germany, and, unlike the UK, refused to even take Jewish children who had sponsors in the U.S.


There were exceptions to the strict quotas in the US immigrations laws. If you were famous, like Einstein; if your were rich, like the Vienna branch of the Rothchild family; or if you had advanced scientific or engineering training, like quite a few people who ended up working at Los Alamos, the Manhatten Project, and other government and private enterprises, you got in. However, even today US immigation laws prevent persons from legally entering the US although they are otherwise fully qualified and have sponsors. While the US had very close relations with the P.I., the waiting time is up to 18 years due to the country quotas (unless you happen to be one of the lucky 25,000 per year whose names are drawn in the annual lottery which exempts you from the country quotas.) The failure of the US to take more Jews (and non-Jews) from Europe before WWII was due to the fact that US immigration laws are a complete FUBAR. That hasn't changed.

(

2) The U.S., and UK, intentionally downplayed reports of Jewish suffering in Europe during WWII, lest this lead to sympathy for the Nazis among some potential war supporters and allies.


The reports were "downplayed" because they were not believed. US and UK top decision makers simply didn't believe that any civilized nation would systematically exterminate groups of people -- Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, etc. Much of the intell came via the USSR, which was pressing for the opening of a Western Front by a cross-Channel invasion, which the US and UK were not prepared to do before 1944.

(

3) During WWII, the U.S. did almost nothing specifically to rescue European Jews until 1944, when political pressure got Roosevelt to act.


By the end of 1944 the US and UK had occupied enough of France and the Belux countries and captured enough Nazi records so that there was no doubt that the systematic deportations and extermination was occurring. I don't believe there is credible evidence that FDR was anti-semitic. A number of the Nuremberg prosecutors remarked that the Nazis had a morality that was completely alein to them. Many of the Nazis not only had no remorse, they felt completely justified in what they had done. Goering's testimony, for example, is quite illuminating -- and chilling.

(

4) After WWII, the U.S. barely relaxed its immigration policies for Jewish refugees, and housed Jewish displaced persons in their former concentration camp barracks, under deplorable conditions.


True. And where else were they going to be put? The US/UK bombing had flattened almost every German city, and destroyed the European transportation network. The Marshall Plan wasn't devised until 1947. Conditions were "deplorable" everywhere.


Of course, the remaining Jews in Europe benefited when the U.S. emerged victorious against the Nazis. And the fact that Americans, and American policy, was largely indifferent to the fate of the Jews doesn't make the U.S. the moral equivalent of perpetrators, nor does it differentiate the U.S. from just about every other country.


I don't believe that the US was "indifferent" to the fate of the Jews, at least any more than it was "indifferent" to the fate of a lot of other groups. The Jews' were treated largely in the same way as other groups within the various nations. Those located in the US/UK/French occupation zones fared as well as others in those zones, and better than those in the USSR occupation zone. Given the material wealth of the US, people in the US occupation zone were better off than in other places.


But that doesn't mean that we have to buy into the fairy tale that WWII was in any way, shape, or form, fought on behalf of the Jews of Europe, or that any American soldiers died on specific missions to save European Jews. I recommend Fussell's book Wartime for a discussion of what American soldiers thought they were fighting for, and it wasn't the Jews.


There is no doubt that FDR wanted to defeat Nazi Germany, and took steps to provoke a war with Nazi Germany. However, when Germany, honoring its treaty commitment to Japan, declared war on the US on Dec 8, 1941 (the US Congress did not declare war on Germany until Dec 14th), FDR is reported to have remarked "Thank God. At least I won't have to lead a divided country into war." FDR saw Germany as the most dangerous enemy. FDR's decisons have to also be put in the historical context of the 1930s. One of the well publicized findings of the Nie Committee was that the US had been misled by British WWI propaganda about Hun Atrocities, and FDR had to contend with a very strong isolationist sentiment in the US. While it was known that there were labor and concentration camps, the Final Solution was not developed and implemention begun until beginning in late 1943. The horror of the Holocaust didn't become known until US and UK troops entered Germany and began liberating the death camps in 1945. Even Eisenhower, who had access to all the available intel in Europe, was completely shocked when he visited the first of the camps liberated. If there had been undisputable evidence of the death camps earlier, I have no doubt that it would have been used in the US war effort's propaganda. However, given the experience of "Hun Atrocities", any such assertions during WWII would have been regarded with great skepticism, and likely would have undermined the US's war effort against Nazi Germany. That facts exist is not the same as knowing of them or being able to prove them. The knowledge and proof of the Holocaust came later. I believe you are engaging in a post hoc analysis of FDR based on what is now known, rather than evaluating him on what he knew when he made the decisions he made.


BTW, if the goal had been to save European Jews, the last policy in the world that FDR and Churchill would have insisted on was unconditional surrender. I'm not saying unconditional surrender was a correct or incorrect policy (though I'm inclined to the latter), but that a negotiated surrender a year or two earlier in the war, as some German officers wanted, would have saved hundreds of thousands of Jews (and, for that matter, Germans, and, for that matter, tens of thousands of allied soldiers).


In 1941-43 when the "unconditional surrender" strategy was being developed, one of the arguments made, which finally was given great weight, was to not repeat the "mistake" of WWI and leave a Germany that could view itself as undefeated. WWI ended without Germany being militarily defeated, and the "betrayal" myth was used by Hitler. Further, until the Marshall Plan in 1947, by which time it was clear that a robust Germany was vital to a strong European economy, there were serious discussions of completely de-industralizing Germany so that it could never again be a significant military power. The French, not surprisingly, pushed very hard for this. The USSR largely stripped Germany. And, the UK was bankrupt, and but for very generous US aid and loan terms, would also have pushed hard for stripping Germany of its resources in order to sustain its economy. I believe that unconditional surrender was a necessary strategy.


Finally, if you don't know enough history to know that "millions" of American boys weren't killed in WWII, it wouldn't be surprising if you are ignorant of everything else. And by the way, I, and other American Jews are as American as you are, and I suspect that my principles are more "American" than yours.


As a matter of linguistics and consistent with Cognative Psychology, the most important concept is stated first. Of all groups in the US that assert some sort of "ethnic" identification as Americans, apparently only Jews call themselves "American Jews". Others call themselves "Irish-Americans", "Mexican-Americans" or "African-Americans", etc. A subtle, but interesting point about the thinking of "American Jews".
1.28.2008 1:02pm
Yankev (mail):

As a matter of linguistics and consistent with Cognative Psychology, the most important concept is stated first. Of all groups in the US that assert some sort of "ethnic" identification as Americans, apparently only Jews call themselves "American Jews". Others call themselves "Irish-Americans", "Mexican-Americans" or "African-Americans", etc. A subtle, but interesting point about the thinking of "American Jews".
wfjag, the term Jewish Americans is often used as well. But you overlook an important distinction. "Irish-Americans" are Americans who came here from Ireland, or whose ancestors did. Upon accepting American citizenship, they ceased to be Irish, and became Americans of Irish extraction. American Jews (or Jewish Americans) did not come here from a Jewish homeland (except for those few who came directly from Israel, a relatively recent phenomenon.) Some were and some were not citizens of the countries from whence they came. They eagerly and proudly embraced American citizenship, but were not former Jews who had become American. They continued to remain Jews. For Irish-Americans, Mexican Americans, etc., this was not a possiblity. A third generation American of Irish extraction may see himself as an Iris-American, but he is not an American Irish. A third generation American (me, for instance) who is Jewish is both a Jewish American and an American Jew. The order often depends on the context of the discussion.
1.28.2008 1:47pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
WF, I don't disagree with much of what you wrote re my points, but they are all consistent with my thesis, that WWII was not fought on behalf of the Jews, was not thought at the time to be fought for the Jews, and the Jews did not get special treatment from the American military. The way I look at it, when a war is killing 50 million people, it was easy enough to be indifferent to the fate of a few hundred thousand civilians here or there who could have been saved, even if you were not at all anti-Semitic.

As for "American Jews", the term dates back from well before hyphenated Americans, when the politically correct term for Jews was "American Hebrews" (we still have the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the reform movement) or "American Israelites." This reflected Reformist ideology that Judaism is primarily a religion, not a "peoplehood", so there are "American Jews" just like "American Christians" or "American Catholics." The origins, then, contrary to your implication, are assimilationist. As someone else noted, "Jewish American" is not analogous to "Irish American" because Jews didn't come to the U.S. from "Jewland."
1.28.2008 1:57pm
NotAJew (mail):
Gary Anderson: "Better to fight back hard, at the time, toward those directly causing your pain ..."

... by, say, blasting the Hamas missileers who are trying their best to kill Israeli civilians? Oh, but for some reason you think Israel shouldn't be doing that ...
1.28.2008 2:44pm
yankev (mail):

when the politically correct term for Jews was "American Hebrews" (we still have the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the reform movement) or "American Israelites." This reflected Reformist ideology that Judaism is primarily a religion, not a "peoplehood", so there are "American Jews" just like "American Christians" or "American Catholics."

DB, you left out my favorite -- "an American of the Mosaic persusasion."
1.28.2008 2:56pm
Gideon Kanner (mail):
As I read all this stuff it's easy to forget that this thread started out as a discussion of Gaza and Egypt. So here is a question for you. Between 1948 and 1967 (for about 20 years) Gaza was ruled by Egypt and was hermetically sealed off from Israel. Query: how did Gazans get their electricity and supplies then? It wasn't from Israel. So pray tell how did Israel suddenly become responsible for supplying Gaza even as Gazans wage war on it by continuously firing missiles over the border? And if the Gazans have the funds for those missiles why don't they have what it takes to buy food etc. Inquiring minds want to know.
1.28.2008 9:05pm
neurodoc:
Gary Anderson: Intentional or not, if millions of American boys had not died in that fighting,...
What immodest ignorance.

Gary Anderson: No American soldier ever demanded "thanks" from the Jews, but for you to spit on their contributions here -- in America no less -- is sad.
May not have demanded it, but surely received it. And Professor Bernstein was
"spit(ting) on the contributions" of American soldiers in pointing out that the US did not enter into WWII to save European Jewry, nor did it make that a war objective, declining even to bomb the rail lines to Auschwitz.

But how silly of me to bother with the likes of a Gary Anderson.
1.28.2008 10:40pm
LM (mail):
Brian G:

Also, I am shocked to not have seen any stories about how Israel was behind the breaking down of that wall and thus the cause of all the present problems.

Anyone could see it was a controlled demolition. Not only that, but olive oil doesn't cook hot enough to get chick-pea balls the deep golden color you find at certain Gaza fallafel stands. Somebody must have been bringing in a hotter oil from outside, and who had the motive, means and opportunity to do it apart from the CIA and Mossad? And of course the Queen of England. And possibly Bertrund Russell when we was alive.
1.29.2008 12:03am
Thsw (mail):
Gideon Kanner:
er, they generated their own? Fuel: perhaps they simply traded by via air and sea? Egypt wasn't a US puppet state?

That was 40 years ago. So, the question should be, "What has happened in the mean time?"

The infrastructure has been blown up by the Israelis. The airspace above and surrounding Gaza is fully controlled by Israeli/US supplied) military aircraft. The sea links are controlled (and mined) by Israeli military navy. The Egyptian people (once great and noble) have no democracy and must endure the indignity of being oppressed by a US support dictatorship. (Muslim Brotherhood is banned: "we want democracy in the ME"-Bush et al!!)

"So pray tell how did Israel suddenly become responsible for supplying Gaza even as Gazans wage war on it by continuously firing missiles over the border?"

Well, maybe is has something to do with a)they occupied the place between 1967 and 2005, b)They control ALL aspects of that prison, including the taxation system and c)you use the phrase, "Gazans wage war" as if it's irrational for them to do so: okay, so, the Vietnamese were irrational to fight oppression? the USA was irrational to wage war against 'uk'? The Picts were irrational to wage war against the Romans? The Kosovars were irrational to wage war against the Serbs? The blacks in South Africa were irrational to wage war? The socialists, communists and anarchists were irrational to wage war against the nazis? The north American Indians were irrational to wage war against the Europeans?

Tell me, , were the poor sods in the Warsaw Ghetto also WAGE WAR against the nazis,or did they simply fight for their freedom and their rights?
1.29.2008 2:26pm
Thsw (mail):



Oops, missed a bit:

"And if the Gazans have the funds for those missiles why don't they have what it takes to buy food etc."

"Missiles": Do define. If you mean "Rockets", do define. If you mean completely ineffectual hand launched ballistics, then you are making at least some sense.

The question, isn't about the ability to pay for food, it's about the ability to get access to the stuff. I despair at your complete lack of knowledge on this issue. Again and again, you post comments and articles trotting out the same old nonsense; indoctrinated drivel that even a cursory glance at references of repute would dispel.

Then you say,

"Inquiring minds want to know."

the absurdity of your position on this; I wait for you to actually take back a point that had been proven incorrect. You simply are ignoring the raw, abundant and easily found data that dispel the product of indoctrination you evidently suffer under.

"Inquiring minds want to know."---Yes they do. However, you have neither the inquiring mind nor the desire to know.

As I said before, i have no real issue in demolishing the theories on this topic but I do wish you would you would acknowledge the destruction and use the thoughts, ideas and data to adjust you take on this issue. Opinion is a great thing, but only when based upon the foundation of knowledge.
1.29.2008 2:46pm
06grad:
As Thsw's terse response has yet to be attacked by all the pro-Isreal bloggers, I will add a few more points.

1. Since January 2006, more than 800 Gazans have been killed from Israeli military action (where nearly half were non-combatants). Clearly the numbers are lopsided.

2. Yes, Isreal has the right to defend itself against rocket attacks, but it does not have the right to cut off power, food and medicine as well.

3. Uncontested facts clearly show that Israel has long used collective punishment as a tactic in Gaza. Keep in mind that collective punishment is ILLEGAL under international law.

4. By punishing all Gazans for the indefensible acts of a few, Isreal is validating the same argument used by the militant palestinians who insist that all Israelis are fair targets because they vote and are therefore responsible for their government's actions.
1.30.2008 12:05pm