Feb

5

27 Comments

    • wirc  

      Yes, that was a great editorial, filled with all the usual rhetoric and lies the neighborhood foists on naive college students, while disregarding economic indicators, obvious architectural issues, and even the fact that Columbia's buildings are about as dirty as they were before. The audacity of these people is a card pulled from every NIMBY's book, in rich areas, or poor ones. If you want to see a real "thriving community," go north of 135th street.

      • I agree  

        My favorite part is the last paragraph. "Why don't we just expand, AND give people affordable housing and better jobs at the same time?!"

        While Columbia is at it, it should solve all the conflicts in the Middle East, balance the federal budget, and cure cancer. It's just that easy since clearly Columbia has infinite resources!

  1. why should  

    Israel place a greater value on Palestinian lives than the Palestinians themselves do?

  2. Ahem!

    Israel's Palestinian policy is not a left-right issue. Israel has anti-settlement, socialist, secularist leftists and death-to-all-arabs fundamentalists. To deny Israel's fundamental right to exist as a state isn't a position of "the left" (Ahmadinejad is hardly a leftist) -- it's a position of the crazy, and quite possibly racist.

  3. I know

    Yeah, a single state with one-person, one vote and equal rights for all is completely nutzo, and definitely racist. Actually, supporters of apartheid in South Africa said the exact same thing for decades.

    This was by the way, for two decades the official position of the PLO. You know, like in the mid/late 1980s, when Israel was supporting Hamas as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the PLO.

    I would like to hear about these supposed socialists in Israel. You mean like the Labour party responsible as anyone for the neoliberalization of the Israeli economy, which overwhelmingly supported the destruction of Lebanon, and is now in a coalition with a fascist like Avi Lieberman?

    And yes, anti-zionism has been the traditional position of the left. This dates back to the founding of the Zionist movement. While Herzl and then Weizmann were cozying up to colonialists and anti-semites like Von Plehve and Lord Balfour, the Jewish Bunds, who were implacably hostile to zionism, dominated politics within the Pale.

    But why let facts or history get in the way of a good argument.

    Jonah

  4. Anonymous  

    I second Jonah's comment

  5. the real issue  

    The article by Herring really hits on an important point. Israel gave up Gaza and gave the Palestinians their first chance at self-governance (albeit with restricted airspace), and even an open border (which has proved drastically detrimental to israel's security--not the suicide bombing last week was due to the open border between Gaza and Sinai). The news out of Gaza speaks for itself--left to their own devices, the powers that be in Gaza are destroying their country. Citizens there have nowhere to hide from Hamas or Fatah gunmen. Mosques are being destroyed, houses rattled with artillery and bullets, hospitals taken over as battle locations. That's not to mention all the kidnappings. Sadly, the Palestinians were only united by hatred of Israel, not a common goal to attain progress and prosperity. Now that Israel is gone, we see the results when anger and ambition are the most powerful emotions governing a society.

    • Jim

      You could not be more wrong if you used a random text generator to make your point.

      Gaza still is an occupied territory according to all international conventions and laws. Israel controls all its land borders, sea-front and airspace. Israel can enter the territory anytime and raids it from outside.

      Besides, to think that this means 'Israel is gone' is pathetic. Israel still occupies ALL of the West Bank. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are one people. The Nazi occupation of France wouldn't have ended if the Nazis evacuated their tropps from Marseille.

      Also, the Palestinians never had any sovereignty, everything is controlled by Israel.

      Try and read a bit before making an ass of yourself on a public forum like this.

      • To be fair  

        Before everything was controlled by Israel, everything was controlled by Jordan and Egypt (i.e. 1948-1967). Your argument also seems to suggest that all Israel needs to do to end the violence in Gaza is to cede border control to the ruling Hamas party - but what does this have to do with ending their internecine conflict?

        As for Israel's socialists - not labor, but look at Shinui, look at Meretz, Christ, look at Israel's communist party.

        As for the apartheid analogy, when exactly did the South African cabinet have a Black minister? When were there Black members of parliament? Israel is still the only Middle Eastern country to give Arab women the vote, and espouses a one-person one-vote principle for its citizens. Palestinians are not Israeli citizens, nor should they be - we need, soon, a two-state solution with a strong, vibrant, free, peaceful, and independent Palestinian state that grants full citizenship to Jews who wish to remain (and give up their Israeli citizenship), just as Israel has granted full citizenship to Arabs.

      • the real issue  

        I think civilized debate is probably a better way to go about this than calling people asses and trying to publicly humiliate.

        In any case, it was effectively sovereignty. Israel no longer governed Gaza with a military occupation, and that I'm afraid you can't argue with--there was no Israeli policing of Gaza proper any longer. Israeli troops only reentered Gaza after continued rocket fire at Israeli communities in Israel proper. The reason for the raids is quite clear-continued terrorism, despite the withdrawal. Of course, Israel still controls airspace, sea-fronts, and land borders because it has to, you see the results when it withdrew, the terrorism continued. Crucially, like I said earlier, Israel did allow the Egyptian border crossing to open, and Palestinians now have free movement in and out of Sinai. This allowed tons of ammunition to funnel in, as well as more advanced rocket technology and illicit funding from outside to stuff the coffers of Hamas's contiued struggle for power. By relinquishing control of this border and giving the Palestinians in Gaza their first open border in their entire history, Israel created a substantial security risk for itself and, one could argue, for the Palestinians as well. WIth all of those weapons that came in from Egypt, Hamas is now waging war against Fatah and both are taking Palestinian civilians down with them.

        Secondly, your comparison to the Nazi occupation of France is off the mark on many levels. Considering Gaza and the West Bank aren't contiguous territory to begin with, the most important difference is that the two areas have entirely different power structures and cultures. While it may seem ideologically pleasing to consider the two areas the same, each with identical politics and issues, the reality is, as we see playing out in front of us, much different.

        And asses aren't so bad anyway.

      • DHI  

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  6. the pattern  

    with Israel has been to put itself at substantial security risk
    (withdrawing from the Sinai, allowing Arafat--who was even in 1994 recognized as a kingpin of global terror--to return from exile in the interest of Palestinian self-government, withdrawing from southern Lebannon, withdrawing from Gaza, withdrawing from the northern West Bank, declining to intervene in any meaningful way after the election of Hamas; agreeing to a number of less-than-advantageous ceasefires, most recently in Lebannon, letting Hassan Nasrallah live)in the interest of a permanant agreement. Period.

  7. Jonah

    Just clarify, Israel did *not* at any point allow for anything resembling an open border between Gaza and the Sinai. That's completely made up. Sorry. Also, to describe the settler pullback from Gaza as some sort of withdrawal is to entirely distory reality. Israel controlled Gaza's borders, its coast, and its airspace. Israel continued to dominate every aspect of Gazan political and economic life. For god's sake, Israel continued to control the population registry in Gaza. It continued stealing tax and customs revenue (which it has effectively used as a political weapon, ie, starve the population into submission) since January 2006. It controls access to water and electricity. It intervenes militarily into Gaza on a daily basis, constantly kidnaps men, women, and children, assassinates political leaders, and kills Palestinians on what amounts to a daily basis. For example, in Gaza in the two months before the Israeli kidnapping of a Palestinian doctor and his brother on the night of June 24, and the subsequent retaliatory capture of the Israeli soldier the next day, the israelis killed 90 Palestinians.

    The settler withdrawal from Gaza was a change in strategy in how to rule over Palestinians, meant to deal with what Zionists call the "demographic problem," not some sort of concession.

    As for the Palestinian civil war, the Israelis bear full responsibility. After the Palestinians elected Hamas in a democratic election in January, the Israeli began a policy of denying Palestinians their own tax revenue. They further tightened their control over border crossings into Gaza. The resulting mass starvation and destitution allowed Israel to leverage their allies in the Palestinians socio-political elite (grouped around the leadership of Fatah) to try to bring down the Hamas government. Israel's allies - the US, Jordan, Egypt, etc - are arming Fatah to the teeth. Israel has allowed Fatah's military units freedom of movement (including the right to enter the West Bank from Jordan) unimaginable at any time in the past, in order to escalate the civil war. They love Abbass, because he's willing to play ball, to sign away Palestinian rights recognized for decades in order to have an entirely illusory control over an absurdly fake Palestinian state. It's what Chomsky called the Bantustan solution. This is, btw, the same reason that Palestinians hate Abbass and overwhelmingly voted for Hamas in the last elections - despite the fact that Gallup polls regularly show that its only a single digit percentage of Palestinians that support the creation of an Islamic state. (Interestingly, though there are no longer any substantial Palestinian political formations that support a one-state solution in Israel/Palestine, that remains the favored scenario for a solid 1/5 to a 1/4 of Palestinians.)

    In any case, you say what you'd like about the Apartheid question. To the rest of the world, especially to South Africans like Desmond Tutu, it's entirely self-evident that Israel is an Apartheid state. I regularly ask Zionists how they can oppose a single state that has equal rights for everyone, including one-person, one-vote. They usually mumble something about "the demographic destruction of the Jewish people." It's disgusting.

    Hadash (the Communist Party) is, by the way, an almost entirely '48 Palestinian - that is, Arab - Party. As for the supposed "socialists" in Israel, the Zionist left, they differ only means not on ends with the hard right. That's been true since Mapam joined the government for the '56 invasion of Egypt. Actually, it's been true since long before that, but I digress. It's why Peretz can be in the same cabinet as that neo-nazi Avi Lieberman. Frankly, the only people in all of Israeli history that could by any stretch of the imagine be called genuine socialists (socialists believe in equality, remember?) is Matzpen, the Israeli socialist org. But they've been defunct for decades now.

    Also, smart guy, Egypt isn't arming Hamas. Hamas emerged as the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, which in Egypt is the main opposition to the dictatorship. The Mubarak regime is quite close to Israel - theyve signed free trade deals, Egypt supplied Israel with refined oil needed by the IDF, and even with the concrete that Israel is using to build the Apartheid wall in the middle of the West Bank.

    Whew, this post has gone on far too long.

    • Reader

      "They usually mumble something about "the demographic destruction of the Jewish people." It's disgusting."

      Israel was founded as a Jewish state, a homeland for arguably the most continually persecuted people on the face of the Earth. To maintain the Jewish character of the state, the West Bank cannot be absorbed by the state. To maintain the Democratic nature of the state, the West Bank cannot continue to be occupied by the state. So, two states. One Jewish (that allows for Arab citizenship), one Arab (that will likely deport or kill any Jews who would try and live there).

      • David

        You are absolutely right. Jews are the most persecuted people in the history of humanity. Why were they persecuted? Because they lived under criminal racist regimes(Germany, Russia, etc...) that did not view them as humans, but viewed them with regard to what ethnicity/religion/race they are.

        This is the most despicable thing in the world, I am sure you would agree.

        Yet, it really begs the question that someone like me faces: since we have been suffering for centuries from this very same discrimination, isn't it quite odd that we would choose as a 'solution' to it, the ability for us to carry out this same oppression towards others? Meaning, that now we as Jews have established a country where people's rights and livelihoods depend on race/religion/ethnicity.

        This is why I am no longer a Zionist, and this is why I support the idea of establishing one secular democratic state, where whatever god you believe in does not affect anything in your civil rights or obligations.

        Only when this happens can Israelis and Palestinians have peace.

        Until then, you are just propagating the despicable nihilistic cycle of violence perpetuated by the twisted logic of "us" against "them"

  8. Jonah

    Oh, and Israel didn't let Nasrallah live. They'd kill him if they could, just as they have Palestinian leaders from across the political spectrum who aren't totally beholden to them. They just couldn't kill him...

  9. Jonah

    And one more thing. Kingpin of global terror? What, you mean like arming/funding Suharto in Indonesia (who came to power by killing 3 million people), the pro-Nazi junta in Argentina, apartheid in South Africa, the contras, South-African backed thugs in Angola and Mozambique, and Pinochet?

    Oh wait. That was Israel. Right, kingpin of global terror...

  10. juanathan  

    instead of "more left, left, right, more right" the bwog should have labelled it "goy, gentile, jew, two jews"

  11. a diligent reader  

    why did you not link to yael tischler's piece as well?

  12. Jonah

    "(that will likely deport or kill any Jews who would try and live there)."

    This is mind numbing and pathetic racism. For thousands of years Jews lived side by side with Muslims and Christians in the Middle East in relative freedom - certainly compared to Europe. It is true that after 1948 Jews were expelled from some countries in response to the mass expulsion of Palestinians.

    This is indefensible - however, it's no different than what the Zionists did. And in some cases, ie Iraq, it was done with the connivance of Zionist groups like the Jewish National Fund - who wanted, of course, all the Jews to come to Israel.

    In any case, how this is the fault of the Palestinians is a mystery - unless you're one of those bigots who lumps all Arabs in together. Traditionally, the Palestinian national movement has rejected exclusivism - unlike Zionism, which is predicated on it.

    For example, in 1971, the PLO executive voted to maintain its position that:

    "Palestinian armed struggle is not an ethnic or religious struggle
    against the Jews. Therefore, the future state of palestine freed from Zionist colonization is the palestinian democratic state in which all those willing to live in peace will enjoy the same rights and obligations."

    It is amazing, despite everything that the Zionists have done to convince the world otherwise, that the Palestinian movement was, for so long, able to reject the conflation of Israel and Jews.

  13. Jonah

    Source for which point?

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