Wednesday, September 19, 2007


There are days when I find it hard(er) to understand Israelis.

One day, racists who are bent on violently acting out their xenophobia are deal the justice they so rightly deserve… Lawyer permitting. Short of them being tarred and feathered, and dragged outta Dodge, that was the right thing to do.

And please, not that “Disaffected Youth” crap. I am pretty sure they knew what they were doing (unlike other morons), and it’s far too new age for us simplistic Levantines. Not that I have nothing against New Age.

…whatever tinkles your crystals

Another day, racists who are vocal about demeaning other people and “transferring” them out of their homes can be tolerated, and even given the red carpet treatment into his country’s government.

And please, let’s not split hair about this;

This is discrimination….

Among "types" of racism!

Clarification/Background (Wednesday, Sept. 18th, 2007)

A valid point is raised “Yes to Partition”, that I am “using “transfer” in a misleading way”.

This is an accurate assessment. However, while I understand the basic premise behind Lieberman's suggestion of partition, I would want to point out that the projected perception matters in those things matters at least as much as the arcane facts.

To take an example from Lebanon; Gemayel's statements after the Metn elections; I am sure he did not mean that the Armenians were not Christians or Lebanese, but his attack on the Tachnag was so bad that perceived in this manner. He will be forever tarred with this, and Armenians would be forgiven if they considered him a racist. Heck, they actually gave him more votes than they ever did, in spite of Tachnag.

In politics, even in international politics, Perception becomes reality and matters far more than other "objective" considerations. Politicians should know better when they mouth off inconsiderately.

Going back to the matter at hand; in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel's ultimate interlocutors are the Palestinians themselves. The nature of the Arab world is such that the rest of us can only make peace when this issue is resolved to their satisfaction.

Because of this, their perception of Avigdor Lieberman matters supremely, at least as much as Israel's perception of Hamas & Friends.


Anonymous said...

Who doesn't love John Cleese !!!

Yes to partition said...

Lieberman’s plan does not involve moving (transferring) people from their homes or land. His plan is to quote the IHT: “Under the plan, a number of Arab towns in northern Israel would become part of the Palestinian areas in the West Bank. Also, the major Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank would become part of Israel.”

Please explain what is racist about this. You are using “transfer” in a misleading way. Nobody is transferring any person from his home or land under the Lieberman plan.

If the people in Buffalo, NY say they hate the US and love Canada and that the US is a state they want to see demolished and they say that they think the US is an illegal entity, what is racist about the US saying: “You know what, have it your way. We cede Buffalo to Canada. You are now part of Canada and not the US.”

This is what Lieberman is saying, and there is nothing racist about it. It is a win-win for everybody unless the people in Buffalo are hypocrites that want to have it both ways. They want to be US citizens while trashing the US and their support of Canada is only in order to satisfy their psychological need for “resistance” and “honor”. Well Lieberman is calling their bluff. Let’s see some straight talk from the Palestinians for once.

Roman Kalik said...

Liberman's perception by the majority of Arabs is erronous, and frankly much of it is built up due to a demonized perception of the "Zionist Entity". Jeha, many in the Middle-East believe that Israel is racist by its very existence, and Liberman is just the current "proof". Should Liberman's party disappear tomorrow, the same calls of racism would be rediverted to another party or politician, as the perception of "Racist Apartheid Israel" is currently a powerful belief among many in the Arab states.
Liberman is something of a nationalist, and I can't say that I like him that much, but to say that we should denounce him for what he *isn't* for PR is stupid and futile.

Yes to partition said...


The Palestinians understand very well what Lieberman's plan is. There is no problem of perception. There are several responses by Israeli Arabs in the Israeli press showing they understand the plan but reject it for incoherent reasons.

In the end, Lieberman has put the Palestinians on the spot: Why are you so much against becoming Palestinian citizens if in Israel you are allegedely treated like third class citizens? The Palestinians will not be able to wiggle out of that one without looking very foolish.

Jeha said...

Good points, but there is a little more to Avigdor Lieberman than meets the eye.

The fact is that he did call for some of Israel's citizens to be expelled, and suggested firing squads for some MKs. coincidentally, he was referring to Israeli Arabs /Palestinians. Good PR would have been to apologize, or at least pay lip service to contrition. After all, he got the votes he wanted, and it would not have lost him anything. But he did not do that; to my knowledge, neither him, nor anyone at Yisrael Beitenu apologized for those comments.

To be fair, he did make many "clarifications", like the day after the deal to join the government, when he claimed to have "explained" to Solana that his plans "are more humane and detailed" than other plans.

He is indeed a nationalist, but there is a zest of something more nefarious. Not as bad as Hamas, but you can't fault Palestinians for distrusting him.

Roman Kalik said...

As I said, Jeha, I don't like the man, but he did make some clarifications of his own when he visited several Israeli Arab (predomimantly Christian) and Bedoin villages, saying that he believed that more could be done to integrate them into Israeli society.

He may be a dangerous nationalist to those that he opposes, but he seems to have a fairly open view of those he doesn't oppose. With Liberman, the sparks seem to fly when an an opposing nationalist platform is in sight.

Amos said...

This is not meant as an excuse for Liberman or to deny racism in either of the two cases you cite. However, I don't think it would be a good idea to place so much value on PERCEPTIONS - at least not in general. In this particular case, Liberman has some control over how Palestinians perceive him. But this is not always true for the object of perception. In fact, sometimes people find themselves being perceived in unimaginably twisted ways (think only about the ritual murder allegations against Jews in history). In that case, the perception has no referent and it should not be incumbent upon the object of that perception to challenge it. Rather, we should be wondering what it is about the PERCEIVERS that makes them develop these kinds of fantasies about others.

Roman Kalik said...

By the way, Jeha, I liked your reaction to the neo-Nazi gang. I, too, am a simple Levantine in my own way, and don't start mixing up the whole issue with doo-doo. I take a look at Russia today instead. And shudder. It doesn't take a genius to realize that these morons simply joined their old Russian skinhead friends in spirit, if not in actual presence.

Thank the Almighty that we (my parents and me) left that wreck of a country when we did.

In short, some will choose to be assholes, no matter how many times the shiny wand of Universal Brotherhood is waved.

Anonymous said...

Hazbani contemplating.
First things first. Please believe me, my heart goes to Lebanon. Cursed be the killers for ever.

As an Israeli I dislike Lieb. All this talk about nationalism and such does not fit. The idea of remarking the Israeli borders and thus making some Israeli Palestinian into Palestinian citizen would sound better if Lieb. will promiss that these people can keep their property in Israel, Israeli social security, health insurance and working place rights and only lose voting rights ( not that I accept this but some people here commented about sincerity) but this was not said or even hinted. But, more important, he is my Israeli-Jewish problem not the problem of Lebanon. Any fire he will set will burn my house. I will take care of him and his like and you nice Arab and especially Lebanese and Palestinians people please take care of your own fire makers and war and death mongers. Just to name few who want to abolish states and transfer people: Azmi Beshara, Mr. Nazralla, Meshal in Syria and so many others well known to us all. The way I look at it both you and I have work at home before we look next door, and I hope you will not be upset when I will suggest that perhaps the Arabs who want to start with this home cleaning job (where are they any how?)have much much very much more work than me.