Anti-withdrawal protesters cripple Jewish state

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Anti-withdrawal protesters cripple Jewish state

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon May 16, 2005 8:25 pm

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/artic ... E_ID=44295

FROM WND'S JERUSALEM BUREAU
Anti-withdrawal protesters cripple Jewish state
Activists block roads, throw burning tires to oppose Gaza evacuation

Posted: May 16, 2005
1:28 p.m. Eastern

By Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – Participating in a civil-disobedience campaign that blocked traffic and nearly shut down the main entrance to Jerusalem and several other Israeli towns, hundreds of activists gathered at locations throughout the country today to protest Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's planned evacuation of Jewish communities from Gaza and parts of the West Bank this summer.

In a coordinated effort that began at 5 p.m. Jerusalem time, protesters around the country blocked about 40 major roads and highways while chanting anti-evacuation slogans.


At Jerusalem's main entrance, several dozen young activists sat in the middle of the road, completely blocking all incoming cars and bringing traffic on the main highway leading into the city to a total standstill.


Activists block Jerusalem entrance. Photo: WND.


With hundreds gathered on the sidewalks to watch, the protesters shouted, "Jews don't deport Jews" and sported orange T-shirts declaring, "If you are arrested you have won."

Jerusalem police allowed the protesters to block the entrance for about five minutes, then quickly moved to disperse the crowd. But the Jerusalem entrance was closed for about an hour and backed up for almost three hours as dozens more protesters joined the rally. About 40 arrests were reported.

In other areas of Israel, activists tossed burning tires on several roads and highways. There were reports of suspicious objects placed in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with anti-evacuation signs posted to them.

The protest was organized by several fringe settler groups. One group, Habayit Haleumi, issued instructions for blocking roads: "Every activist must find at least 10 others ready to join and to meet at a junction determined by the members of the group. Then, enter the center of the intersection with hands raised high, tied with an orange ribbon to signify nonviolence, and be ready to be arrested, happily."


Jerusalem police arrest protesters. Photo: WND.


Protesters were also told not to bring cell phones or ID cards so police would have a hard time processing any arrest.

Last July, WND broke the story that a group of settlers was planning a civil revolt.

"We have plans for a civil revolt, which is going to include stopping traffic and causing traffic jams, no more paying of taxes, cutting down the fences the IDF will try to put up to keep us from our land, having people lie down in the streets and block bulldozers, and disobeying orders from the Israeli authorities," an operational leader in the planned revolt who asked that his name be withheld told WND.


Burning tire halts incoming traffic on Jerusalem highway. Photo: WND.


Sharon's Gaza evacuation plan this summer has drawn criticism from many in his government, with several ministers of his own Likud party, including Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, opposing the plan.


Critics worry the withdrawal will be seen as a reward for Palestinian terrorism and argue territories evacuated by Israel will be used by Hamas to stage attacks against the Jewish state.

A confidential Hamas memo written by Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, and obtained last summer by WorldNetDaily, stated the terror group views Sharon's unilateral withdrawal as a capitulation to terror and is planning to continue its "armed struggle" against the Jewish state until "all territories" are in Palestinian hands.

"The withdrawal, if it is implemented, is an important achievement by the Palestinian people, its intifada and armed struggle, its determination and great sacrifice, and confirms the willingness, correctness and usefulness of employing an armed struggle and its ability to attain political objectives," wrote al-Zahar.

"We will emphasize our people's right to resist the occupation [outside the Gaza Strip] so long as the occupation of the land and the aggression continue, with the understanding that withdrawal from Gaza is not the end of the story and occupation is still present in the rest of the lands and that not all rights and holy sites have been returned yet," the memo stated.

Aaron Klein is WorldNetDaily's Jerusalem bureau chief, whose past interview subjects have included Yasser Arafat, Ehud Barak, Shlomo Ben Ami and leaders of the Taliban.
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Post by Ralph » Mon May 16, 2005 8:32 pm

I guess the withdrawal won't signal a new era of amicable co-prosperity.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Mon May 16, 2005 8:34 pm

Hey ya know what, the needs of the many….the Palestinians outweigh the needs of the few…and in this case the number of Palestinians who have suffered for generations under a dictator who prolonged their misery are the many
It’s time for the Israelis to stop playing the victim and start playing the humanitarian
I say Bravo to Sharon

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Post by Barry » Mon May 16, 2005 8:41 pm

I agree, Ted. The wishes of the settlers shouldn't stop progress.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon May 16, 2005 8:46 pm

The wishes of the settlers shouldn't stop progress.
The question is will they?

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Post by Ralph » Mon May 16, 2005 9:24 pm

Ted wrote:
The wishes of the settlers shouldn't stop progress.
The question is will they?
*****

Probably.
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Post by Ralph » Mon May 16, 2005 9:47 pm

From orthodoxanarchist.com

Jews should be free to live in the land of Israel, our ancestral homeland, whether it be Tel Aviv or the ancient body of Israel on both sides of the Jordan. But not if it has to happen like this. Not by force. Not by insidiousness. Only through just means. And if we haven't arrived in the place where we can do so by just means, sorry to side with Satmar, but it means we haven't yet earned the right to enter the land.

By Dan Sieradski
יום ראשון, מאי 01, 2005

Reprinted Courtesy of orthodoxanarchist.com

Oft is the claim that Israeli settlers "just want to live in peace" in their ancient homeland and that their presence in the Occupied Territories poses no threat at all, hence why they find it oh-so-confounding why Palestinians insist that all of Palestine must be "Judenrein," as they so delicately put it.

I'd appreciate an explanation as to how this entails "living in peace":

Israeli forces scuffled with and arrested seven Jewish settlers in the West Bank suspected of throwing stones at Palestinians on Friday, in a sign of tension ahead of a pullout from some settlements on occupied land.

Israeli police said an army officer was lightly injured when forces tried to arrest settlers suspected of throwing stones at a Palestinian truck. The officer was hurt when settlers slammed an iron gate at him, a military source said.

Before my readers in the shtakhim come crying isolated incident, I'd just like to point to another recent attack by settlers, the likes of which is becoming all too common an occurance. On April 25, I received an e-mail from RHR stating:

Today an RHR (Rabbis for Human Rights) delegation went out to assist and protect Palestinian farmers from Beit Furik to prune their trees near upper Itamar. They divided into 3 groups and for two of them work went on undisturbed. The third group was stopped by the settlers, Rabbi Arik Ascherman and the two Palestinian men were brutally attacked, detained and their IDs confiscated. The army was present but did nothing. Luckily they were not injured. One of the settlers told Arik that "they are lucky because he wears a kippah, otherwise he would have shot them all". A little later Arik's wife received a phone call from someone who identified himself as one of the attacking settlers and threatened to "pay her a visit".

I invite anyone who reads this blog currently living in the shtakhim to justify these actions halakhically or otherwise, and if they can't, to tell me what they're personally doing to prevent such agitators from besmirching their "good name."

You'll have to forgive me in advance for my expectation of deafening silence.

My cousin is here visiting from the States. I took him on a West Bank tour with Joseph. Sadly, he didn't seem to 'get it'. As far as he's concerned, the Moskovitz settlement in Ras Alamud is "just an apartment building." When it comes to the Gaza evacuation, he asks, "Why is it okay to move Jews out of their homes but it's not okay to bulldoze Palestinain houses? Why can't a Jewish presence be tolerated in Palestinian territory, but we have to tolerate Palestinians in our territory?" I've been trying to beat this point into his thick skull but he seems to be shutting himself off everytime I try explaining:

If I move onto your front lawn with a gun trained on your house, and the sole purpose of my presence there is to drive you out of your home, I'm not there simply to live a quiet peaceful life: I'm there to pick a fight. By moving into a Moledet or Ateret Cohanim settlement, I'm not there because it's cheap real estate, I'm there because I'm trying to conquer the land and drive the Arabs out of it, whether overtly or subtly.

I have a friend who's moving into a caravan on a hilltop outside of Bat Ayin. He doesn't hate Arabs. He doesn't want to pick a fight with them. He said to me, "I would love to be able to live with them peacefully. I would love for my children to be able to play with their children. I would love to mate my donkeys with their donkeys. I would love to share a well with them and everything else." But when I explained to him why I felt that by moving there he was participating in this agenda, he was seriously phased. He called me up a couple of hours after our conversation and thanked me for giving him what to think about with regards to the implications of his move there. Maybe he'll change his mind. Maybe he won't. But at the very least, he'll go there now fully aware of what it means, as opposed to thinking it's an entirely innocent action.

I mean, look, I know it's a mitzvah to settle the land of Israel. If I could live in the shtakhim without ill-affecting the Palestinian population I would. But you're cutting off people from resources — from water, from fertile farm land, from grazing pastures. And when you move into one of the settlements propped up by these fundamentalist organizations, what you're doing is participating, unwittingly or not, in their radical agenda which seeks to infringe on the lives of others:

"We break up Arab continuity and their claim to East Jerusalem by putting in isolated islands of Jewish presence in areas of Arab population. Then we definitely try to put these together to form our own continuity. It's just like Legos - you put the pieces out there and connect the dots. That is Zionism. That is the way the state of Israel was built. Our eventual goal is Jewish continuity in all of Jerusalem."

When this is what settling Eretz Yisrael involves, it goes from being a holy act to an unholy one.

Jews should be free to live in the land of Israel, our ancestral homeland, whether it be Tel Aviv or the ancient body of Israel on both sides of the Jordan. But not if it has to happen like this. Not by force. Not by insidiousness. Only through just means. And if we haven't arrived in the place where we can do so by just means, sorry to side with Satmar, but it means we haven't yet earned the right to enter the land.

So next time you're faced with the question, "Why does Palestine have to be Judenrein," ask yourself what are the intentions of the Jews living there, and whether or not it's possible to have a viable state with the presence of a body of people within that state intent on driving you out the land. I should hope any rational person would respond with a resounding, "No. It's not."

According to a recent Kol Hair profile of the author, "Dan Sieradski is a cultural energizer, who squeezes at least 25 different activities into one day." According to Tikkun, Sieradksi writes one of the best Jewish blogs out there. Look forward to Daniel Siwek's profile of Sieradski in the July/August edition of Tikkun.
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Post by Donald Isler » Mon May 16, 2005 11:04 pm

There are some nasty people on both sides, without doubt. And there will have to be a resolution to this situation, which will be difficult. I do respect Rabbis For Human Rights, though not all the other organizations, some of which are strongly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli. But don't say the Israelis have to "stop playing the victim." Not even counting the wounded, the Israeli DEAD from the violence of the last few years is about 1,058. That's in a country with a population of 6,500,000. That would be like the USA losing 45,000 dead.
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Post by pizza » Tue May 17, 2005 12:39 am

Louis Rene Beres is right on the mark and always has been. So-called "disengagement" is just another meaningless attempt by the pathetic Israeli left -- yes, I said the left -- no matter that Sharon is their point man -- to placate the US Administration and appease the Arabs. It contravenes the strategic advice of every Israeli military advisor, including the Chief of Staff, who has analyzed the proposed move. There will be no peace until there is a final military confrontation that resolves the conflict.


FREEMAN CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES - http://www.freeman.org/

Disengaging Reason: Building `Palestine`Upon The Ruins Of Israel
By Louis Rene Beres
THE JEWISH PRESS 5/11/2005

From Arafat to Abbas, nothing fundamental has changed within the Palestinian Authority or in any of its sister terrorist organizations. In the prevailing Palestinian view, formal and informal, Israel remains the immutable focus of proposed eradication, although the language is usually more finessed and the tactics now more cleverly disguised. Not even the reciprocal Israeli surrenders ("Land For Nothing") are really new, as Prime Minister Sharon`s "disengagement" is just the latest delusionary _expression of a recurrently tragic Jewish history.

Mahmoud Abbas, now known also as Abu Mazen, was part of the small fanatical group that founded Fatah in 1959. He was always a loyal follower of Yasir Arafat, pretended to "study" in Moscow, and penned a so-called "doctoral thesis" that celebrated Holocaust denial as a proper academic genre. Now called a "moderate" by the Israeli and Jewish Left, his unambiguous life goal remains the total destruction of Israel. When he agrees intermittently to halt the "armed struggle," it is always only for a strictly limited period and only as a patently tactical expedient. In other words, for the moderate Abbas, the mass murder of Jewish women and children should be controlled not because it is wrong, but because it slows down the Islamically-sanctified metamorphosis of Israel into "Palestine." For moderate Abbas, genocide against Jews is not morally objectionable, just inconvenient.

Abbas has listened approvingly to Friday sermons in the mosques that recall the following Qur`anic verse: "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and strive to make mischief in the land, is only this — that they should be murdered or crucified, or their hands and feet should be cut off on opposing sides, or they should be imprisoned." As to those Muslims who allegedly collaborate with America or Israel, they are "Murtaddun" (apostates), whose lives are "free prey." In this respect, according to recent verdicts issued by The Shari`ah Court of the United Kingdom, "There is no difference between a man and a woman....It is permissible to shed the blood of a woman who is a heretic ("Harbiyya") even if her fighting is limited to singing...."

This is a snapshot of the Palestinian movement for statehood now ardently championed by the President of the United States. With such support, the Palestinians under Abbas continue to seek "national self-determination." In principle, at least, this objective could even have some identifiable merits under authoritative international law, but not, by any means, where it is sought upon a rising mountain of "apostate" and Jewish corpses.

What kind of a people seeks statehood by targeting infants and children, and then proceeds to hail the murders as a "military operation?" Let us be candid. All Palestinian terror groups are stunningly unique in their wantonness. Refusing to consider any Jew, anywhere, as protected from indiscriminate violence, these groups currently hold back from the next planned wave of suicide bombers primarily for narrow tactical reasons. Once it becomes clear that Israel is being irremediably transformed into "Palestine," and that Sharon`s own planned summer deportation of Jews from Jewish lands has cleared a usable path for Arab rockets and perhaps even radioactivity, a deafening paroxysm of synchronized explosions will surely tear across Israel. When this happens, the reaction of "ordinary" Palestinians will be exactly the same as it was on September 11th — absolute jubilation.

All major Palestinian groups, directly or indirectly, are committed by their various charters and covenants to both genocide and crimes against humanity. This is hardly an exaggeration, as the published expectations of all Palestinian terror groups plainly call for the physical destruction of Israel. According to The Covenant of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement is "universal." All Palestinian groups — whether it be the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its subunits or any other "revolutionary" faction — share an understanding that "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad....(Holy War)." As for Israel, all Palestinians have a firm and unchallengable obligation to "obliterate it." The Charter of the PLO mirrors the Hamas Covenant, calling the "nucleus" of the Palestinian movement only those who are "fighters and carriers of arms."

In Islamic parlance, all war dictated by the Shari`ah is necessarily "holy." Yet, the Arabic word JIHAD, which has the literal meaning of "effort," "striving," or "struggle," ought to be approached with the greatest seriousness. A basic commandment of Islam, JIHAD in an obligation imposed upon all Muslims by Allah, and is patently military in intent.

LOUIS RENE BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is author of many books and articles dealing with terrorism and international law. He has on occasion been associated with certain federal agencies on issues of counterterrorism, and has contributed to such Department of Defense publications as Parameters and Special Warfare. Professor Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press. Prof. Beres is also the academic advisor to the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.

Copyright © The Jewish Press, All rights reserved.
Posted by Freeman Center For Strategic Studies

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Post by pizza » Tue May 17, 2005 1:12 am

The incitement of ideas

Caroline B. Glick

February 19, 2005

JERUSALEM, Israel -- Last Friday night, the TV stations in Israel were in a frenzy over the right-wing incitement against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from Gaza and the northern West Bank and to expel all Jews living in these areas from their homes and communities. Israel Channel 2 devoted fully a third of its hour-long news broadcast to the issue -- super-imposing images of the mass political protests against the agreements with the PLO in the months before Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination in 1995 with footage from the recent mass rally and protests against Sharon's withdrawal plan.

The media made much of the fact that right-wing activist Jewish Itamar Ben-Gvir yelled at Education Minister Limor Livnat at the memorial service for the slain Jewish underground leader from the pre-statehood days, Avraham Stern. Ben-Gvir told her (probably correctly) that Stern would never have approved her support for Sharon's plan.

It was unpleasant seeing Ben-Gvir and his nasty friends following Livnat and yelling at her. But then again, how was their behavior different from that of members of Knesset who insult and curse one other as a matter of course? Why is this news?

Then there is the pseudo-attack against Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last Thursday night. The initial reports claimed that a group of anti-withdrawal thugs slashed Netanyahu s tires and surrounded him, yelling, as he tried to make it to his disabled car. He was spirited away in another vehicle, escaping, so the reports had us believe, by the skin of his teeth.

After the matter was duly investigated, it worked out that Netanyahu's tires had not been slashed; he may simply have had a flat tire. And that no group of hooligans had surrounded him; one teenager had yelled at him. According to Amnon Abramovich, from Channel 2, this teenager had actually been asked to yell at Netanyahu by a journalist at the scene who told him what to say and even sent him a "thank you for a job well done" text message on his cellular phone.

In the meantime, in light of these major infractions on the apparent right of public servants to receive no unpleasant criticism for their support of highly controversial policies, Sunday, Interior Security Minister Gideon Ezra called for inciters -- including people writing nasty graffiti on city streets -- to be placed under administrative detention.

For his part, Sharon has castigated anyone who calls for a referendum on his withdrawal program as contributing to incitement and indeed as advancing the cause of civil war. In a speech last week Sharon said, "The idea of holding a national referendum is an attempt to delay the implementation of the Disengagement Plan." He went on to say, "The inciters use threats of civil war in order to influence the public who wants disengagement but prefers quiet. A national referendum will bring about an increase in incitement."

So for the prime minister of Israel, anyone who claims that the Israeli voters have a right to weigh in on what is perhaps the most controversial plan ever adopted by an Israeli government is playing a direct role in inciting a civil war.

This is a shocking statement for two reasons. First, it shows the utter disdain the prime minister feels for his own people who he clearly doesn't believe are capable of responsibly exercising the freedom to choose. Second, Sharon is effectively saying that anyone who calls for the people to be given the right to choose is guilty of fomenting a rebellion. That is, he has relegated all of his political opponents to criminal status.

This week saw MK Effi Eitam thrown out of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee when he argued with Sharon for accusing parliamentarians who are opposed to his plan of incitement. Apparently, the committee chairman Yuval Steinitz is unaware that in a democracy, one of the main functions of a parliament is to enable free and fair -- often rancorous -- debate of the issues of the day, and that it is the responsibility of legislators to call leaders to account for their actions and policies.

Then there is democratically challenged Transportation Minister (and former justice minister) Meir Sheetrit. On Monday, Sheetrit told Israel radio that as far as he is concerned, Likud party members are guilty of incitement when they write letters to Likud MKs informing them that future political support for these politicians is dependent on their voting against the withdrawal and expulsion plan. That is, in Sheetrit's view, it is incitement for constituents to base their support for politicians on the extent to which those politicians advance their interests while in office.

The most amazing aspect of the entire "incitement" craze is that, as Shin Bet Director Avi Dichter explained this week, statements by opponents of Sharon's plan have no influence over potential assassins. According to Dichter, there are some 500 people floating around who fit the psychological profile of a potential assassin. Like Rabin's assassin, Yigal Amir, and John Hinckley Jr. who attempted to assassinate US president Ronald Reagan in 1981 these individuals are not members of any organization or group.

Rather, potential assassins are sociopaths with messianic protestations of divine selection. People of Amir's ilk are not moved by what leaders say. They are moved by their own delusions of grandeur and sense of alienation. They would murder even if no one were in the streets protesting against Sharon's plan.

But in the meantime, rather than focusing their attentions on finding and neutralizing the threat posed by such sociopaths, our political leadership is moving to demonize and criminalize the huge swath of the Israeli public who opposes Sharon s policy of withdrawal and expulsion.

In advancing this objective which, if allowed to continue, will destroy Israeli democracy the government has been ably assisted by the media. The news media's advocacy of Sharon s withdrawal plan has been shockingly brazen. Opponents of the plan, when given any airtime at all, find themselves under attack.

Rather than allowing people like MK Gideon Sa'ar or Binyamin Regional Council Chairman Pinchas Wallerstein to explain why it is that they oppose the plan, radio and television left-wing partisans posing as objective journalists attack them for their role in contributing to the "atmosphere of incitement," and pointedly demand that they justify their disloyal and dangerous behavior. On the other hand, these pretend journalists shamelessly pander to Sharon's supporters, such as Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is constantly handed softball questions by fawning hacks commiserating with him about the dangerous extremists on the right who are just about to kill Sharon.

Because, as far as these paragons of the free press are concerned, it is a foregone conclusion that Sharon will be assassinated. On Sunday, under a headline that proclaimed "The Fear: A Jewish Suicide Attacker," a Yediot Aharonot sub-head asserted, "The question isn't whether they will try to assassinate the prime minister, the question is how." Alex Fishman, the paper's military "reporter," detailed the likelihood of a Jewish suicide bomber breaking through Sharon's security cordon and then pushing the button. The entire article was devoid of sourcing, facts or even grounded suspicions. But then, what can we expect from the most widely read newspaper in the country? Certainly not that it accurately report the news.

Back in 1798, the US Congress passed the Sedition Act. The act, which was aimed at silencing political criticism of president John Adams' administration, was dressed up as a precaution against what at that time was an imminent threat of war between the US and France. The act made it a criminal offense to criticize the government, and its enforcement brought about the imprisonment of a number of anti-Adams newspaper publishers and editors.

This fundamentally unconstitutional and anti-democratic law was allowed to lapse. But if it had remained in effect, would it have prevented four American presidents from being assassinated in later years? Given the profile of political assassins, it strains credulity to think so. On the other hand, one thing is clear beyond doubt: Had the Sedition Act remained the law of the land, democracy in America would have been destroyed.

US Supreme Court Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once famously said, "Every idea is an incitement." And in a democracy, ideas -- that is incitement -- are supposed to flow uninhibited. Indeed, ideas -- from the idiotic to the sublime -- are the stuff of democratic societies. The constant incitement of competing ideas is what differentiates democracies from tyrannies.

The failure of Sharon, his allies and underlings -- like the failure of his apparatchiks who run the country's media -- to understand that just as an elected government has the legal right to set policy, so does its political opposition have a legal right to protest its policies as loudly, nastily and unaesthetically as they wish, exposes a singular failure of our political and cultural elite to adopt the habits of democracy.

The main victim of this terrible reality is, of course, the Israeli public, which has not been afforded an opportunity to hear any significant debate or discussion of Sharon's plan to uproot thousands of Jews from their homes and withdraw Israeli forces from Gaza and northern Samaria. This policy -- arguably the most controversial plan ever to be adopted by an Israeli government -- is being bulldozed through to implementation without Sharon or his allies ever satisfactorily explaining how it will advance Israel's security or political interests.

Sharon has not explained how turning Gaza over the Palestinians will enhance Israeli security.

He has not explained how Israel will protect itself from rocket and mortar attacks on Ashkelon, Ashdod or Netivot after the withdrawal.

He has never explained why it is necessary to give the Palestinians the communities in northern Gaza - Dugit, Alei Sinai and Nissanit - which are geographically indistinguishable from Ashkelon and whose heights control the entire area.

He has never explained how Israel will be able to defend the strategic sites like the Ashkelon power station and the Ashkelon-Eilat oil pipeline with Hamas roaming freely on those heights.

He has never explained why it is necessary for Israel to remove itself to the 1949 armistice lines, rather than retain the areas necessary for its security and what Israeli acceptance of these lines in Gaza means for future negotiations regarding the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Because of the absence of real debate in the Knesset or in the press, and the concerted effort by the government and the media to criminalize political speech, the Israeli public is being denied the one thing that distinguishes a democracy from a tyranny: the ability of the citizenry to make informed decisions and to hold their leaders accountable for their actions.

Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post where this article first appeared.

©2005 Caroline B. Glick

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/Gues ... 0219.shtml

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Post by Ralph » Tue May 17, 2005 6:44 am

Pizza,

Perhaps you could elaborate on what your idea of a "final military confrontation" looks like.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Tue May 17, 2005 7:44 am

Because, as far as these paragons of the free press are concerned, it is a foregone conclusion that Sharon will be assassinated.
Imagine anyone writing something similar about a US President
This guy needs a primer on restraint of pen

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Post by pizza » Tue May 17, 2005 8:39 am

Ted wrote:
Because, as far as these paragons of the free press are concerned, it is a foregone conclusion that Sharon will be assassinated.
Imagine anyone writing something similar about a US President
This guy needs a primer on restraint of pen
If you think he's off the wall, you know very little about Israeli confrontational politics.

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Post by pizza » Tue May 17, 2005 8:41 am

Ralph wrote:Pizza,

Perhaps you could elaborate on what your idea of a "final military confrontation" looks like.
One that ends the conflict. What's to elaborate? Do you want me to name the battles and how they resolve? :roll:

Ted

Post by Ted » Tue May 17, 2005 8:58 am

If you think he's off the wall, you know very little about Israeli confrontational politics.
In this case, ignorance is bliss

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Post by Donald Isler » Tue May 17, 2005 9:35 am

Every American Jew thinks he knows what to do about the conflict better than anyone else. Whether they're right-leaning or left-leaning I tend to take them all with a grain of salt because they yap at a safe distance, and the consequences are to be suffered not by us in Chicago and New York but by our bretheren in Israel. And they, too, are equally divided.

Is Sharon a potential target for assassination because of his current policies? You bet. But he was chosen to be prime minister by the largest majority in Israeli history. And if a "huge swath" seem to oppose some of his policies a MAJORITY of Israelis believe that Israel needs to get out of Gaza and at least some parts of Judea and Samaria for its own good, ie. so as not to become an ethnic minority within its own borders.
Donald Isler

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Post by pizza » Tue May 17, 2005 9:39 am

Donald Isler wrote:Every American Jew thinks he knows what to do about the conflict better than anyone else. Whether they're right-leaning or left-leaning I tend to take them all with a grain of salt because they yap at a safe distance, and the consequences are to be suffered not by us in Chicago and New York but by our bretheren in Israel. And they, too, are equally divided.

Is Sharon a potential target for assassination because of his current policies? You bet. But he was chosen to be prime minister by the largest majority in Israeli history. And if a "huge swath" seem to oppose some of his policies a MAJORITY of Israelis believe that Israel needs to get out of Gaza and at least some parts of Judea and Samaria for its own good, ie. so as not to become an ethnic minority within its own borders.
Just so happens that I'm yapping from my Israeli home in the Modi'in area, a safe distance of 2 km. from the closest Arab village where you can see tires burning every day and hear gunshots every night. I've spent a substantial part of the past 14 years in Israel and I am very much involved in what goes on here, so I feel that I have a fairly broad perspective on what Israelis of all political stripes think, and it ain't what you've posted here or what you've read in the NYT, Washington Post or Ha'aretz.

I'd feel safer walking alongside Sharon here without his bodyguards than walking down any street in the Bronx in broad daylight with guards at my side.

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Post by pizza » Tue May 17, 2005 10:07 am

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Battle of numbers: What Demographic time bomb?
BENNETT ZIMMERMAN & ROBERTA SEID & AND MICHAEL L. WISE, THE JERUSALEM POST May. 16, 2005

Demography is a central issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Conventional wisdom holds that Israel faces a demographic time bomb because the Palestinian Authority's reported 3.8 million population, combined with Israel's 1.3 million Arabs, already almost equals the Jewish population (5.4 million). Some Israeli demographers contend that given high Arab birthrates, Jews will quickly become a minority between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

But this doomsday scenario is wrong.

Remarkably, no one had bothered to verify the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) numbers until we formed a team of American and Israeli researchers to exhaustively study Palestinian, Israeli and third-party sources. They revealed that the 2004 Arab population in the Territories is closer to 2.4 million than to the PCBS claim of 3.8 million, a 60% overstatement.

This million-and-a-half person gap arose because the PCBS figures are based on predictions, not on actual, real-time measurements. The PCBS also inflated its 1997 census, the base figure for its predictions, and then applied high birth and unrealistically high immigration assumptions to this inflated base, compounding the same errors year after year. Our audit found that the PCBS projections were not met for even one year between 1997 and 2004.

On top of the PCBS error, some Israeli demographers again applied the high growth rates, and continued to build further errors, exponentially, into the future.

Together these groups have built a demographic house of cards.

Until those projecting the future bother to correct the present, their discussions about the future are meaningless.

What our study found. We calculated a 2004 Arab population of 1.35 million in the West Bank and 1.07 million in Gaza, a total of 2.42 million, by correcting the following errors:

Fewer births: Since 1997, the PA Ministry of Health (MOH) recorded fewer births than the PCBS predicted. These detailed records (including hospital and home births) were corroborated by PA Ministry of Education records for children entering school. Reduction: 238,000.

Retrospective alterations of recorded birth data: The PA MOH retroactively restated births to reflect the overseas residents included in the 1997 PA Census. After the census, they included overseas births of nonresidents. We included only resident births. Reduction: 81,000.

Net Emigration: Instead of 236,000 immigrants moving to the Territories since 1997, as the PCBS had predicted, 74,000 residents left. Reduction: 310,000.

Internal migration: Immigrants from the Territories who received Israeli IDs over the past decade under family reunification programs (according to the Israeli Interior Ministry) must be removed from the PCBS count. Reduction: 150,000.

There were overstatements in the PCBS 1997 census, the base population used for the demographic projections.

Double Counting: Jerusalem Arabs counted in Israel's population were also counted in the PCBS 1997 census. Reduction: 210,000.

Inclusion of non-residents: The PCBS claimed it conducted a residential census, but it also included people who had been living abroad for one or more years if they ever held residential identity cards. Reduction: 374,000.

IN MARCH 1998, the PCBS publicly acknowledged the inclusion of 325,000 overseas Palestinians in its 1997 census base. The anticipated growth of this non-resident population was included in the PCBS forecasts, a fact that has been ignored or neglected by demographers and government agencies.

In October 2004, the PA's Central Election Commission reported that the number of eligible voters aged 18 and above living in the Territories was only 1.3 million, not the 1.85 million predicted and claimed by the PCBS. These figures from the Election Commission are consistent only with our lower population measurements.

The Bottom Line: The 2004 population between the Jordan and the Mediterranean is 60% Jewish and 40% Arab, similar to the ratio since 1967. In the West Bank and Israel, the ratio is 2 Jews for every 1 Arab and in pre-'67 Israel and Jerusalem, it is 4 Jews for every 1 Arab.

While the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS) categorizes non-halachic Jews from the FSU as "Jews and Others," some demographers place them in the "Palestinian Arab and Other" category, which is misleading. Israel is becoming more culturally diverse, but not more Palestinian Arab.

Growth rates since 1990 also undermine the demographic time-bomb scenario.

The Gaza growth has declined from 4% to 3% and is much lower than the rates published by the PCBS. West Bank Arab growth was equal to Israeli Jewish growth of 2.5% per annum. Notably, fertility for West Bank women has declined to 3.3 births per women, while the Israeli Jewish fertility has risen to 2.7. This half-child gap disappears when Israeli immigration and Arab emigration is fully considered. Abnormally high Israeli-Arab growth rates have been fueled by migration into pre-67 Israel.

Where are the demographers? Israeli demographers who warned that Arabs will become the majority failed to verify the base PA population and to analyze the PCBS-supplied growth rates. These rates, the highest in the world, assumed immigration would soar. Since the publication of our study, the PCBS has removed these unrealistic assumptions, collapsing its own predictions about future growth from nearly 5% to 3.5%. If the PCBS factors in emigration, these rates will fall even further.

Prof. Arnon Soffer, a University of Haifa geographer, produced a series of wildly different population estimates. In his widely distributed 2004 booklet, Israel Demography 2004-2020, he claimed the Arab population in the Territories was 3.8 million. One month later, in a pamphlet entitled Implementation of the Right of Return, he wrote that the population was only 2.8 million; a number he reconfirmed in an interview with Arutz-7 Israel National News shortly after our study was released. These dramatic vacillations make his projections about the future questionable.

Prof. Sergio DellaPergola, a demographer at Hebrew University, in recent Knesset committee hearings, publications and public forums claims that he applied high Arab birthrates to ICBS population figures from the mid-1990s. The problem with his estimate is that no conceivable fertility rate can grow the population from the last reported ICBS survey to his current claim of almost 3.5 million Arabs in the Territories.

We use the actual number of births recorded by the PA Ministry of Health. These actual figures yield high birthrates against a smaller, but more accurate base consistent with earlier ICBS and PCBS measurements of a residents-only base.

Our study is available for public examination on the Internet. Researchers must demand that all claims be equally transparent and open to review. Black boxes should no longer be tolerated for issues of such great national importance for Israel.

Some contend that the lower population we documented simply delays the demographic time bomb.

The data indicate otherwise.

The current Jewish majority, with its rising birthrate combined with modest aliya and/or returning overseas Israelis, would easily maintain the demographic balance in favor of the Jews. Parity between Jew and Arab might never be reached if Arab migration and fertility trends continue. And in Israel and the West Bank, Jewish dominance is overwhelming, both in absolute numbers and in terms of growth rates.

Given these factors, demographers who predict that Arab dominance is inevitable are indulging in pure and fallacious conjecture.

The authors comprise the American Team of this study. The Israel team includes Yoram Ettinger, Brig Gen. (Ret.) David Shahaf, Prof. Ezra Sohar, Dr. David Passig, Avraham Shvout, and Yakov Faitelson. www.pademographics.com.

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Post by Donald Isler » Tue May 17, 2005 10:21 am

Pizza,

You're very out of date as far as understanding the Bronx! New York City (and that includes the Bronx) has reduced its murder rate by about 2/3rds, all the way back to the low levels of 40 years ago. Chicago should be so lucky!

Second, as I said, Israelis are very much divided on the issues we're discussing. You certainly have a right to your opinion but you don't speak with any more authority than my 80 year old cousin in Kfar Saba who's lived there since 1938 and in 1946 commanded a ship which smuggled Jewish refugees into Israel despite the British. (He's working on writing this story up in English. If he gives permission I'll eventually post it here.) He believes it's an absolute necessity for Israel to get out of Gaza and that much of the other areas, except for the Golan heights, are negotiable.
Donald Isler

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Post by pizza » Tue May 17, 2005 10:35 am

Donald Isler wrote:Pizza,

You're very out of date as far as understanding the Bronx! New York City (and that includes the Bronx) has reduced its murder rate by about 2/3rds, all the way back to the low levels of 40 years ago. Chicago should be so lucky!

Second, as I said, Israelis are very much divided on the issues we're discussing. You certainly have a right to your opinion but you don't speak with any more authority than my 80 year old cousin in Kfar Saba who's lived there since 1938 and in 1946 commanded a ship which smuggled Jewish refugees into Israel despite the British. (He's working on writing this story up in English. If he gives permission I'll eventually post it here.) He believes it's an absolute necessity for Israel to get out of Gaza and that much of the other areas, except for the Golan heights, are neogtiable.
I'll be happy to debate your 80 year old cousin in Kfar Saba anytime on the issue. And so would most of the Likud faction that overwhelmingly voted against Sharon's expulsion plan, whose votes he completely disregarded. He's also disregarded the sound military advice of his Chief of Staff, whom he fired for bringing him the bad news, as well as the advice of every military strategist connected with researching the issue.

Kfar Saba is a nice place and I've visited it many times -- but it isn't the territories and your cousin may be out of touch with the realities of the confrontation as it presently exists. And although Israelis are divided on the subject, the division isn't nearly in favor of expulsion nor is it even close.

As you can see from the above post on demographics, the argument that Jews will soon be outnumbered is flawed and just doesn't hold water.

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Post by Donald Isler » Tue May 17, 2005 11:23 am

I believe the name of the country has not yet been changed to Medinat HaLikud, but remains Medinat Yisrael. There are a lot of people there who are not die-hard Likudniks, even if you happen not to like them, and a big part of Sharon's problems is that he's gone against the wishes of many of his supporters of the past to do what he thinks is in the best interest of the country. Some people would call such a person misguided. Others would call him a patriot.
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Post by pizza » Tue May 17, 2005 11:31 am

Donald Isler wrote:I believe the name of the country has not yet been changed to Medinat HaLikud, but remains Medinat Yisrael. There are a lot of people there who are not die-hard Likudniks, even if you happen not to like them, and a big part of Sharon's problems is that he's gone against the wishes of many of his supporters of the past to do what he thinks is in the best interest of the country. Some people would call such a person misguided. Others would call him a patriot.
You're quite right about the name of the country. But Israel is a democracy and Sharon and his Likud Party were elected on a platform of preserving the Jewish presence in the territories. Amnon Mitzna and the Labor Party were soundly defeated for proposing the precise platform that Sharon is now attempting to railroad through. Never in the history of Israel has such a gross deception been perpetrated on the electorate.

The best military minds in the country have predicted disaster if the plan is implemented. Sharon can fire all the ministers who disagree and all the military advisors who have established the flawed consequences of his plan, but the fact remains that he is basically isolated when the issue is examined in the light of professional assessment.

Such a prime minister is neither misguided nor a patriot. He is acting as a dictator. I call him a stubborn and dangerous fool.
Last edited by pizza on Tue May 17, 2005 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ted

Post by Ted » Tue May 17, 2005 11:41 am

Let’s cut to the chase
Since I was 17 there has been a constant sate of war between Israel and the Palestinians.
Now that Arafat is gone (and good riddance!) someone has stepped up to the plate in an effort to start a new state of co-existence between the two.
George Wallace told the Federal Gov to go to hell when it came to the civil rights of black Alabamians, but ultimately he was forced to acquiesce.
There seems to be many George Wallaces in Israel, I suggest they wake up and smell the roses or be labeled as bigoted morons with no sense of equity, balance or humanity.
Once again, Sharon is a hero for doing the right thing, no matter what the personal or political cost

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Post by pizza » Tue May 17, 2005 11:46 am

Ted wrote:Let’s cut to the chase
Since I was 17 there has been a constant sate of war between Israel and the Palestinians.
Now that Arafat is gone (and good riddance!) someone has stepped up to the plate in an effort to start a new state of co-existence between the two.
George Wallace told the Federal Gov to go to hell when it came to the civil rights of black Alabamians, but ultimately he was forced to acquiesce.
There seems to be many George Wallaces in Israel, I suggest they wake up and smell the roses or be labeled as bigoted morons with no sense of equity, balance or humanity.
Once again, Sharon is a hero for doing the right thing, no matter what the personal or political cost
There is really no point in discussing the matter with people still mired in the American issues of the '60s and who try to relate them to the mid-east conflict. You haven't the slightest concept of the problems here, what politics are driving the issues being contested, or in short, what you're talking about. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but that's reality.

Maybe you can explain how turning Gaza over the Palestinians will enhance Israeli security; how Israel will protect itself from rocket and mortar attacks on Ashkelon, Ashdod or Netivot after the withdrawal; why it is necessary to give the Palestinians the communities in northern Gaza - Dugit, Alei Sinai and Nissanit - which are geographically indistinguishable from Ashkelon and whose heights control the entire area; how Israel will be able to defend the strategic sites like the Ashkelon power station and the Ashkelon-Eilat oil pipeline with Hamas roaming freely on those heights; why it is necessary for Israel to remove itself to the 1949 armistice lines, rather than retain the areas necessary for its security and what Israeli acceptance of these lines in Gaza means for future negotiations regarding the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Sharon can't.
Last edited by pizza on Tue May 17, 2005 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ralph » Tue May 17, 2005 11:48 am

pizza wrote:
Donald Isler wrote:Every American Jew thinks he knows what to do about the conflict better than anyone else. Whether they're right-leaning or left-leaning I tend to take them all with a grain of salt because they yap at a safe distance, and the consequences are to be suffered not by us in Chicago and New York but by our bretheren in Israel. And they, too, are equally divided.

Is Sharon a potential target for assassination because of his current policies? You bet. But he was chosen to be prime minister by the largest majority in Israeli history. And if a "huge swath" seem to oppose some of his policies a MAJORITY of Israelis believe that Israel needs to get out of Gaza and at least some parts of Judea and Samaria for its own good, ie. so as not to become an ethnic minority within its own borders.
Just so happens that I'm yapping from my Israeli home in the Modi'in area, a safe distance of 2 km. from the closest Arab village where you can see tires burning every day and hear gunshots every night. I've spent a substantial part of the past 14 years in Israel and I am very much involved in what goes on here, so I feel that I have a fairly broad perspective on what Israelis of all political stripes think, and it ain't what you've posted here or what you've read in the NYT, Washington Post or Ha'aretz.

I'd feel safer walking alongside Sharon here without his bodyguards than walking down any street in the Bronx in broad daylight with guards at my side.
*****

Hey, don't trash the Bronx. You think you'd need bodyguards in Riverdale? All the Modern Orthodox there, and there are plenty, would protect you.
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Post by pizza » Tue May 17, 2005 11:59 am

Ralph wrote:
pizza wrote:
Donald Isler wrote:Every American Jew thinks he knows what to do about the conflict better than anyone else. Whether they're right-leaning or left-leaning I tend to take them all with a grain of salt because they yap at a safe distance, and the consequences are to be suffered not by us in Chicago and New York but by our bretheren in Israel. And they, too, are equally divided.

Is Sharon a potential target for assassination because of his current policies? You bet. But he was chosen to be prime minister by the largest majority in Israeli history. And if a "huge swath" seem to oppose some of his policies a MAJORITY of Israelis believe that Israel needs to get out of Gaza and at least some parts of Judea and Samaria for its own good, ie. so as not to become an ethnic minority within its own borders.
Just so happens that I'm yapping from my Israeli home in the Modi'in area, a safe distance of 2 km. from the closest Arab village where you can see tires burning every day and hear gunshots every night. I've spent a substantial part of the past 14 years in Israel and I am very much involved in what goes on here, so I feel that I have a fairly broad perspective on what Israelis of all political stripes think, and it ain't what you've posted here or what you've read in the NYT, Washington Post or Ha'aretz.

I'd feel safer walking alongside Sharon here without his bodyguards than walking down any street in the Bronx in broad daylight with guards at my side.
*****

Hey, don't trash the Bronx. You think you'd need bodyguards in Riverdale? All the Modern Orthodox there, and there are plenty, would protect you.
Yeah, like they protected Yankel Rosenbaum in Crown Heights after the traffic accident?

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Post by Ralph » Tue May 17, 2005 12:37 pm

pizza wrote:
Ralph wrote:
pizza wrote:
Donald Isler wrote:Every American Jew thinks he knows what to do about the conflict better than anyone else. Whether they're right-leaning or left-leaning I tend to take them all with a grain of salt because they yap at a safe distance, and the consequences are to be suffered not by us in Chicago and New York but by our bretheren in Israel. And they, too, are equally divided.

Is Sharon a potential target for assassination because of his current policies? You bet. But he was chosen to be prime minister by the largest majority in Israeli history. And if a "huge swath" seem to oppose some of his policies a MAJORITY of Israelis believe that Israel needs to get out of Gaza and at least some parts of Judea and Samaria for its own good, ie. so as not to become an ethnic minority within its own borders.
Just so happens that I'm yapping from my Israeli home in the Modi'in area, a safe distance of 2 km. from the closest Arab village where you can see tires burning every day and hear gunshots every night. I've spent a substantial part of the past 14 years in Israel and I am very much involved in what goes on here, so I feel that I have a fairly broad perspective on what Israelis of all political stripes think, and it ain't what you've posted here or what you've read in the NYT, Washington Post or Ha'aretz.

I'd feel safer walking alongside Sharon here without his bodyguards than walking down any street in the Bronx in broad daylight with guards at my side.
*****

Hey, don't trash the Bronx. You think you'd need bodyguards in Riverdale? All the Modern Orthodox there, and there are plenty, would protect you.
Yeah, like they protected Yankel Rosenbaum in Crown Heights after the traffic accident?
*****

There was no excuse or justification for the killing of Rosenbaum. Neither was there for the negligent killing of a little black boy by the chauffeur of the Big Rebbe of the Lubavitchers, a guy who got an NYPD escort anytime he went anywhere in his limo. A riot followed the child's death, an explosive reaction to perceived city favoritism for the Hasids while the needs of long-time minority residents went unanswered.

Crown Heights was badly handled and as recently as yesterday former mayor Dinkins acknowledged he managed the situation badly. Things are much better there now with some fairly extensive liaison between the Hasids and their Hispanic and black neighbors.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Tue May 17, 2005 1:08 pm

There is really no point in discussing the matter with people still mired in the American issues of the '60s
Pizza
No, I haven’t had to live in constant fear of suicide bombers, incoming mortars and all the rest of it.
As for my 60’s analogy, it’s relevant as well evinced by your reaction to it.
To listen to you, is to walk away with the impression that you could give a rat’s ass about peace in the mid-east and all you care about is your “Jewish State”
Guess what the holocaust is history and perpetual victims end up victimizing themselves.
Get over it and stop giving the world more reasons to hate Jews

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Post by Werner » Tue May 17, 2005 5:11 pm

Ted, I think that's over the line.

We've been through too much in our lifetime to live with a statement that sounds like a back-alley excuse for anti-semitism.

I'm not in Pizza's corner as to the best way out of the problem there, but there has to be a better way than the my-way-or-no-way stance by either side. And the Jewish state has the right to exist in security and peace, as do its neighbors.

Now let's start a discussion from that point.
Werner Isler

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue May 17, 2005 5:18 pm

Pssssst. Guys. Ruthlyss says not to give her a reason to come down here . . . .
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Ted

Post by Ted » Tue May 17, 2005 6:34 pm

Ted, I think that's over the line.
Perhaps you’re right Werner….perhaps I went too far
Having said that, I am as Pro Israel as the next Jew
I’m also pro peace and that includes the Palestinians who ,now that Arafat is gone, have the first real chance in ages to find a semblance of that elusive state of being.
All I ask is don’t let the militant; hardliners in either country shoot themselves in the foot.
Cheers
t

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Post by Ralph » Tue May 17, 2005 6:50 pm

This subject seems to arouse more emotion than almost any other that chronically makes its way to the board. Very interesting.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Tue May 17, 2005 7:12 pm

This subject seems to arouse more emotion
When I go over the top you can bet it does, yet it’s just here….it’s Pizza who tasks me with is conservative, orthodox approach to just about everything…
And yet I’m somehow drawn to him

:)

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Post by Ralph » Tue May 17, 2005 7:24 pm

Ted wrote:
This subject seems to arouse more emotion
When I go over the top you can bet it does, yet it’s just here….it’s Pizza who tasks me with is conservative, orthodox approach to just about everything…
And yet I’m somehow drawn to him

:)
*****

I disagree with much of what he holds but I find his views provocative and I never take anything personally.
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Post by Werner » Tue May 17, 2005 9:34 pm

My reaction is the same as Ted's - I admire Pizza's knowledge and ability -have lots of respect for his musical posts - I just wish he'd get a little closer to the center, at least.

But convictions are convictions.
Werner Isler

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Post by Ralph » Tue May 17, 2005 9:58 pm

Werner wrote:My reaction is the same as Ted's - I admire Pizza's knowledge and ability -have lots of respect for his musical posts - I just wish he'd get a little closer to the center, at least.

But convictions are convictions.
*****

Why? He's a very experienced, educated, articulate debater. I have no desire to convert him. :)
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Post by pizza » Wed May 18, 2005 3:56 am

Werner wrote:My reaction is the same as Ted's - I admire Pizza's knowledge and ability -have lots of respect for his musical posts - I just wish he'd get a little closer to the center, at least.

But convictions are convictions.
Hey guys -- I'm not so smart, either in politics or music -- but I'll take on anyone in a good med-mal case! :wink:

A definition of insanity is to constantly repeat acts that produce absolutely certain results and expect the results to change.

Israel has already been down that road too many times with way too many losses (predicted with uncanny accuracy by the Right in the early '90s) to try a repetition of Oslo no matter what you call it in its new clothes. No matter that the new Arab boss is a cute old grandpa with grey hair and a twinkle in his eye. He's still Arafat's closest crony, started the Fatah movement along with him in '64, is a Holocaust denier, was an architect of the '72 Munich Olympic Massacre and still seeks the absolute destruction of Israel.

The first duty of a nation's leader is to protect his fellow countrymen from harm. Sharon wasn't hired to shoot craps with Jewish lives. When Abbas disarms Hamas and the renegade militias, stops the incitement, stops smuggling arms from Egypt into Gaza, arrests and jails the bombers, stops the graft of funds earmarked for rehab and acts in a responsible way, all of which he has repeatedly promised but has failed to do in any respect whatsoever, then and only then will there be anything of substance to discuss. Until then it's all talk and you know how cheap that is.

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