A War Between Peoples

 

I am not a lover of Hamas, but they are entirely truthful about one reality. In their highly questionable casualty claims, they make no distinction between civilians and military deaths. The only distinctions are between women, children and men. To Israeli eyes, this seems like it is simply an attempt to hide their own military deaths. After all, they have done so in the past. However, there is a greater truth behind this categorization. For Hamas, every man in a society is a combatant. Women and children are part of the ‘resistance’ as well, although they belong in a separate category. This same logic justifies their attacks on Jews. Every Jewish man is a combatant and clearly – as women fight as well – so is every Jewish woman. Jewish children are just future combatants. Every Jew is a target.

With their casualty figures Hamas appropriately recognizes that they are engaged in a war between peoples, not a war between governments or armies. While many Israelis resist this perspective, the fact that our enemies embrace it should fundamentally impact Israel’s conduct during this war. 

In the West, we have this fantasy of governments fighting for set objectives while trying to minimize the harm to civilians who aren’t really a part of it all. I call it a fantasy because in the era of strong national identities, the old vision of Kings and Emperors duking it out with the civilians just being pulled along is no longer as compelling as it was – even in the West. In World War II, Germans and British were enemies, not just their governments or rulers. In Yugoslavia and now Ukraine, the same remains true. The fantasy, even in the West, is just that.

There are those conflicts in which the fantasy is reality, though. Iran’s government is at war with Israel, but a great number of Iran’s people are not. The Americans went into Iraq and Afghanistan with the idea that their rulers, not their people, were the enemy. In World War I, the burgeoning Marxist movement argued that the war was between governments, and not between peoples. But even most of them abandoned this argument, showing that it was perhaps not as strong as they imagined.

Despite these exceptions, by and large, the conflicts of today are wars between peoples. When conceiving of this, it is important to keep in mind that ‘peoples’ are not necessarily states with functioning governments. Lebanon is locked into conflict between Christian, Shiite and Sunni ‘peoples.’ Syria in a conflict between minority peoples (who nominally rule the country) and the Sunni people who are its majority. Sudan has multiple peoples engaged in a broad conflict with Arabs broadly on one side and indigenous Africans on the other. These conflicts are not like many of the revolutions that overcame Eastern Europe with the fall of the Soviet Union. In these conflicts, a people isn’t revolting against a government essentially made of its own. They are locked in a conflict with another people.

Hamas is living this reality. In their mind, every Jew is a target whether eating at a café, going to school, or carrying a gun in Gaza. In the general Israeli mind, every Palestinian is clearly not a target. Otherwise, the Arab population of Israel wouldn’t be 2 million strong and the bombing campaign in Gaza would have easily killed over a million people.

What we have in Gaza is a conflict that mirrors the American efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. On the Palestinian side, factions are engaged in an all-out war against the Jewish people. It is the same style of conflict you’d see in the Hebrew Bible. On the other side, Israel’s armed forces are trying to draw fantastical distinctions in an effort to satisfy the Western values systems (and praise) many Israelis aspire to.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, this approach led to defeat for the vastly superior American military. Admirably, the Americans weren’t willing to impose victory on a people who didn’t quite deserve defeat. The approach (in hindsight) should have been to punish the Taliban and then just leave.

Israel doesn’t have the same options as the Americans. We can’t just leave. In reality, the Jews of the Arab World (99.8% of them) did just leave. They left the Arab world and came to Israel where they now form a majority of the population. They don’t have anyplace else to go. Thus, the American strategy won’t work.

That leaves only a few options.

The first is to leave Palestine like the Allies left Germany after World War I. The Germans weren’t completely crushed and dreamed of a return. The combination of anger, economic collapse, ongoing debt etc… led directly to World War II. Israel has repeated this approach time and again and despite its results, there are legitimate arguments that the costs of the alternative are too high. Israel keeps the screws on decade after decade to limit how badly things spiral. But the conflict never ends and Palestinians – all Palestinians – suffer unnecessarily for their population’s widely held genocidal dreams.

The second option is to defeat the Palestinian people. We may debate the ethics of the late and post-war campaigns against the German people (in which as many as 2.5 million civilians were killed) but Germany was pacified after World War II. As an interesting aside, German civilians in the U.S. and U.K. occupation zones received 1,200 calories a day of food. Displaced non-Germans received 2,300 calories. American soldiers were under orders to destroy food they didn’t eat to prevent Germans from getting it and tens of thousands of Germans prisoners died of hunger and disease. The Americans and British used population-wide hunger to squeeze any resistance out of the German people – after the war was over.

This sort of complete defeat is awful to behold and is not justified in many cases – even when facing an enemy who wants to kill every man, woman and child in your population. It is justified when they may be able to develop the means to do so. October 7th was almost far far worse than what we saw. Hezbollah waited to see how successful it would be before attacking. It was successful enough that they may have joined the war, but in the 6 hours they held off, Israel got reinforcements North and kept them back. Hamas was anticipating murder raids in Tel Aviv, a general Arab uprising in Israel and massive assaults from the West Bank. Gaza and the West Bank are only separated by 20 miles. The Hamas media of the day was talking about a day of liberation. Not a terror strike, but the elimination of Israel itself. In the future, an EMP attack by Iran, coordinated with a similar mass attack, could spell the real genocide of Jews. The threat is credible, the actors intend to carry it out, and thus Israel is justified in doing whatever it can to stop it.

For this reason, Israel should be considering a real victory. Not just the death of Hamas, but the surrender of Palestine. Such a result would open the door, as it did in Germany, to a post-war local government that can live in peace with its former enemies.

It isn’t so clear whether even this option would be feasible, though. Islam has suffered innumerable defeats since the Mongol elimination of Baghdad. Their ability to reinterpret loss as victory has kept them resistant – if not strong. A recent example involves the Russian campaign in Chechnya. Russia killed 10% of Grozny’s population. Now Chechens form the shock troops of the Russian government. The Chechens were roundly defeated, but Chechen terrorism continues (although the concert bombing wasn’t Chechen).

Because of Islam’s resilience in the face of defeat, there is a need for a third option.

To find one, we have to widen our perspective.

When we look at the concept of a war between peoples, it is not only relevant to Israel and the Palestinians. ISIS, in its various manifestations, sees itself as engaging in a war between Islamic people and non-Islamic people (and often Islamic people who aren’t Islamic enough or are the wrong kind of Islamic). The widespread pro-Hamas protests may be seen as a broad leftist cause célèbre for a suffering people, but the Islamic movement (and their Qatari and Iranian backers) have something very different in mind. They have demonstrated their ability to use violence and threats to cow the government of the UK on all levels. Canadian police are seemingly unable to respond to their violence and American police are often just as ineffectual. Maybe Americans, Canadians and British believe they aren’t the target in the conflict. If so, they are severely mistaken. 9/11, the Moscow concert attack and the public statements by Islamist leaders should all disabuse them of the notion that they aren’t the enemy of these groups. The Houthi’s slogan is: “G-d is the Greatest, Death to America, Death to Israel, A Curse Upon the Jews, Victory to Islam.” Biden’s administration took them off the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists one month after it took office.

Critically, though, these are not the only voices in the Islamic world. The ‘Islamic people’ are far less defined than ISIS would like it to be. Not that long ago, Catholics and Protestants were in all-out religious war (30% of Europe’s population died). They learned, through the cost of their violence and the vision of another reality, that something else could emerge. They developed alternative self-definitions. Reality, through a mix of sticks and carrots, encouraged it to emerge. Islam already has many versions and approaches, those that define Islam’s future need not be maximalist.

The third path, then, is to undermine the peoplehood of those who define their identity as being in genocidal conflict with you while encouraging the development of an alternative identity. In Israel’s case, this means killing every member of Hamas but welcoming Ra’am into the government. It means declaring war on Hezbollah, but encourage the Saudis to administer Gaza. It means dropping weapons in Iran so Iranians can overthrow their own genocidal government. Do everything you can to isolate and destroy those dedicated to a war between peoples, while welcoming those who can adhere to another vision. Israel itself could be something akin to the City on the Heights (my third book). It is already place that demonstrates that different peoples, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Druze, Circassian… can actually build a better reality together in this region. It is time to extend that vision by violently marginalizing the ideologies that will not accept it.

In my mind, this third path is the most realistic of the three. It simultaneously calls for the crushing of the Palestinian genocidal dream and the support of a Palestinian self-government that has abandoned that dream. As I wrote in A Free Palestine Starts in Rafah and A Truly Free Palestine, the only hope for a free and prosperous Palestine lays in establishing a functioning civil society. So long as the likes of Hamas and the deeply corrupt Palestinian Authority control the Palestinian population, there is no hope for progress. Without a Palestinian civil society, even the destruction of Israel will not free Palestine.

 

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  1. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    There are a lot of people that wish to treat the Palestinians as children and the Israelis as the overbearing adults. Your proposal in this post, Mr. Cox is the most realistic I have seen to date. It is a solution that could come only from an individual living in the midst of this conflict. One who suffers the realities of the actions on a daily basis. In the end the Palestinians must accept responsibility if they wish to be treated as adults. Your proposal to weed out the incorrigible and promote the sustainable is what I have always thought was the basis of Israel’s current agenda. I pray it is successful. But it will have to endure non-ending criticism from places that may be too powerful to overcome.

    • #1
  2. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    JosephCox: For Hamas, every man in a society is a combatant.

    That is orthodox, traditional Islam.

    • #2
  3. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    JosephCox: For Hamas, every man in a society is a combatant.

    That is orthodox, traditional Islam.

    Even Orthodoxies change. See the UAE, Oman, Albania, Sufism and more out-there offshoots like Ahmadis as examples of self-limiting Islamic forms.

    • #3
  4. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    As an interesting aside, German civilians in the U.S. and U.K. occupation zones received 1,200 calories a day of food. Displaced non-Germans received 2,300 calories. American soldiers were under orders to destroy food they didn’t eat to prevent Germans from getting it and tens of thousands of Germans prisoners died of hunger and disease. The Americans and British used population-wide hunger to squeeze any resistance out of the German people.

    I had no idea. Wow.

    • #4
  5. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    JosephCox: For Hamas, every man in a society is a combatant.

    That is orthodox, traditional Islam.

    Even Orthodoxies change. See the UAE, Oman, Albania, Sufism and more out-there offshoots like Ahmadis as examples of self-limiting Islamic forms.

    But the old orthodoxies are still there in the Koran and the Hadith.

    • #5
  6. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    JosephCox: For Hamas, every man in a society is a combatant.

    That is orthodox, traditional Islam.

    Even Orthodoxies change. See the UAE, Oman, Albania, Sufism and more out-there offshoots like Ahmadis as examples of self-limiting Islamic forms.

    But the old orthodoxies are still there in the Koran and the Hadith.

    And so are the Hebrew Bible commandments to kill every enemy man, woman and child, execute adulterers and Sabbath breakers, practice temporary enslavement for debtors etc… But Jews have moved on.

    Wonderfully, lots of people have moved on.

    • #6
  7. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    iWe (View Comment):

    As an interesting aside, German civilians in the U.S. and U.K. occupation zones received 1,200 calories a day of food. Displaced non-Germans received 2,300 calories. American soldiers were under orders to destroy food they didn’t eat to prevent Germans from getting it and tens of thousands of Germans prisoners died of hunger and disease. The Americans and British used population-wide hunger to squeeze any resistance out of the German people.

    I had no idea. Wow.

    This is news to me.  Mr Cox, can you provide a citation or two?

    • #7
  8. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    As an interesting aside, German civilians in the U.S. and U.K. occupation zones received 1,200 calories a day of food. Displaced non-Germans received 2,300 calories. American soldiers were under orders to destroy food they didn’t eat to prevent Germans from getting it and tens of thousands of Germans prisoners died of hunger and disease. The Americans and British used population-wide hunger to squeeze any resistance out of the German people.

    I had no idea. Wow.

    This is news to me. Mr Cox, can you provide a citation or two?

    From Grams, Calories, and Food: Languages of Victimization, Entitlement, and Human Rights in Occupied Germany, 1945–1949  via Wikipedia

    • #8
  9. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    The Palestinian cause was not always dominated by Islamic groups like Hamas or PIJ.  The dominant faction used to be Fatah, along with PFLP.  What caused the shift, and what do you think could cause a shift back?  Would such a shift be desirable?

    • #9
  10. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Zafar (View Comment):

    The Palestinian cause was not always dominated by Islamic groups like Hamas or PIJ. The dominant faction used to be Fatah, along with PFLP. What caused the shift, and what do you think could cause a shift back? Would such a shift be desirable?

    An excellent point. In the age of Nasser, there was a desperate struggle for Arab relevance. I believe Marxism and pan-Arab Nationalism were seen as a way to secure that relevance/respect. Fatah-PLO and the PFLP were in that vein, riding the Marxist-Anti-Colonialist ideological train. The brief ‘union’ between Syria and Egypt were also a part of that process.

    Those movements obviously didn’t deliver, not for Egypt, not for the USSR not for [pick a movement]…. In the Palestinian case, it was a little different. Post-Oslo, Fatah got very very good at securing international funds and it not only enabled the movement to survive the death of their one-time sponsors (the USSR) but bred an enormous level of corruption. Hamas, like the Houthis and the Islamic Courts, was in part a reaction to that western-bred corruption. I think the religious rise was (again, in part) a return to basics after the clear failures of the latest Western ‘scientific’ ideology.

    Today, three states have begun to deliver international respect and relevance to Muslim populations.

    One is Iran, which is definitely not Arab. They have done so through very effective diplomacy/terror/militarism. This process was essentially supercharged by the US invasion of Iraq – where Iran ran circles around the US. The Iranians basically treat Arabs as lesser humans and so they don’t scratch the Arab niche. 

    The second is Qatar. Like Iran, I believe they are a malevolent influence in the region, but Al Jazeera has been a very powerful tool as has their diplomatic game playing in the current war (they reached out to hostage families on October 8th).

    The third is the UAE. They are leading by example, following something closer to a Singapore model. They have had the most international respect and have drawn the Saudis into their wake.

    I wouldn’t look for a return to the good old days of the PLO/PFLP. I would really look forward to a future Palestine-as-UAE model. One that embraces trade, peace and culture as roads to respect and power.

    I know I’m a minority, but with the UAE as an example, I believe it is possible.

    This is perhaps one reason why textbooks in Gaza describe the UAE as having been bought by the Jews. The model is a fundamental threat to both the PA and Hamas. 

    • #10
  11. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    JosephCox: For Hamas, every man in a society is a combatant.

    That is orthodox, traditional Islam.

    Even Orthodoxies change. See the UAE, Oman, Albania, Sufism and more out-there offshoots like Ahmadis as examples of self-limiting Islamic forms.

    But the old orthodoxies are still there in the Koran and the Hadith.

    And so are the Hebrew Bible commandments to kill every enemy man, woman and child, execute adulterers and Sabbath breakers, practice temporary enslavement for debtors etc… But Jews have moved on.

    Wonderfully, lots of people have moved on.

    There is vastly more for Muslims to “move on” from, given the call to make war upon all non-Muslims until the entire world is subjugated.

    • #11
  12. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Today, three states have begun to deliver international respect and relevance to Muslim populations.

    People do not need international respect and relevance.  They need employment, housing, healthcare, food, education, law and order, security….

    States (polities?), both emerging and existing, do need international respect (of their borders, of their legitimacy) rather desperately.  Hopefully in order to deliver what their people require.  In any case, that’s where the conflict between Israel and Palestine sits today.

    I doubt that Fatah, PFLP, etc. (the other ‘seculars’ ) will be back.  They’re a spent force, most essentially because they signed Oslo, recognised Israel, and 30 years later they have clearly failed in delivering a state, with its capital in East Jerusalem and with a just resolution of the issue of the 1948 refugees.  (Hence the rise, with a little help, of Hamas.)

    One can say that it was an impossible thing to deliver, after Rabin’s assassination and subsequent political developments in Israel, but imo (not Palestinian, not Arab) it’s still  hard to see them recovering from that.

    Regarding the three successes you put forward: Iran is a structurally flawed democracy staggering from one internal contradiction caused crisis to another, Qatar and the UAE are monarchies where we literally have no idea what the population thinks on many issues.  We sort of assume that their citizens are apolitical, and given oil wealth = the good life that’s certainly possible, but we can’t really be sure.

    Lacking an existing monarchy (with inertia and tradition to support its legitimacy) how would a UAE style alternative emerge for Palestine without some kind of democratic process to give it credibility?  One thing that seems fairly clear is that the Palestinian population is not apolitical, on the contrary its experience since the 1930s has radicalised it – they seem extremely politically focused because they have unmet political needs and no oil wealth to take their minds off it.

    So – how?

    • #12
  13. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Zafar (View Comment):

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Today, three states have begun to deliver international respect and relevance to Muslim populations.

    People do not need international respect and relevance. They need employment, housing, healthcare, food, education, law and order, security….

    States (polities?), both emerging and existing, do need international respect (of their borders, of their legitimacy) rather desperately. Hopefully in order to deliver what their people require. In any case, that’s where the conflict between Israel and Palestine sits today.

    I doubt that Fatah, PFLP, etc. (the other ‘seculars’ ) will be back. They’re a spent force, most essentially because they signed Oslo, recognised Israel, and 30 years later they have clearly failed in delivering a state, with its capital in East Jerusalem and with a just resolution of the issue of the 1948 refugees. (Hence the rise, with a little help, of Hamas.)

    One can say that it was an impossible thing to deliver, after Rabin’s assassination and subsequent political developments in Israel, but imo (not Palestinian, not Arab) it’s still hard to see them recovering from that.

    Regarding the three successes you put forward: Iran is a structurally flawed democracy staggering from one internal contradiction caused crisis to another, Qatar and the UAE are monarchies where we literally have no idea what the population thinks on many issues. We sort of assume that their citizens are apolitical, and given oil wealth = the good life that’s certainly possible, but we can’t really be sure.

    Lacking an existing monarchy (with inertia and tradition to support its legitimacy) how would a UAE style alternative emerge for Palestine without some kind of democratic process to give it credibility? One thing that seems fairly clear is that the Palestinian population is not apolitical, on the contrary its experience since the 1930s has radicalised it – they seem extremely politically focused because they have unmet political needs and no oil wealth to take their minds off it.

    So – how?

    I am not sure what you mean, Zafar, when you say the Palestinians have unmet political needs. However, they have had seven decades since Israel was recognized by the United Nations as a sovereign nation. What have the Palestinians built in those 70 years? Do you think the Palestinians have no responsibility for their current situation? What could they do differently to improve their socio-economic and political circumstances? What could their fellow Arab nations do to assist? Is it your opinion that Israel is responsible for the Palestinians? Do you understand the resistance of the Israelis to giving up land and sovereignty to the Palestinians?

    • #13
  14. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Zafar (View Comment):
     

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Today, three states have begun to deliver international respect and relevance to Muslim populations.

    People do not need international respect and relevance.  They need employment, housing, healthcare, food, education, law and order, security….

    If they needed employment, housing. healthcare, food, education, law and order then there would have been no insurgency against American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan which were offering all these things – and spent massively to provide them. The gifts were not only rejected, the Americans were driven out.

    Why? Honor, respect and relevance.

    Zafar (View Comment):

     

    I doubt that Fatah, PFLP, etc. (the other ‘seculars’ ) will be back.  They’re a spent force, most essentially because they signed Oslo, recognised Israel, and 30 years later they have clearly failed in delivering a state, with its capital in East Jerusalem and with a just resolution of the issue of the 1948 refugees.  (Hence the rise, with a little help, of Hamas.)

    They could have had a state with its capital in East Jerusalem and 98% of the pre-1967 territory in 2000 when it was offered to them. But that was never their objective, otherwise the PLO wouldn’t have been founded in 1964. Their goal was and remains the elimination of Israel and in that they have failed. As far as 1948 refugees, how about the equal numbers of Jewish refugees from Arab lands who lost what they’d had for over a thousand years? Does that just go away? Jews can lose, but nobody else? And 99.8% of Jews were driven out – there are 2 million Arabs citizens in Israel today.

    The refugee problem is an Arab problem. they won’t accept them, but they’ve got plenty of land and plenty of money. Israel was supposed to collapse under the weight of Jewish refugees, but they only made us stronger. Population transfer, as it was called in those days, doesn’t just get to go one way.

    The refugees are used – by Palestinian leaders and by Arab leaders – as a means of rejecting every possible compromise and maintaining a forever war.

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Lacking an existing monarchy (with inertia and tradition to support its legitimacy) how would a UAE style alternative emerge for Palestine without some kind of democratic process to give it credibility?

    You don’t need democracy for credibility. Singapore isn’t really a democracy, but it is perfectly credible. Democracy, functional democracy, can only emerge in the shadow of a developed civil society. The Palestinians do not have that. Democracy is thus a recipe just for disaster. Korea was credible. Taiwan was credible. Chile was credible. All before they had democracy. Civil society had to come first. Russia and Egypt went straight for democracy – didn’t work out.

    Zafar (View Comment):
    they have unmet political needs and no oil wealth to take their minds off it.

    I just watched an episode of Yellowstone with an absolutely beautiful line:

    Chairman: She’s not evil, Mo. She’s just angry and trying to punish the world for everything it did to her.

    Mo: Yeah, I know. And that’s what evil means.

    • #14
  15. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    As an interesting aside, German civilians in the U.S. and U.K. occupation zones received 1,200 calories a day of food. Displaced non-Germans received 2,300 calories. American soldiers were under orders to destroy food they didn’t eat to prevent Germans from getting it and tens of thousands of Germans prisoners died of hunger and disease. The Americans and British used population-wide hunger to squeeze any resistance out of the German people.

    I had no idea. Wow.

    This is news to me. Mr Cox, can you provide a citation or two?

    From Grams, Calories, and Food: Languages of Victimization, Entitlement, and Human Rights in Occupied Germany, 1945–1949 via Wikipedia

    Thank you, you have taught me something today. 

    • #15
  16. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Today, three states have begun to deliver international respect and relevance to Muslim populations.

    People do not need international respect and relevance. They need employment, housing, healthcare, food, education, law and order, security….

    If they needed employment, housing. healthcare, food, education, law and order then there would have been no insurgency against American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan which were offering all these things – and spent massively to provide them. The gifts were not only rejected, the Americans were driven out.

    Why? Honor, respect and relevance.

    To be fair a little bit more happened in Afghanistan and Iraq than the offer of employment, housing, healthcare etc.  And many people accepted what they could.  It went pear shaped in Afghanistan, imnsho, because it came with support of a deeply corrupt and rapacious polity.  In Iraq I think it sort of succeeded despite the corruption?

    Zafar (View Comment):

     

    I doubt that Fatah, PFLP, etc. (the other ‘seculars’ ) will be back. They’re a spent force, most essentially because they signed Oslo, recognised Israel, and 30 years later they have clearly failed in delivering a state, with its capital in East Jerusalem and with a just resolution of the issue of the 1948 refugees. (Hence the rise, with a little help, of Hamas.)

    They could have had a state with its capital in East Jerusalem and 98% of the pre-1967 territory in 2000 when it was offered to them. But that was never their objective, otherwise the PLO wouldn’t have been founded in 1964.

    Joseph, I’m not trying to make a case for who is good and who is bad in the Palestine/Israel conflict. 

    You raised an objective for Palestine that I thought was interesting, and I was curious how you thought it could be achieved.

    You don’t need democracy for credibility. Singapore isn’t really a democracy, but it is perfectly credible.

    Sure, but its leadership gained legitimacy due to a historical situation specific to Singapore. 

    I was wondering how an equivalent leadership could rise in Palestine given its specific history and situation.

    I just watched an episode of Yellowstone with an absolutely beautiful line:

    Chairman: She’s not evil, Mo. She’s just angry and trying to punish the world for everything it did to her.

    Mo: Yeah, I know. And that’s what evil means.

    It’s a beautiful line.  I bet we all think that it perfectly describes the other guy.  Amirite?

     

    • #16
  17. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    cdor (View Comment):
    I am not sure what you mean, Zafar, when you say the Palestinians have unmet political needs.

    They have no recognised polity that places their needs first.

    However, they have had seven decades since Israel was recognized by the United Nations as a sovereign nation. What have the Palestinians built in those 70 years? Do you think the Palestinians have no responsibility for their current situation? What could they do differently to improve their socio-economic and political circumstances? What could their fellow Arab nations do to assist? Is it your opinion that Israel is responsible for the Palestinians?

    Hindsight is 20:20.  But yes, I think both Palestinians and Israelis are responsible for the Palestinians’ situation.  I also think that both Palestinians and Israelis are responsible for Israelis’ situation. In a weird way the two peoples have formed each other.

    Do you understand the resistance of the Israelis to giving up land and sovereignty to the Palestinians?

    Yes.  Do you understand the resistance of Palestinians to accepting what they see as injustice?

    • #17
  18. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Zafar (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    I am not sure what you mean, Zafar, when you say the Palestinians have unmet political needs.

    They have no recognised polity that places their needs first.

    However, they have had seven decades since Israel was recognized by the United Nations as a sovereign nation. What have the Palestinians built in those 70 years? Do you think the Palestinians have no responsibility for their current situation? What could they do differently to improve their socio-economic and political circumstances? What could their fellow Arab nations do to assist? Is it your opinion that Israel is responsible for the Palestinians?

    Hindsight is 20:20. But yes, I think both Palestinians and Israelis are responsible for the Palestinians’ situation. I also think that both Palestinians and Israelis are responsible for Israelis’ situation. In a weird way the two peoples have formed each other.

    Do you understand the resistance of the Israelis to giving up land and sovereignty to the Palestinians?

    Yes. Do you understand the resistance of Palestinians to accepting what they see as injustice?

    Since the stated objective of the Palestinians since dayone, has been the removal and destruction of all the Jews, an objective, which was accomplished in all Arab lands, I say what the Palestinians have is justice deserved. For Israel, to accept a Palestinian state next-door would at this point be suicidal.

    • #18
  19. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Zafar (View Comment):

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Today, three states have begun to deliver international respect and relevance to Muslim populations.

    People do not need international respect and relevance.  They need employment, housing, healthcare, food, education, law and order, security….

    Tell that to the Russians.

    • #19
  20. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Zafar (View Comment):

     

    I just watched an episode of Yellowstone with an absolutely beautiful line:

    Chairman: She’s not evil, Mo. She’s just angry and trying to punish the world for everything it did to her.

    Mo: Yeah, I know. And that’s what evil means.

    It’s a beautiful line.  I bet we all think that it perfectly describes the other guy.  Amirite?

    No, I don’t think it can be applied that way at all. Israel works constantly to better the world – with technologies crossing healthcare, agriculture, water supply, communications and so on…. This isn’t trying to punish the world at all. Israel makes peace with everybody who is willing, including the UAE, Morocco, Sudan, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey (never actually at war), Iran pre-Ayatollahs etc… Israel supports Germany wholeheartedly, despite what the Germans did 2 generations ago. This includes with defense systems like the Arrow. 

    The only people Israel has a problem with are those who are still seeking its destruction. That is a very limited target list. And Israel would gladly not have that fight. That was the ultimate hope when Israel left Gaza and Lebanon and offered a comprehensive deal in 2000. We wanted to let the Palestinians figure it out so we could actually have peace. But…. nope.

    The Palestinians have contributed what? Airline hijacking? Scaling up suicide bombings? Better ways of collecting international aid? Global protests? Low-cost rocket design? Flammable balloon design? Tunnel digging?

    Oh, they are in exile. Okay. Well, in the 70 years prior to the establishment of Israel, Jews in exile played a key role in modern psychology (Freud), physics (Einstein), germ theory (Semmelweis/Koch), chemistry & biology (6 Nobel prizes prior to 1948) and culture (Hollywood). Again, while being actively discriminated against, Jews made serious contributions to the world around them. There was no punishment attempted or realized.

    You said the two people have formed each other – they haven’t. No Arabs identified as a separate Palestinian Arab polity prior to 1948. ‘Palestinian’ referred to Jews prior to that time. The Palestinians have indeed been formed, but their sole political touchstone is their opposition to Jews. Just as opposition to Jews was critical to Spanish and German self-definition within the first 100 years of their formation as cohesive nation-states. The Jews and their dreams of Zion – on the other hand – go back to before the existence of Islam or the arrival of Arab colonialists in the region.

    Heck, opposition to Jews was foundational to Islam itself. The very first military forays of the great Prophet conqueror were against Meccan caravans and Medinnan Jewish tribes. The third of these tribes suffered the execution of all adult males and the enslavement of all women and children. With that, Mohammed was on the road towards conquest.

     

    I have written and acknowledged why the Palestinians have a right to be angry. But what they do with that anger is also important. So far, they have behaved like poorly-raised children, pulling a massive multi-generational tantrum while smacking themselves to make the world feel bad and blame their cousins for everything that happens to them. The world has indulged this behavior, again and again – making it continually worse. The Arab world is getting tired of it, thus their willingness to bring Arab armies to Gaza to control things. The West hasn’t figured out just how guilty they are in having encouraged this behavior.

    • #20
  21. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

     

    I just watched an episode of Yellowstone with an absolutely beautiful line:

    Chairman: She’s not evil, Mo. She’s just angry and trying to punish the world for everything it did to her.

    Mo: Yeah, I know. And that’s what evil means.

    It’s a beautiful line. I bet we all think that it perfectly describes the other guy. Amirite?

    No, I don’t think it can be applied that way at all.

    But you do think it perfectly describes the Palestinians.  How am I wrong?    Would Palestinians not believe it describes you?

    Israel works constantly to better the world – with technologies crossing healthcare, agriculture, water supply, communications and so on…. This isn’t trying to punish the world at all. Israel makes peace with everybody who is willing, including the UAE, Morocco, Sudan, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey (never actually at war), Iran pre-Ayatollahs etc… Israel supports Germany wholeheartedly, despite what the Germans did 2 generations ago. This includes with defense systems like the Arrow.

    The only people Israel has a problem with are those who are still seeking its destruction.

    Would that include a particular people that Israel wants to destroy?

    Look  Joseph, I just want to say that I know that your country is at war, that your community has experienced losses of lives from this latest iteration of the conflict and that I want to acknowledge that you are showing tremendous graciousness by engaging with me in a civil manner even though you know that I disagree with you on what I think might be fundamentals.  Truly sincere props to you.

    Wrt Israel’s willingness to make peace – that’s great, truly.  But does Israel really want to make peace with the Palestinians – the most relevant and essential group?  The governments of a bunch of Arab states whose governments do not reflect popular opinion (because they are not democracies) have made peace with Israel.  The most prominent of these, the UAE, wasn’t actually at war with Israel, but fine, it’s a good thing imo.  But it ignores the elephant in the living room.

    Israel isn’t willing, as far as I can see, to even acknowledge its responsibility for the Nakba. Or even the Nakba itself.  Don’t you think that this is an essential component of any lasting peace with  the people who are actually in an existential conflict with Israel?  And that isn’t the Emiratis, that isn’t the Moroccans, that isn’t the [military of] Sudan etc. – that’s the Palestinians.

    This doesn’t even address Israel’s actions in the West Bank or East Jerusalem after the Nakba.

    It’s so fundamental and yet so avoided.  I take your point about the expulsion of Arab Jews from places like Iraq, but I still think it’s pretty central.

    You said the two people have formed each other – they haven’t. No Arabs identified as a separate Palestinian Arab polity prior to 1948.

    They were formed by the Nakba and then by the Occupation.  Has Israel not been formed by Palestinian resistance to the Nakba and the Occupation?  That’s why it’s Sparta.  How is that not relevant?

    Heck, opposition to Jews was foundational to Islam itself.

    I don’t really care all that much about Islam, or any religion, but I still find Israel’s actions appalling.  You really need to go beyond religion and engage with civil rights. imo.

    • #21
  22. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Zafar, please clarify what you mean when you use the term “Nakba.”  In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word…”

    • #22
  23. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Zafar, please clarify what you mean when you use the term “Nakba.” In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word…”

    This is what I found, Caryn:

    The Nakba (Arabic: النكبة an-Nakbah, lit. ‘The Catastrophe’) was the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Mandatory Palestine during the 1948 Palestine war through their violent displacement and dispossession of land, property and belongings, along with the destruction of their society, … Wikipedia

    This little “infogram” forgets to mention that war was declared by all Arab countries against Israel when it received Statehood status from the U.N. So ‘the catastrophe’ was that they lost and the Jews won.

    • #23
  24. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    I keep bringing up Adam Carolla and the issue of fairness. 

    • #24
  25. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    cdor (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Zafar, please clarify what you mean when you use the term “Nakba.” In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word…”

    This is what I found, Caryn:

    The Nakba (Arabic: النكبة an-Nakbah, lit. ‘The Catastrophe’) was the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Mandatory Palestine during the 1948 Palestine war through their violent displacement and dispossession of land, property and belongings, along with the destruction of their society, … Wikipedia

    This little “infogram” forgets to mention that war was declared by all Arab countries against Israel when it received Statehood status from the U.N. So ‘the catastrophe’ was that they lost and the Jews won.

    Iraq lost the war so we killed and expelled peasants from Galilee.  

    • #25
  26. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Zafar (View Comment):

     

    Israel isn’t willing, as far as I can see, to even acknowledge its responsibility for the Nakba. Or even the Nakba itself.  Don’t you think that this is an essential component of any lasting peace with  the people who are actually in an existential conflict with Israel?  And that isn’t the Emiratis, that isn’t the Moroccans, that isn’t the [military of] Sudan etc. – that’s the Palestinians.

    This doesn’t even address Israel’s actions in the West Bank or East Jerusalem after the Nakba.

    It’s so fundamental and yet so avoided.  I take your point about the expulsion of Arab Jews from places like Iraq, but I still think it’s pretty central.

    Israel doesn’t acknowledge the Nakba? You obviously haven’t read much from any Israeli historians or Haaretz. However, acknowledging that it was a terrible time and inviting people who tried to exterminate you back are two different things.

    Let’s set ourselves back a few years, shall we. Israel is established. It is a home for a population of refugees who’ve just been slaughtered in a world-unprecedented scale. They agree to a division of land, but the overwhelming reaction from the Arab – yes, Arab, there were no ‘Palestinians’ – population is to try to exterminate them. The fighters includes Arab populations from villages throughout the land. This was a people war then – every Jew was a target – man woman and child. The initial plan was to overwhelm Jewish settlements and exterminate their populations. A few places and peoples did not engage in this – including a village on the coast and Abu Ghosh (both populated, interestingly, by generally non-Arab populations). Also, the Bedouin and Druze did not participate and remain a central part of the State today – although as with any nomadic group in a modern society, the Bedouin have challenges. Almost everyplace else, extermination was the goal of the day. And it was a peoples’ war – not a war between armies. Jews near Arab villages were and are routinely attacked and massacred. Those who make the mistake of entering were murdered. 

    So, what do you do?

    You drive some of that population out to establish militarily supportable areas. You have to. The alternative is death. You establish a deterrent factor – responding to terrorism with a few raids that suggest that there will be a price for supporting genocide. Not a nice thing to do. Arguably unnecessary but the argument could easily go either way. Finally, you don’t stop the vast majority who flee because they’re convinced they’ll come back to take Jewish lands once the massacre if Jews is complete.

    It sucks, but if you want to survive, it is the only viable option. After all, the Arabs have declared all Jews the enemy and joined in an attempt to follow up the Holocaust with version II – three years later. One of their leaders is the Mufti of Jerusalem, a confidant of Hitler who has whipped the population up in an attempt to carry out his part of the final solution.

    By the way, the hatred of peace was so strong that that village on the coast that was willing to make peace (Jisr az Zarqa) still finds itself completely shut off from the rest of the Arab population and today suffers very high rates of birth defects because nobody else will marry them.

    Did Israel kill all these people? No, not even close. Credible massacre victims number under 200. Did they drive all the Arabs out? Absolutely not. 20% of Israel’s population today is Arab. You will note that 0 – that’s ZERO – Jews were permitted to live in areas controlled by Arabs after 1948. This included ancient Jewish settlements that had had continual Jewish populations since the times of the Romans, like Hebron and central Jerusalem. ZERO Jews. Jews who even walked near the holiest site in Judaism were shot at from across the border. ZERO Jews are permitted to live in Palestinian areas today – but 20% of Israel is Arab.

    With enemies like that, Israel was quite moderate in their expulsions. It was quite different than say:

    1. Arab expulsions of Jews (99.5% of Jews gone, 100% from Arab-controlled areas West of the Jordan River)
    2. Azerbaijani (92% Azeri) and Armenian (98% Armenian) mutual expulsions

    Israel’s actions aren’t appalling. If we want to survive as a people – and I fully intend that we survive – we need to be able to protect ourselves from entire populations dedicated to our erasure.

    To quote Golda Meir: “If we have to have a choice between dead and pitied, and being alive with a bad image, we’d rather be alive and have the bad image”

    She also said: “When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.”

    I don’t want this war. We don’t want this war. But peace won’t be the return of millions who want us dead.

    Peace will be those millions – and the Arab nations who have refused to integrate them for generations – accepting that Israel will remain. Peace will be when Jews do not have to fear massacre every time they leave the gate open.

    If you want Israel to prostrate itself before the Nakba, perhaps the Arab nations could prostrate themselves before the numerous pogroms they conducted over hundreds of years? No? Perhaps Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Egypt could acknowledge their sins in 1948, 67 and 73? No? Of course not, because the blame game only goes one way. The Arabs attempted genocide again and again and they failed. But their pride demands that we ask forgiveness.

    My oldest is going into the army in a year and a half. My next three a year and a half after that. I don’t want them risking their lives to occupy a ****hole like Gaza or Nablus (which was Shechem and houses a major Jewish pilgrimage site but was renamed Flavius Neopolis’ by the Romans and drove out its last Jews in 1936). But they will risk their lives to protect their people from those who still dream of our extermination. I would love love love for that to mean that they are never deployed anywhere. But that isn’t going to be the reality. 70% of Palestinians think Oct 7th was the right things to do – not just justified, but the right call strategically. So my kids will risk their lives not because they want to live in Shechem but because they want to live in peace.

    This exterminationalist attitude predates the State of Israel and is why Israel has to be so damned aggressive to defend itself.

    Predates the State of Israel? Why, yes. Here’s a list of Arab atrocities against Jews during the 1800s. No Israel to blame. When will these countries and peoples acknowledge their sins?

    If they won’t, then don’t expect us to commit ethnic suicide by beating our chests and inviting them to overwhelm us with their numbers. 

    ▪ 1800: new decree adopted in Yemen, prohibiting Jews from wearing new or good clothes. Jews were forbidden to ride mules or donkeys, and were sometimes rounded up for long, naked marches through the Roob al Khali desert.

    ▪ 1805: 1st pogrom in Ottoman Algeria against the Jews of Algiers after a famine. French consul Dubois-Thainville saves 200 Jews by sheltering them in his consulate.

    ▪ 1805: exile of Jews from Algiers to Tunis and Livorno

    ▪ 1805, the leader of the Jewish Nation of Algiers, Naphthalie Busnach, is killed while riots ravage the neighborhoods.

    ▪ 1806: expulsion by fatwa of the Jews of Sali in Morocco

    ▪ 1806: ban on Moroccan Jews wearing Western clothing

    ▪ 1806: the janissaries of the dey of Algiers massacre and pillage in the Jewish quarter

    ▪ 1807: expulsion of Jews from Tetouan

    ▪ 1808: 1st massacres in the Mellah ghetto, North Africa

    ▪ 1815, the chief rabbi of Algiers, Isaac Aboulker, is beheaded during a riot.

    ▪ 1815: 2nd pogrom of Algiers, Ottoman Algeria

    ▪ 1816: in Algeria, ban on carrying weapons for Jews and Christians

    ▪ 1820: Massacres of Sahalu Lobiant, Ottoman Syria

    ▪ 1828 : pogrom de Baghdad, Iraq ottoman

    ▪ 1830: 3rd pogrom of Algeria, Ottoman Algeria

    ▪ 1830: start of the persecution of Jews in Persia, caused by the Russian advance in the Caucasus

    ▪ 1830: ethnic cleansing of Jews in Tabriz, Iran

    ▪ 1834: 2nd pogrom of Hebron, Ottoman Palestine

    ▪ 1834 : Pogrom de Safed, Palestine ottomane

    ▪ 1838: Druze attack in Safed, Ottoman Palestine

    ▪ 1839: Massacre of the Mashadi Jews, Iran

    ▪ 1839: forced conversion of surviving Jews from Mashadi

    ▪ 1839: campaign of forced conversions of Iranian Jews

    ▪ 1840: persecution of the Jews of Damascus; ritual murder case

    ▪ 1840: forced conversion of the Jews of Mashadi

    ▪ 1841: massive murders of Jews in Morocco; the sultan is obliged to consider the Jews as his personal property, which helps to protect them

    ▪ 1840: Damascus, ritual murders (French Muslims and Christians kidnapped, tortured and killed Jewish children for entertainment), Ottoman Syria

    ▪ 1844: 1st Cairo massacre, Ottoman Egypt

    ▪ 1847: Dayr al-Qamar Pogrom, Liban ottoman

    ▪ 1847: ethnic cleansing of Jews in Jerusalem, Ottoman Palestine

    ▪ 1848: 1st pogrom of Damascus, Syria

    ▪ 1848: total disappearance of the Jews of Mashhad

    ▪ 1850: 1st pogrom of Aleppo, Ottoman Syria

    ▪ Djerba, Ottoman Tunisia

    ▪ 1877 : 3e massacre de Damanhur, Egypte ottomane

    ▪ 1877: Pogrom of Mansura, Ottoman Egypt

    ▪ 1882: Massacre of Homs, Ottoman Syria

    ▪ 1882: 3rd massacre of Alexandria, Ottoman Egypt

    ▪ 1889: after the funeral of a rabbi, deemed too discreet, the Jewish cemetery of Baghdad was confiscated

    ▪ 1889: looting of the Jewish quarter of Baghdad

    ▪ 1890: 2nd Cairo massacre, Ottoman Egypt

    ▪ 1890, 3e pogrom de Damas, Syrie ottomane

    ▪ 1891: 4th massacre of Damanahur, Ottoman Egypt

     (longer list here)

    There are 2 billion Muslims who control 29 million square kilometers of land. There are 16 million Jews who control 22,000 sq km. We are less than 1% of the Muslim population and we have less than 0.1% of Muslim lands. But those 2 billion Muslims want those 16 million Jews and  their tiny sliver of land erased because we had the gall to do what we needed to defend ourselves against multiple attempts at genocidal slaughter.
     
    If you want more color, check out this peace about a chest-beating Israeli historian of the Nakba who thinks Hamas must be erased and Netanyahu is too much of a wuss to get done what needs to be done.

    Despite ALL of this, you know from my writing that I do not wish Arabs or Muslims or Palestinians dead. My hopes, expressed in books like the City on the Heights and multiple pieces on this site like A Truly Free Palestine, are for peace, prosperity and advancement. Unfortunately that will only come when the exterminationalist movement is suppressed and supplanted.

    • #26
  27. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Look  Joseph, I just want to say that I know that your country is at war, that your community has experienced losses of lives from this latest iteration of the conflict and that I want to acknowledge that you are showing tremendous graciousness by engaging with me in a civil manner even though you know that I disagree with you on what I think might be fundamentals.  Truly sincere props to you.

    I apologize for taking so long to respond. It is hard for me to manage it.

    The Iranian axis is the latest iteration of those seeking to erase us. Hezbollah has a massive arsenal, Iran wants to nuke us, the Houthis are sending cruise missiles and ballistic missiles at our cities and Hamas has sent 10s of thousands of rockets at our cities. Those Houthi missiles, by the way, are practice for the Iranians to understand how to get their missiles through.

    I can’t confidently say we’ll survive. Our enemies want us all dead. Me, my wife, my children. My kids’ schools all have an armed guard outside. Now they have 2 because past massacres have targeted school children. We don’t want them all dead. No Israeli – even the craziest right-wingers – want to kill every Arab or Palestinian.

    But they want us all dead. Not only that, but they may get the means.

    And in the middle of this – when we are trying to deal with one axis of this monster in Hamas – the freaking Canadians are cutting off our arms. The Americans are wringing their hands, limiting our access and buying the Hamas starvation story (Israel is sending over 150 trucks a day with about 1,500 tons a day. A person can get by on 500g just fine, so this is enough for 2.7 million people) and limiting our weapons. We aren’t being allowed to finish the job and end the hard-core military operations so we can pivot to other existential threats and lift the level of disorder in the Strip.

    I’m looking at this and saying: Do I really have to argue that my people shouldn’t be genocided? Do I really have to argue that the ridiculous accusation of genocide is just that?

    This isn’t some far-off reality. Every city in Israel is within 25 miles of the ‘international’ border. Gaza is under 60km (35 miles) from my home. Hezbollah is 140km (90 miles) away. 70% of Palestinians think Oct 7th was the right thing to do. Why? Not just because civilians were slaughtered, but because the world is pivoting to support them and their evil.

    So, you better believe I want my army – my friends and my friend’s kids – to disabuse them of that notion. No, I don’t want wholesale slaughter – but a million Gazans would be dead if that were the goal. I want every single member of Hama and PIJ dead. That is about 40,000 people. They are members of a genocidal cult in service to an ideology that wants to kill my children and isn’t so far from being able to do just that.

    As far as I’m concerned, they don’t get to live.

    Of course, that won’t happen. Israel is taking prisoners and has been since day 1. Maybe some kind of reform is possible.

     

    Are we free from sin? Of course not. Young men in an existential fight aren’t going to act like lawyers. But with October 7th, the mask has come off our enemies – they and their progressive fellow travelers demand ‘from the river to the sea’ and that means all of us, dead. They attack Jews and Jewish sites world wide and that means all of us, not just those evil Israelis, dead.

    The Jewish people will survive them. We’ll watch them swept away into the dustbin of history. The remains of Hadrian’s wall are just across the river from the Gateshead Yeshiva. Where our enemies of old have crumbling ruins, we have living, vibrant, centers of learning.

    We’ll survive them, as a people. But as our history shows, there is no guarantee that we won’t suffer terribly in the meantime. There is no guarantee that they won’t kill millions in the process of their own erasure.

     

    And so I sometimes have a hard time summoning up the will to argue.

     

    The Arab world is waking up. They are waking up to the limits of “no justice, no peace” and instead recognizing that you must pursue peace and progress despite injustice, because no justice is perfect (see my prior message). Jews aren’t going to get back what was taken from them in the Arab and Muslim and European worlds – but we moved on and made things that are far more valuable in our place of freedom. It’d sure be nice for the Arab world to follow in our footsteps.

    You may dismiss the Emiratis, but I don’t. On the messed up scale, the Arab world is one of the most backward places on the planet. With all their oil wealth, they only surpass Africa and South Asia on the HDI. It is my hope that progress, even that represented by the slave-holding authoritarians of the Emirates, will take hold and lift both Arabs and Jews from the burden of this conflict.

    • #27
  28. JosephCox Coolidge
    JosephCox
    @JosephCox

    Zafar (View Comment):
    But you do think it perfectly describes the Palestinians.  How am I wrong?    Would Palestinians not believe it describes you?

    They are angry at the world, are punishing everybody right now and have contributed almost nothing to humankind aside from terrorism and some local cheese. Yeah, it describes them.

    Jews are shocked by the world, but we are aren’t trying to punish it.

    • We are building up people’s around the world in numerous areas (as mentioned, agriculture, communications, health etc…).
    • We regularly perform life-saving operations for Palestinians and Arabs from enemy states. Before before and after Oct 7th, there are Gazan cancer and heart patients receiving treatment in Israeli hospitals – to the extend that somehow we’re considered evil if we don’t extend our services to our enemies when they could have easily built their own healthcare capacity. You know, if they decided to establish a functioning society. By contrast, a Druze auto-accident patient was murdered in his hospital bed in Jenin because they thought he might be Jewish. Honest mistake, you know…
    • WE massively expanded that fricking Al-Shifa Hospital. What hospital did the Palestinians or Arabs ever build for Jews? On the contrary, that lovely old couple that used to drive Palestinians to medical appointments in Israel were taken hostage by Hamas.
    • We both offer and provide aid in earthquake hit Muslim and Arab countries.
    • We aren’t angry at our enemies of yester-generation (e.g. Germans).
    • Despite having the capability, we haven’t and have no plans to genocide Palestinians.
    • We withdrew from Gaza in 2005, hoping they’d actually build something other than the capability to attack us.

    If Palestinians believe we are trying to punish the world for everything it did to us then they are being willful idiots (or, more likely, trying to justify genocide). What we are trying to do is ensure that the world doesn’t get to do what they did (or tried to do, in the case of the Arabs) again.

    • #28
  29. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    @josephcox, thank you for presenting so thoroughly and concisely much of the truth about the Arab/Israeli conflict. I have been trying to put forth many of these facts over the past six months, since Oct 7, but my writing is far from pristine, and, after all, I live in relative safety here in the center of the USA. How could I present the dire threats and unabashed truths as absolutely as you, a man who lives every second with his entire family in the middle of the battlefield? May God be with you, your family, and all of Israel.

    • #29
  30. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    JosephCox (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    But you do think it perfectly describes the Palestinians. How am I wrong? Would Palestinians not believe it describes you?

    They are angry at the world, are punishing everybody right now and have contributed almost nothing to humankind aside from terrorism and some local cheese. Yeah, it describes them.

    Jews are shocked by the world, but we are aren’t trying to punish it

    To be honest, I don’t feel punished by Palestinians or by Israelis (or by Jews).  This conflict resonates deeply with many people across the world because we recognise something of ourselves in it, or it hooks into our own stories or stories about ourselves, but at the end of the day most of us aren’t Israeli or Palestinian.

    Anyway – I’m from India, and I’m from a Muslim family, and I’m gay – and I’ve lost count of the number of times people have told me to go to Gaza where Khamas can kill me when I say something that is critical of Israel or supportive of Palestine. (The whole supporting Palestine = supporting Hamas deflection.) 

    So I got to wondering what gay Palestinian people’s position on this was, and google found me this guy, self-described Drag Therapist.  And I wondered what minority Palestinians in Gaza thought, and found this interesting interview.  Both outside Palestine, so perhaps more freely spoken than they would be under the PA or Hamas or Israel.

    • #30
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