Monday, December 29, 2008

Not Even Stupid...

With apologies to Pauli

What the Israelis are doing in Gaza is not even stupid. How can they expect “Quiet” when the others see no justice?

What Hamas has been trying to do is not even moronic. How can fanatics expect “freedom” when they cannot even tolerate others' differences?

And, even if Hamas’ real aim extends beyond the borders of Gaza, what the Egyptians are letting them do is not even criminal. How can it expect “prosperity” if it comes at the price of dignity?

Furthermore, even if Hamas’ real reach extends beyond the confines of Gaza, what the barbudos on the Lebanese side are (trying) to do is not even suicidal. Then again, we’ve moved beyond logic a long time ago. But at least we Lebanese are upfront about our own shortcomings.

That said, aside from the sheer criminality of knowingly targeting civilians under the guise that there are terrorists hiding in their midst, the Israeli policy will fail utterly, and further drag down the name of Israel into the mud.

Come to think of it, maybe that’s been done already.

In which case, Israel is turning into just another one of its Arab neighbours… No wonder they get along so well with the Assad regime.

Maybe they can be roommates.

Strange bedfellows, indeed.

26 comments:

Nobody said...

You should really try to get hold of your emotional side. This will make your blogging style more intelligent. Knowingly targeting civilians... justice .. prosperity ... dignity. We got a full scale mini Iran across the border that was firing rockets at the rate of 80 per day.

And I missed the point about Syria. You will be the last Arab country to sign a peace deal with Israel, correct? So please sit quietly now and wait until your turn arrives, losers.

Gus said...

Jeha,
I do not think that we need to always rehash the injustice that was inflicted on the Palestinians over sixty tears ago. I believe that injustice is clear to anyone who is willing to keep an open mind and look into the events that led to the creation of Israel at the expense of its Palestinian residents.
That said, there is no justification for the counterproductive and even criminal activities of Hamas either. Hamas and the resistance have achieved only one thing. Hamas and all its resistance allies have provided the militant Israeli lobby withthe "legitimate" excuse that it needs to inflict on the Palestinians all sorts of misery , death and exploitation that paradoxically had been inflicted on the Jewish people in Europe.
Edward Said,a Palestinian national pae excellence, has written about this issue many times and so have many others including myself. The Palestinians do not need to wage war , even if one is to justify violence, against an opponent that infinitley more powerful. What is there to gain if the neighborhood weakling throws a spit ball on the neighborhood bully besides a severe beating.?
If the Palestinians believe that there cause is just, and I believe that it is, then the methods of Ghandi. Martin Luther KIng and Nelson Mandella desreve a chance to demonstrate that the moral high road will eventually win. As bad as the recent Israeli brutal incursion in Gaza might have been it is not that much different, if at all, from the random firing of Palestinian rockets into Israel.
The criminality of the Hamas actions are multiplied many times over since it is safe to assume that the Hamas leaders knew full well in advance that their rocket firing into Israel will provide the rational for a devastating Israeli response when the Palestinian missiles cause very little damage if any. I am convinced that the Hams leadership craved a strong Israeli response, in fact that was and still remains their only policy. That my friend, is more than criminal.
In a sense the Hamas actions are very similar to what HA did in Lebanon in 2006. Israel waged the 2006 war in retaliation to the carefully planned action of HA who needed that confrontation in order to rally its supporters and justify the presence of its illegal militia in Lebanon.
It is also instructive to note that both Hamas and HA are the clients of the Iranian Islamic Republic. So as you can see the current struggle is ultimately one between two theocracies. An Iranian theocracy that is dedicated to the elimination of the Israeli state and a Jewish state that refuses to see the injustice of its acts.

Jeha said...

Gus,

I essentially agree with you. There is not denying the fact that Hamas is a bunch of fanatical bullies, and I suspect their aims are fare more nefarious than they even profess, and may even extend far beyond the borders of Geographic Palestine. I know people like them would love to put someone like me on the business end of a knife. That said, that gives no excuse for those other bunch of "tunnel vision" Bitkhonistim to massacre people at will.

Such flawed logic is leading successive Israeli (mis)administration slowly along the same path that mislead Hafez El-Assad to Hama. This is far worse than a crime! It's a political mistake!

Consider this; any rational mind knows, deep down, the price Syria has yet to pay for the legacy of that tragic mistake. I only shudder at the price that will have to be paid for the legacy of this one.

We private peones can expected to be emotional, as demonstrated by Nobody's misdirected anger against me. However, political leaders are another matter; whenever they advance in any territory, they should always consider first their exit strategy. Israel has none, regardless of all the ink that has been wasted so far. I shudder to think what Hamas' is.

Sadly, I am now convinced that this madness has to play itself out for a while. During that time, any secular thinking Arab mind finds himself caught between his barbudos Arab brethren and his paranoid Israeli cousins, with no option to flee, no way to fight back, and no reason to do so.

Wait and see... Let's hope we live to see.

Nobody said...

We private peones can expected to be emotional, as demonstrated by Nobody's misdirected anger against me.

You simply got me with your senseless and pointless moralizing. Yes, there are 300 dead in Gaza. Not even Hamas claims that the majority of them are civilians. The UN relief agency said 20-25%. So you have a few dozens of civilians dead. Mind you we got 7,000 rockets and mortars lobbed into our side over the last two years.

And really since when the sanctity of human life has become such a huge preoccupation in Lebanon? Not so long ago I remember you raising to the ground a Palestinian camp. Never mind your own civil war in which 150,000 were killed. You know, Jeha, an inexperienced Westerner who stumbles on your blog, would think that here lives a nation of committed Mahatma Gandhis that dares not to offend a single street dog. I know this is ridiculous because I am your neighbor and I have an idea of who you are, but I am just wondering what a ridiculous notion about Lebanon outsiders are getting when reading your blogs. One should take them to Ein al-Hilwe or something so they can the idea of what your brotherly love of your Palestinian brothers is all about.

And what are these comparisons between Israel and Arabs. Yes, Syrians had their Hama - 30,000 were gone in a week. And Jordanian had their September when 10,000 Palestinians were gone in a couple of days. How exactly does this compare to the IDF operation in Gaza? 300 dead?? Don't make me laugh. On a good sunny day in Baghdad a truck bomber can send the same amount of Arabs in 3 seconds from a Shia market straight to the gates of paradise or whatever you have over there for your martyrs. And don't even mention Sabra and Shatilla lest I will start talking about them too.

You are simply ridiculous people posting ridiculous stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hazbany saying: As an Israeli I do not think that any thing here is ridiculous. By rediculous I understand "funny", "make you smile". I feel like crying. But still people have to remember that one of the reasons for the existence of Israel is that many Jews, I for example, would rather live as a Jew in Shderot than in Lebanon or Yemen for that matter.

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Anonymous said...

"then the methods of Ghandi. Martin Luther KIng and Nelson Mandella desreve a chance "
Abbas is trying with the opposite results: daily arrests and humiliations in the West bank, and more settlers (although that is slowing a bit cause there are not many jews left that want to go emigrate to Palestine)...
On the other hand Hizballah liberated our land and freed our prisoners.
It is no wonder that the resistance has around 90% approval across the arab and muslim world (and even beyond).
"Give me liberty or give me death"
God bless Hizballah and the resistance!

Jeha said...

On vole bas... trop bas . I am sorry I had to delete some comments. Sadly, the growing vehemence proves my point.

It appears as if all those prophets wasted their time. We're so determined to hate that we may well deserve one another.

Gus said...

Anon 4:13,
I am afraid that you and I live in completely different worlds. When was the last time that you have read about, witnessed or heard about "civil disobedience" acts taking place in either the West Bank or Israel proper. The sad fact of the matter is that the Palestinian leaders have always preffered the ineffective policies that grab temporary headlines but yield no gains.
And yes "Give me liberty or give me death" is a worthy slogan to live by but it is wrong to imply that the above means that all "means" are equally valid. Surely there are means that are not acceptable. Remember that once you justify any means for the Palestinians then you have also offered the same jusification for the Israelis.

Nobody said...

Hi Jeha

Do you know where is the Big Pharaoh blog?

Abu Sa'ar said...

I second NB's original comment, ya Jeha. You are not being your usual calculated and rational self about this.

Israel had no choice but to deal with Hamas. Come on - thousands of rockets on our cities is not something that can or should go unpunished for long. And yet long it has been - 8 years now.

Israel's response, moreover, is remarkably restrained. Even more than during Lebanon War II - there is more and better intelligence on Gaza than on Lebanon, and the lessons of that war were at least partially implemented. The amount of civilian casualties is remarkably - almost miraculously - low. The damage to enemy troops and infrastructure is very significant. Hamas seem to believe they'll soon be weak enough to be ousted by Fatah.

Oh, by the way, you are right - Hamas certainly have plans beyond "Greater Palestine". They're megalomaniac and genocidal. And yes, they'd probably kill you.

Jeha said...

I'm no beady-eyed peacenik, and I know first hand the price of death, as well as its smell and (almost) taste.

I just note that no one in the region has an Exit Strategy to get themselves out of their respective impasses, as I will highlight later.

The different perspectives only shows the gulf between all of us. The vehemence of some posts, a few of which I have deleted, only serve to validate this sad state of affairs.

Nobody said...


I just note that no one in the region has an Exit Strategy to get themselves out of their respective impasses, as I will highlight later.


Some situations don't have an exit strategy. Many situations only allow damage control tactics. This is what life is about.

What exit strategy there can exist for the most populated place on earth where one and a half million of Palestinians are squeezed into a narrow 40 km per 10 km strip of coast? This place is out of cultivable land, out of water. It's packed with children and has one of the highest birthrates in the world. In the next 20 years it may double its population and yet its national priority is to transform itself into another South Lebanon. What can one do about people who are only good at killing others and themselves? These people don't care for having any exit strategy as long as they can prevent others from their theirs.

Jeha said...

Nobody,

Since the days of Adam Smith and comparative advantage, we understand that Population density alone is not necessarily an impediment. Otherwise, there could be no Singapore, no Hong Kong.

However, that is all beside the point. There is always an exit strategy. One only has to plan reasonably ahead. Alas, in the current configuration, we're way past that stage, and the madness has yet to play itself out.

You illustrate this point very well, when you insist that Palestinians "are only good at killing others and themselves". I understand enough about conflict dynamics to know the passions behind this one, but even then, there can be no excuse for such blatantly racist statements.

Nobody said...

Jeha

I agree that Gaza is on the verge of becoming another Singapore. They just need to try harder. I am not surprised that we are where we are, given that your practical down to earth approach is very characteristic of this region, moderates and extremists alike. No wonder you see exit strategies all around you. I can even imagine an exit strategy you are designing for us.. Actually you have explained it to us already - to open our borders and invite a few more millions of Arabs to move in and settle here :D :D May God help us all

:D :D

Jeha said...

Nobody,

Your sectarian outlook makes you oversimplify my argument, and prevents you from seeing the only valid exit strategy for Israel; the Arab peace proposal. There is little else left to to discuss, except how to "fudge" the right of return and Jerusalem in ways that are acceptable to Palestinians.

Otherwise, the absence of a Palestinian state will guarantee that "a few more millions of Arabs [...] move in and settle here"; your settlers are taking care of that. By extending your borders and creating a national vaccum, you are fast turning Israel into a bi-national state. Already; the majority of the population West of the Jordan is Palestinian.

Yes, I can see how you would be more comfortable with this outlook. It's much easier to demonize the other. However, ultimately, you will have to embrace those same people you claim are "are only good at killing others and themselves". You're just making it harder to see past this anti-semitism "nouveau" and do so even though, in a strictly sectarian outlook, you are the demographically-weaker party. As such, the onus is on you to "make nice" while you still hold a few cards, and while most Palestinians are still willing to do so.

Dude, both our people have a long history, and should learn from it. As an old piece of Semitic wisdom has it, ya Ibn 'Ammi;

"Better your near neighbour than your far-away cousin"...

Nobody said...

The Arab peace proposal is unacceptable as far as I am concerned because of the way it formulates the right of return and the Golan that should never be returned to Syria, at least not to Syria in its current configuration. Neither Israel can return to the 1967 borders, it's no longer possible. To renegotiate such a multilateral agreement is extremely difficult in practical terms because of many parties involved.

And of course I should mention that I am not yet that naive to believe that even if implemented the Saudi plan would be followed by peace or anything just as Gaza or Lebanon withdrawals were not followed by any peace. If there were the slightest interest on the other side to do so, Lebanon and Gaza would have been out of this conflict already.

There is a certain rationale for Israel to move the settlements out of the West Bank and even to try to completely disengage from the Palestinians in the West Bank but not because any peace dividend may be forthcoming. For most Palestinians any such step is only a transition period before they start pushing their demands deeper into Israel proper.

PS

The majority of the population West of Jordan is not Palestinian and it's anyway irrelevant. Israel is not in Gaza and even in the West Bank the fence pretty much exhausts whatever territorial ambitions Israel may have.

Nobody said...

In fact, in practical terms moving Lebanon and Gaza out of the conflict is precisely what the Saudis and others should do first. It was repeatedly offered to Lebanon to negotiate something, even some kind of permanent ceasefire, and take back the Shebaa farms.

Gaza should be declared an area of acute socio-demographic disaster, demilitarized and neutral so it can turn to its problems. There can be no South Lebanon in Gaza, it's a fallacy even from the military point of view.

It's pointless to even discuss any Saudi plan as long as the Arabs can't follow two consecutive Israeli pullouts with any sort of arrangement. Israelis are not that stupid to carry out more withdrawals when they see that the Arabs are only taking advantage of them to rain rockets on our border towns. Be honest with yourself and admit that the only reason we are having our northern border quiet and the same is going to happen now to our southern border, is because we went back and waged a full scale war in both directions. It did not happen because we are out or because the Arabs responded in any sensible way to our peace overtures.

There is always this "if only you could do this or that" all the way up to us dismantling our state by our hands and flooding the country with millions of Arabs, then there would be peace. Enough with this bullshit.

I don't even mention that the Saudi plan is senseless because Syria is involved. The Syrians are not serious, it's plain obvious. They can't allow this conflict stop. Anybody who has any idea about Syria knows that the reason Syria survived until now as a minority rule is because the ruling elite there is posturing as leaders of Pan Arab or Pan Muslim resistance fighting Israel. There is no other configuration with which they can live.

Jeha said...

Nobody,

Dude! Stop smoking that stuff you're on. I see no point in arguing with you further. You're just like my friends who are rabidly Hezb'o, Pro-Hariri, Aounist... One track minds soon to be disappointed.

...In time.

Nobody said...

It's not that you see no point, you can't argue with me. You did not even say anything to the point. From the moment we move from lofty declarations into practical details you have nothing to say. This is not like posting in bold your cousins, my cousins, near neighbor, distant neighbor and such stuff.

Amos said...

Jeha,

I appreciate your vision and your arguments. I understand your point that it is in Israel's long-term interest to avoid operations like Cast Lead. But these days I am also hard-pressed to justify another withdrawal. Those who say that what is needed is another territorial withdrawal are asking Israelis to take a giant leap of faith, that goes completely against the things they have experienced in the last two decades. How exactly do you get out of the equation Oslo = suicide bombings, Gaza withdrawal = qassams? There is a problem here that one of these people in psychology or economics has to solve. How do you create trust from a negative track record? How do you extend credit to someone who has twice run away with your money? Okay, you can turn around and say, "what about the expansion of settlements?" and "what about the border crossings into Gaza"? Great. We're facing the same problem then on the Palestinian side - lack of trust. That is in addition to all the other problems, such as the crazy belief in the inevitability of an Arab victory and various quasi-genocidal nationalist and Islamist ideologies. I would add that from the Israeli perspective, Oslo improved Palestinians' lives but exacerbated those of Israelis. You might disagree, but I would love to see someone do an honest accounting, without the excuses.

Nobody said...

Okay, you can turn around and say, "what about the expansion of settlements?" and "what about the border crossings into Gaza"? Great. We're facing the same problem then on the Palestinian side - lack of trust.

Border crossings were imposed on us. It's not Israel's fault. The alternative to border crossings are Iron Casts. Given that pullout led to more rocket attacks under the government that in its official manifesto sets its eyes on Israel's destruction and elimination of Jews we can give this government only two options - either this government should sign some sort of permanent agreement or it should give up completely on smuggling weapons into the strip. As long as Hamas refuses to agree to one of the two, our own options are very limited. We can't wait and sit idly watching as they are building up their arsenals so that we can have a "proportional war" in the future. Never mind that they are not ready to wait even that much and are trying to engage us all the time.

Nobody said...

Though from my experience with mr. Multitrack Mind you are wasting your time waiting for answers. Prepare for another doze of "feel good.. near neighbor... distant cousin.. be happy... we are all just simple human beings..." blah blah blah

Nobody said...

How do you extend credit to someone who has twice run away with your money?

They run away three times. Oslo is the same story. It only looks different, but practically it's the same story. As long as we've been pulling out and the other side did not have to commit itself to anything, it was going well. The very moment we set out to negotiate a permanent agreement they blew it up. The Palestinians were in a very difficult situation after the first Gulf War, they badly needed somebody to get them out of Baghdad. Otherwise they would have never agreed to even this.

Of course now the Arabs are changing tactics and come up with the Saudi plan. If only you could also evacuate the Golan and the rest of the West Bank, we will finally bestow on you our peace and friendship. These people plainly think we are naive suckers.

Abu Sa'ar said...

NB, you don't have to be so discourteous to Jeha. You're being unnecessarily rude - even on my scale of rude.

Jeha -

About the Arab peace initiative, I would appreciate your input on this analysis:

Israel has no logical reason to make any concessions for peace.

What would Israel gain? The aforementioned issue of trust would mean we'd be keeping our military on the same level for at least another 20 years. The Arab world is not exactly a major producer of anything we need (not even oil now that we have natural gas); nor is it an important market for anything we produce.

Any concessions we make, however, will bear very real and very significant immediate costs - financial and social at the very least.

Moreover, in 20 years time the significance of the Arab world will be waning rapidly. In 30 years it'll vanish completely. And in 40 years, I reckon we'll be having one big Somalia all around Israel. And I am being generous with years, here - it's all likely to happen faster.

Israel, however, is rising. If we play our cards right, we'll rise very high indeed. The upcoming election of staunch Capitalists as majority - and Bibi proved his economic acumen as well as the will to reform - seems to rise the potential success rate further still.

A (metaphorical) penny for your thoughts.