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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Reality on the ground

Just another day in the occupied territories:

"Illegal permits were issued retroactively for a new West Bank project while buildings were being constructed or even completed, according to documents Haaretz has obtained.

"The project is the Modi'in Illit settlement neighbourhood of Matityahu East, which is being built on land belonging to the Palestinian village of Bil'in.

"An eyewitness reported that the illicit construction is proceeding, despite recent instructions from the settlement's planning and construction committee to stop the work."

This is what happens: Israel builds illegal homes on occupied land, Palestinians complain and are ignored, the world offers little or no condemnation (afraid of offending the Zionist state), and the occupation continues to expand. Meanwhile, Ariel Sharon is hailed as a peace-maker.

23 Comments:

Blogger violet said...

Antony

If you really care about the Palestinians why don't you complain about the way they are treated in the refugee camps of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan?

Why don't you criticise the Lebanese government for the appalling manner they treat these people. No civil rights, limited gas and electricity; they are banned from most occupations. Why Antony, do you only criticise Jews?

And why don't you question where the $440 million in international aid goes each year? Why don't you ask why UNWRA is the only UN agency that employs its staff directly from its own client base? Why don't you ask why Hamas has infiltrated UNWRA? And why the UN does nought about it?

Why don't you ask the UN to dismantle the temporary agency it set up 55 years ago and question why they perpetuate the right of return to over 1.2 million Palestinian refugees -- when 70 % of them were not even born in Palestine? Why don't you ask the host countries to absorb these refugees?

Why don't you question why Gaza has the highest birth rate in the world? Each woman there is having an average of 7 babies -- the war of the womb. Arafat ordered this. Once again, women are being abused.

There are so many questions Antony, and you ask all the wrong ones.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 8:36:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Yes Antony, why don't you ask the right questions? Israel my be treating the Palis badly, but so is everyone else.
Holy shit, 7 babies per woman, we've got to put a stop to this. How about sterilization?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:33:00 pm  
Blogger Clumsy Birds said...

Mmmm... visuals...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:22:00 pm  
Blogger Pete's Blog said...

Well AL

Even though "violet" has an irritating tone she's made some good points.

Reckon it deserves a considered rebuttal.

Pete

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:24:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

iolet, you know why no one complains. Because the Syrians, Lebonese, Egyptians and Jordanians don't care. They treat their own people like garbage.


As a civilized nation, Israel is held to a higher standard.

Regardless, how were the permits illegal? Because they were issued retroactively? That happens all of the time in non-nazi civilized nations.

A village owns the land? That means it is public land and the State of Israel can do what it wants with it. Legally of course.

The world is afraid of affending the nation of Israel? Have you ever been to the UN? Are you that stupid?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 1:08:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Violet,

Do you care abot the Palestinians? Or have ytou decided that they are expendable vermin?

Woudl you care to explain why, if as you say, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan are responsible for the plight of the Palestinians, have they not been held to accoutn by the interntainal community? Why has the US not held their feet to the fire over the issue, rahter than just Israel? After all, it is the Us that is pretty much footing the bill right?

And why don't YOU question where the $3 billion (7 times $440 million) in aid to Israel goes each year - not including the military aid that goes largely unreported? Especially for a country that supposedyl has a thiriving economy?

Why should the right of return for Jews not born in Israel, not be extended to Palestinians not even born in Palestine? Oh that's right - we don;t want those evil Arab men stiking up the place do we?

Finalyl, why is tit that you fail time and time agin to provide any links to verify your arguments?

Questions are only wrong when you don't like the answer to them.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 1:49:00 am  
Blogger Melanie said...

addam_... most people that pretend they care about the Palestinians really don't. Their leadership doesn't, the Arab countries don't the Left doesn't and neither do their own communities. Ofcourse I'm generalising but I don't think by that much. There is no doubt that by far the majority of Israelis are reaching out for peace. All above groups I mentioned are not - not even trying - to reach some compromise. I have never read on a Palestinian or left site an attempt to understand the other side. Yet I personally don't know an Israeli that has not tried to consider the mindset of the Palestinians.
Too easy for Lowenstein to criticise just one side of the debate. I used to protest weekly in Israel as part of 'Women in Black' against the occupation. Only problem was you had to really have a blind eye to what was going on.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:17:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Melanie,

I take your point and I think it has some veracity. I dipute the notion that all vocal critics of Israel are using the Palestinian issue to their advantage.

"I have never read on a Palestinian or left site an attempt to understand the other side."

That may be true. But is it really surprising that the oppressed struggles to consider the side of the oppresser? I know it's a distatesful example, but how many memoirs from Jews in the concentration camps showed empathy for their captors?

"Yet I personally don't know an Israeli that has not tried to consider the mindset of the Palestinians."

Again, I do not pretend to undertsand what it is to be an Israeli, living under conditions of perpetual insecurity, but seeing as their situation is imeassurably better than that of the Palestinians, is it that difficult fathiom why this would be the case?

Furthermore, as Ibraham pointed out, Israeli Jews are by an large much better educated. With education and quality of life comes a greater capacity for empathy.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:38:00 am  
Blogger Melanie said...

addam, how can you compare Israel to Nazi death camps. My father was in Auschwitz aged 15. His sister aged 10 was gased on arrival as was most of his extended family.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 3:11:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Melanie,

As I said, it was a poor example and I sincerely appologise for any offence that exaple may have caused you. I have close friends who's entire families were exterminated in the death camps, so I would never triviliase the tragedy of the Nazi death camps.

What I was trying to point out is that it is much more difficult for a victim to empathise with their oppressor than it is the other way around. Surely, you cannot contend the fact that Israel is very much in the driver's seat as far as the balance of power in concerned.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 3:33:00 am  
Blogger Melanie said...

true. But is it really surprising that the oppressed struggles to consider the side of the oppresser?"
The problem is that it is so hard for most people to consider the Israelis as anything but the oppressors. Yet had they not been totally surrounded by enemies determined to kill every Israeli, things would be very different. Everyone tries to understand the Palestinians but no-one bothers with the Jews. To most Jews, there is nothing more sacred than Life. Jews always say "L'Chaim" -"To Life". And as Hamas always says the Israelis love life and we love death.
You say that the Israelis should naturally be more empathetic because they are more eductated. Firstly, most Israelis think that they always wanted peace yet were continually attacked so give them credit for repeatedly forgiving those that want to exterminate them.
I think this is wrong when you don't take certain goups to task because they are not as well educated. Should we accept honour killings for this reason?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 3:49:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Melanie,

It is easy to cite the worst examples of either side when forming an argument. It would be difficult to prove that every Palestinian wants to kill the Jews and visa versa, but it is easy to focus on the extremists on both sides of the debate to generalise.

Citing the extremist ramblings of Hamas is no more significant that citing the extremely offensive quotes attributed to famous Israeli leaders throughout the 20th Century.

I accept that Israeli's want peace, however, they continue to elect leaders that speak from both sides of their mouths. While the camera's were rolling, we were treated to a spectacle of Israelis leaving Gaza, yet the fact remains that the IDF never left.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 3:58:00 am  
Blogger Melanie said...

addam - About Hamas loving death, I'm just guessing your surprised about that. I need to head off otherwise there are too many links to it but just go to Hamas's own website and read their charter.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 3:59:00 am  
Blogger Melanie said...

OK you answered too soon. Hamas is about to win the elections - if they happen in Gaza - they are not extremist but mainstream. According to the latest polls 65% of Gazans want Europe and America to be blown up. Their biggest donors. Gee - forgive them for they are uneducated.
If only they spent as much on education as they do on brain-washing their children to become cannon-fodder - with EU and US and ME funding

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 4:05:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

No I am not surprised about Hamas loving death. Bravado and empty rhetoric go hand in had with politics. Just listen to one of George Bush's assinine speeches and you'd think he'd just stepped off the place from a trip to the Middle East where he'd been fighting Al Qaeda single handedly.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 4:08:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

"If only they spent as much on education as they do on brain-washing their children to become cannon-fodder - with EU and US and ME funding"

If only American's took your advice.

As for Hamas becomming mainstream, it is possible that this may actually serve to moderate their ideology, rather than normalise extremism. Extremism usually goes hand in hand with being marginalised. Being validated and given a stage tends to introduce dilaogue and negotation.

It worked Gadaffi.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 4:13:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

How many times must addamo prove his ignorance?

1. I dipute the notion that all vocal critics of Israel are using the Palestinian issue to their advantage. - Get real!!! Do you actually believe this bullshit?

2.And why don't YOU question where the $3 billion (7 times $440 million) in aid to Israel goes each year - not including the military aid that goes largely unreported? - Unreported? Where the money goes is pretty much out in the open.

3. It would be difficult to prove that every Palestinian wants to kill the Jews and visa versa> There are POLLS!! EVER HEAR OF THEM??? They prove that the majority of palestinians approve of killing Jews. They don't prove that the majority of Jews approve killing Palestinians.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 5:17:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

"1. - Get real!!! Do you actually believe this bullshit?"

Try as you might to deny it Ibby, but there are a grat many that regard destruction of any human life distatesful. You have made it clear long ago you are not one of them.

"2.Unreported? Where the money goes is pretty much out in the open."

Military aid is largely under-reported in the MSM.

"3. It would be difficult to prove that every Palestinian wants to kill the Jews and visa versa> There are POLLS!! EVER HEAR OF THEM???"

I said EVERY Ibby, not most or some. get a dictionary. Othewise, get your eyes checked.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 5:34:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Every and all. Those are not the terms that are ever meant. The vast majority is what is meant. And you know it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 8:01:00 am  
Blogger Stev said...

You do know that the word 'every' is derived from 'ever' right Ibrahamav? So what you're actually saying is that the terms 'every' and 'all' are not meant in 'the vast majority' of cases.

I've got to stop now. I'm getting a paradox headache.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 11:44:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Sorry about your headache. In most heated arguments when one say "the Arabs" or "the palestinians" or "the Jews", it is understood that "all" is not inferred. But the majority is.

Polls show that the majority of Palestinians agree with violence directed towards Jews, including suicide bombings which target children.

Not all, but who gives a shit about "all" when over 65% do agree? The "all" becomes rather meaningless.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 3:57:00 pm  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

I cheered, shrieked with delight and threw streamers when Yasser Arafat took his express camel to Hell. I will totally understand if others around the world do the same when Sharon dies.

Friday, January 06, 2006 11:56:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Just as most antisemites do when any Jew dies.

Just as many palestinians dance in the streets when they hear Jewish children were killed.

I didn't dance when Arafat died. I knew it would change nothing. The Palestinian death cult continues without a head.

Friday, January 06, 2006 3:14:00 pm  

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