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November 16, 2004

Yasser Arafat: The End of an Era
Ali Mostashari  [info|posts]

Arafat1.jpg

A week has passed since Yasser Arafat has died. Love him or hate him, Yasser Arafat was an icon of Palestinian nationhood. His death heralds a new era, with equal potentials for peace and continued violence. While there is no way of knowing how developments will shape the future of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, it is worthwhile to look at how Arafat's leadership has influenced the Palestinian cause in different ways. The aim here is not to pass judgment on the man and his life, but to use this as a case study in understanding one of the many ways charismatic leadership can impact social movements. This article is a two-part article looking at the Arafat phenomenon within the background of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Short History of the Conflict

It is always contentious to talk about history, particularly the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Depending on where people stand, there are different alternatives of history that are presented and defended with fervor. The version presented here is based on United Nations historical documentations. It is important to note that in this conflict there is no neutral representation of facts. There are tens, if not hundreds of alternative versions available to the readers elsewhere. Therefore readers should not take this representation as either exclusive, objective, representative of "the truth" or comprehensive. It reflects my personal belief in the objectivity of the United Nations narrative, and is only intended for setting the stage for analyzing Arafat's role in the events.

During the years of the Palestine Mandate, from 1922 to 1947, large-scale Jewish immigration from abroad, mainly from Eastern Europe took place, the numbers swelling in the 1930s with the notorious Nazi persecution of Jewish populations. Palestinian demands for independence and resistance to Jewish immigration led to a rebellion in 1937, followed by continuing terrorism and violence from both sides during and immediately after World War II. Great Britain tried to implement various formulas to bring independence to a land ravaged by violence. In 1947, Great Britain in frustration turned the problem over to the United Nations.

After looking at various alternatives, the UN proposed the partitioning of Palestine into two independent States, one Palestinian Arab and the other Jewish, with Jerusalem internationalized (Resolution 181 (II) of 1947). One of the two States envisaged in the partition plan proclaimed its independence as Israel and in the 1948 war expanded to occupy 77 per cent of the territory of Palestine. Israel also occupied the larger part of Jerusalem. Over half the indigenous Palestinian population fled or were expelled. Jordan and Egypt occupied the other parts of the territory assigned by the partition resolution to the Palestinian Arab State, which did not come into being.

In the 1967 war, Israel occupied the remaining territory of Palestine, until then under Jordanian and Egyptian control (the West Bank and Gaza Strip). This included the remaining part of Jerusalem, which was subsequently annexed by Israel. The war brought about a second exodus of Palestinians, estimated at half a million. Security Council resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 called on Israel to withdraw from territories it had occupied in the 1967 conflict.

In 1964, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was established in East Jerusalem (occupied by Jordan). In its infancy, the PLO was not associated with violence. But from 1967 on, it became dominated by an organization called Al Fatah, led by Yasser Arafat. The PLO militarily attacked Israeli interests all over the world, often targeting military as well as civilian targets. A group affiliated with the PLO, called "Black September", took Israeli athletes hostage in the 1972 Olympics and killed two of the athletes. Subsequent rescue operations by the German police led to the death of 9 additional athletes. From this point onwards the image of the PLO became internationally associated with terrorism.

In 1974, the General Assembly reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty, and to return. The following year, the General Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. With the PLO chosen as the representatives of the Palestinian people in the Arab League conference in Rabat in 1974, the General Assembly conferred on the PLO the status of observer in the Assembly and in other international conferences held under United Nations auspices.

In June 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon with the declared intention to eliminate the PLO. A cease-fire was arranged. PLO troops withdrew from Beirut and were transferred to neighboring countries after guarantees of safety were provided for thousands of Palestinian refugees left behind. Subsequently, a large-scale massacre of refugees took place in the camps of Sabra and Shatila by pro-Israeli Christian Lebanese militia, allegedly with the direct order of Ariel Sharon.

In December 1987, a mass uprising against the Israeli occupation began in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Intifada, as the uprising was called, mainly included Palestinian children throwing stones at Israeli troops. The first Intifada was limited to the occupied territories and did not impact Israel proper. Methods used by the Israeli forces during the uprising resulted in mass injuries and heavy loss of life among the civilian Palestinian population, most of them young people.

A peace conference on the Middle East was convened in Madrid on 30 October 1991, with the aim of achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement through direct negotiations along 2 tracks: between Israel and the Arab States, and between Israel and the Palestinians, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) (the "land for peace" formula). A series of subsequent negotiations culminated in the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian People, and the signing by the two parties of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, which led to several other positive developments, such as the partial withdrawal of Israeli forces, the elections to the Palestinian Council and the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, the partial release of prisoners and the establishment of a functioning administration in the areas under Palestinian self-rule. The Oslo accord, as the agreements were called turned out to be ineffective in changing the status of the Palestinian people. The failure has been attributed to the lack of a viable Palestinian economy due to both leadership corruption and hardship inflicted by the Israeli occupation, as well as the emptiness of financial aid promises of Western nations, which failed to materialize.

On September 28, 2000, the Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount (called Har HaBayt in Hebrew, Al-Haram As-Sharif in Arabic) in Jerusalem, the holiest site for Judaism, the third holiest site in Islam, and a place of special significance to Christianity. Sharon's impending visit was officially announced in advance, and prior to it some moderates on both sides protested, because of his controversial political stance and his massive armed bodyguard — over 1,000 strong. He was warned that this could lead to riots but Sharon declared that he went to the site with a message of peace. On the site, he publicly proclaimed the area as eternal Israeli territory, reiterating Israel's official policy, according to the Jerusalem Law passed by the Knesset in 1980.

The day after Sharon's visit, large riots broke out around Old Jerusalem; during the riots, several Palestinians were shot dead. One of the deaths, of a 12-year-old boy, Muhammad al-Durrah, was captured on videotape and broadcast around the world. Images of the boy and his father caught in the crossfire, attempting to hide behind a concrete water barrel caused much outrage throughout the world. On October 12, two Israeli reservists who entered Ramallah were arrested by the PA police. A Palestinian mob stormed the police station and lynched the Israeli soldiers: they beat the soldiers to death, threw them out of the window, stabbed them, dragged them on the road and mutilated their bodies. The brutal lynch were captured on video and was broadcasted on TV, outraging Israeli and global public opinion. In retaliation for the deaths of the two soldiers, Israel launched a series of air strikes against the Palestinian Authority destroying the little infrastructure built with foreign aid, as a warning to not allow such things happen again. The cycle of violence between the two sides is too intensive and too painful to recount fully. For a full list of casualties on both sides refer to the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories website.
It’s time to turn my attention to Yasser Arafat, for he is the main topic of this post.

Military years of the PLO

A detailed overview of Arafat’s life can be viewed in this article. The part of interest to our discussion starts with the Battle of Al-Karameh. In this battle, several hundred Palestinian militias led by Yasser Arafat, and aided by the Jordanian military battled Israeli troops that attacked the village of Al-Karameh on the East bank of the Jordan river and forced the Israeli troops to withdraw. While over a hundred Palestinians were killed in exchange for less than 20 Israeli troops, the battle was proclaimed victory and the corpses of Israeli soldiers were taken to Amman for people to see. This victory (I am not sure what to call it, but I guess the issue is relative) made Arafat famous and ensured him the leadership of the PLO. A civil war in Jordan between the Palestinian refugees and the Jordanian government in 1970 led to the killing of many PLO members and the expulsion of the PLO from Jordan to Lebanon. Like most other incidents on the Middle East the real nature of the events of Black September are in dispute, but they range from Arafat trying to seize power by toppling King Hussein, to an Israeli plot to alienate Jordan from the PLO. The PLO distanced itself from the “Black September” killings of Israeli athletes in 1972, but it is hard to imagine that they did not welcome the shift in public perception of the struggle as a Palestinian/Israeli struggle instead of an Arab/Israeli struggle.

In 1974 Arafat was invited by the UN to talk to the general assembly. The U.S. denied him visa, which made his speech all the more important, with the entire general assembly moving to Geneva to hear him speak. This melodrama, turned into an international incident was an unintended, and yet quite powerful public relations stunt by the U.S. government for Mr. Arafat and his Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Arafat and Iran

With the Iranian revolution of 1979, Israel saw one of its closest allies turn into one of its most important enemies. Yasser Arafat was one of the first foreign officials to travel to Iran after the revolution. He met with Ayatollah Khomeini and allegedly advised him on creating a militia force as a parallel structure to the professional Iranian army, so that it could defend the revolution should the Army’s loyalty be in question. It is said that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard of Iran emerged out of this suggestion, but this is currently just speculation. Iran closed the Israeli Embassy in Tehran and turned it into the PLO’s official headquarters and embassy, making it one of the few places where the Palestinian flag was flying. Yet, the honeymoon did not last long. After the invasion of Iran by Saddam Hussein, Arafat and the PLO chose to support Saddam in the conflict, probably due to the idea of Arab solidarity, as well as Arafat’s disdain for Islamicists at that time. In fact it is said that some Palestinians fought alongside Iraqi forces in the Iran-Iraq war. While this was never really substantiated, it fueled a lot of resentment among middle class Iranians towards the Palestinian cause. The Middle East being the strange mixture it is saw other interesting developments. In a scandal, later known as the Iran-Contra affair, allegedly the Israeli government approached the United States in August 1985 with a proposal to act as an intermediary by shipping 508 American-made TOW anti-tank missiles to Iran in exchange for the release of the Reverend Benjamin Weir, an American hostage being held by Iranian sympathizers in Lebanon, with the understanding that the United States would then ship replacement missiles to Israel. President Reagan then used the funds from these arm sales to support the Contras in Nicaragua. The rationale of Israel helping its enemy Iran with arms sales has been explained by the perception that Iraq was the more dangerous enemy at that time, and that it couldn’t hurt having two enemies exhaust their mutual resources in war.

In the next Part, I will continue the discussion with the role of Arafat in the first intifada.

Comments
An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 16, 2004 11:00 AM [permalink]:
This is a more or less objective presentation of the history of that region. I agree that there are many stances one could take towards the whole thing based on one's world view and background. There were however certain facts (not view points) that were not mentioned although they were important: Israel from the very beginning aknowledged the UN resolution. It was the Arabs who rejected the resolution, walked out of the UN assembly before the voting and who instead of declearing an independent state of Palestine put all their efforts in the destruction of the new boen state of Israel. The war that followed didn't just happen by itself but was the results of Arabs invading the Israel. In the six day war again the Arab (Egyptian) armies were already gathered beside Israeli border with clear intention to strike before Israel used the surprised attack that cost the Arabs the war. The surprise attack of the Yom Kippur war by the arabs on Israel is again a known fact. This is extremly important especially because of the moral questions that leads to controversial judgments. What also needed to be mentioned is that in the first war the US had kept both sides under embargo, while the Arabs could buy weaponary elsewhere and only after 1964 did the US become Israel's chief ally and that had to do most of all with the cold war. Basically the whole Arab/Israeli conflict was also a small instance of the Cold War between the two superpowers. The violence and terrorism at the early stages of Israeli independence from the Jewish side is correct. However unlike their Arab counterpart (who had been commiting such acts since way before 1947 against Jewish communities), the main of Jewish forces, especially the haganah were opposed to most of the atrocities and even helped to capture and arrest the violators. No such thing ever existed among the Arabs. Also the Jewish side very rarely targeted civilans, where as the Arab side has done that systematically from the start (and even before that is I said earlier). Since the Munich Olympics incident was mentioned, you could also have included the Israeli school children massacre by Palestinian terrorists way before the Beslan tragedy in Russia. Maybe its in the second part? Finally there are many Peace groups within the Israeli society. How many are there among the Arabs? It is also important to note that no country of Palestine or a seperate Palestinian nation ever existed in history. If the Arabs had declared its independece in 1947, it would have been just another of the newly made states in the Middle East who were created after WWII and had NO previous independent history or identity as a nation. The region known as Palestine was actually a waste land , extremely underpopulated before Jewish settelments started to arrive there in considerable numbers in the late 19th Century. It was only afterwards that more and more Arab population migrated to the region. Most people who claim Palestinian ancestory were born elsehwere (Arafat included) and only owned (mostly desolate) lands in Palestine. It was only after 1967 and the decline of pan-arabic nationalism that this new term of Palestinian (instead of Arab or at most Palestinian Arab) was used. "...a large-scale massacre of refugees took place in the camps of Sabra and Shatila by pro-Israeli Christian Lebanese militia, allegedly with the direct order of Ariel Sharon." Is "allegedly" also based on UN documents? What outraged the Israelis (yes, the Is ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 16, 2004 11:16 AM [permalink]:

One more point:
Since you mentioned the Jordanian massacre of Palestinians and vice versa (basically that's what it was), you could have also mentione the fact that despiet all these years the refugees since the first war have not been absorbed in the socities, although as I said they were all Arabs and the terminology of Jordanian, Syrian, Palestinian ... are new.
This is done almost certainly on purpose in order to keep them in such inhuman and miserable consitions both to recruite holy warriors from among them and to use them as a spychological and emotional weapon in the international arena.
(That also belonged more to the world view section I guess)

Ron at November 16, 2004 12:47 PM [permalink]:

AIS,

You made good points but the author says "The aim here is not to pass judgment on the man and his life, but to use this as a case study in understanding one of the many ways charismatic leadership can impact social movements." I can also point to many holes in the background given here, but it's just that; background, not foreground. Let's try to stay on course before Ali throws another fit and closes discussion like last time :). I'll post more later.

sarv at November 16, 2004 04:05 PM [permalink]:

http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1967to1991_plo_un_1975.php

Distinguished Ali,

There's a link above to Arafat's visit to the UN in New York in 1975.

He almost brought a gun into the UN General Assembly.

Times change. Nobody's going to bring guns into UN building any more, not after 911.

Arafat was a man of that time. Those times are over; for those men of arms will now turn to business or analysis, or simply retire, and I'll bet you they'll tell their kids and grandkids, "don't do it, whatever you do, stay out of the violence business, cause it's not today's way."

The future will be better and more peaceful...

Now on the number of people the US has killed during its hegemonic period of late, you once, I believe it was you, tallied up some numbers and came to a figure in the millions.

I kept this in my mind, and I thought that now's the time to write to you about that figure (I think it was about 6m).

The point that I want to make is that you could also calculate a parallel "net" figure of men/women killed by US over the period.

What I mean is:- number of people killed - number of people saved = net number of people killed, or :-

npk - nps = nnpk.

US nnpk is probably negative, ie nps>npk.

I write to you because I feel that you're a bit mad at the US, and getting madder perhaps.

The reality is that US is not really a global hegemon, just pretending to be one to scare people like you and me. At the end of the day they'll even whack themselves over their own head if things start to get out of hand.

Think of the Cuban missile crisis and how "mediatised" it was, a kind of theatrical device for putting people in their place (at the international level).

(That time it may have been the USSR "whacking" itself over the head).

So keep a comfortable chill factor in your first class mind, keep up with the science and don't worry too much over "events" of one kind or another. You're in good hands--from an eschatological perspective, I mean

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 16, 2004 04:36 PM [permalink]:

Ron,

I'm trying to behave! ;)

But seriously, I am convinced that one of the reasons why Arafat was so influential in what he did and didn't do and the kind of meaningless euology he is getting now (despite his crimes- do I have permission I say this much?) is that some basic facts like what I mentioned above are being constantly and systematically ignored.
As Ali also said, there is always a view point, always.
There is always moral judgment being passed, always excuses for different kinds of conduct is being made...and this has consequences. It covers the ugly reality and contributes to its continuation. It is an important factor in explaining Arafat's impact in regional and world politics.

After all without followers - and reasons or excuses that turn people into followers or at least prevent more people to oppose them - no leader or method of conduct could become influential.
Arafat's and his likes mastery in portraying Israel as a fascist, imperialist barbarian land grabber and oppressor was one of his major sources of power and endurance.

Arash Jalali at November 17, 2004 08:24 AM [permalink]:

Ali I think your post reflects and raises two very important points and questions:

1- Would it be accurate to say that "historical objectivity" is an oxymoron?

2- Do you agree that charismatic leadership might, although very rarely, lead a nation to the vicinity of freedom, peace, democracy or any other ideal, but it can never allow for it, or any less-than-ideal materialization of it, to become a reality without it being demolished?

The first question of course is not directly related to the main point of your post, but I think the second point is worth being explored here. I think Araft - regardless of whether he was good, evil, brave, coward, honest, corrupt, or an admixture of all - defined himself, as a charismatic figure, in a way that would have not allowed for any viable solution to the Israeli-Palestenian conflict had he not have passed away. Charisma based on concepts such as resistance, Jihad, revolution, etc. can only exist as long as there is something, real or illusive, to resist, to wage a war on, or to revolt against.

Few people, like Nelson Mandella, managed to go beyond what their charismatic figure was defined with. He was wise enough to step down as a leader and became a legend. Something that many others in positions like him failed to do, either because of the tempting taste of having absolute power, or being hallucinated by those around them to think that they are the only savior that nation can have. Kastro and Khomeini were two examples of this, and I think Arafat would have joined that club had he lived longer.

Eswin at November 17, 2004 08:51 AM [permalink]:

Ali,

I really appreciate it that your contribution is so succinct!

I will not jump on any conclusions until I read your next post(s).

Mohammad at November 17, 2004 09:26 AM [permalink]:

Good presentation of the middle eastern events since 1948. Well done Ali!
Just wanted to add that the rivalry between US and USSR should not be forgotten. Cold War raged (altough no one saw the flames) for the better part of the period in discussion. PLO and Arab states recieved substantial financial, material, inteligence and military aid from the soviets as did Israel from the US. As a matter of fact Israel (and Egypt) are still the two major recipients of US aid (mainly military assistance) in the world.
Many sane people considered the occupation of the west bank and Gaza strip recipe for disaster back in '67. You end up paying for your mistakes.

Babak S at November 17, 2004 03:47 PM [permalink]:

I am sure others will have much to say about the subject of your two (?) posts Ali as well as its historical background, but I think in regard to the history a major playing factor should be considered alongside what others have written so far: For Israel security is a very expensive enterprise in terms of manpower as well as economic power. Israel is a small nation surrounded in a sea of hostility and thus needs extraordinary measures to insure its security. Hence their long and obligatory military service for everyone, and a large contingency of reserves that include most of their work force. But with all that they still can't afford long battle periods, so they need to act swiftly and most of the time preemptively. That justified their surprise attack in the six-day war and their continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and other strategic positions before the Camp David Peace agreement, as a security shield.

This point falls in the facts part of the picture, if we want to be clear. Apart from its moral aspects, I think it is an important factor to know and keep in mind in understanding the conflict there.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 18, 2004 01:56 AM [permalink]:

I agree Mohammad. Invading and keeping the Gaza strip turned out to be a bitter mistake, though I think periodic deployment to readicate terror centers was and still is a viable option.
Israel made another big mistake under Rabin by bringing Araft back in the hope that he would to the dirty work himself. Major mistake and of course the American pressure was also a decisve factor there.
israel has paid dearly for that.

Babak, that was a good point. It is also worth noting that whenever the other party was ready for negotiations Israel was ready and made concessions and most importantly did retreat from the land it occupied, as the case of Egypt clearly shows. (Soimething else that was unfortunately ignored in this article)

Again this is the fact that would have naturally exposed all the propaganda about Israel's biblical land-occupation mania and the myth that Palestinians had no other choice but what they kept doing in the face of an imperialist ultramilitarized terror state!
However despite all the obvious evidence to the contrary Arafat and his likes managed to sell this to the world at large quite successfully- or the world proved a bit too eager to buy that- which ever way you wanna see it.
Analyzing why that came to be is perhaps a central question as to why Arafat ended up being such a charismatic figure and to exert so much infleunce in life and in death.

ghazal at November 18, 2004 01:21 PM [permalink]:

I think what is missing in this debate is the Israel ongoing policy of expansion of settlements since OSLO accord

Ron at November 18, 2004 02:39 PM [permalink]:

“…to use this as a case study in understanding one of the many ways charismatic leadership can impact social movements."

To directly address Ali’s objective in this article, I would like to make the bold assertion that the life’s work of Arafat was in fact not really a social movement. I don’t mean to argue definitions here, but my idea is that Arafat and his organization (the PLO) never had the intention of serving the best interests of its supposed constituency, and therefore is best described as a private enterprise rather than a social movement. I think we can all generally agree that the lives of most Palestinians has gotten worse since Arafat became their leader. Most would blame this on his incompetence, that he tried to help them, but simply made bad decisions. I would assert the problem is not a lack of competence, but rather a lack of intention. He may have failed terribly as a social leader, but as a terrorist, he was in fact very competent. Many would say he failed to make the transition from terrorist to statesman, like a Mandela or a Begin. The question is, did he ever intend to make this transition? What prevented him from using donor funds to create a civil/economic infrastructure between Oslo and Intifada II ? Why did he hide all this money and use some of it to fund militias and terror groups? What prevented him from publicly (and in Arabic) denouncing violence?

Arafat did very little to convince me that his intention was to create a state, and very much to convince me his intention was to destroy one.

In 1948, the UN offered the Arabs of Palestine a state, and they refused this too. Could it be that the “social movement” to create an independent Palestine is really a hoax?

Ali Mostashari at November 18, 2004 03:46 PM [permalink]:
Still working on the second part. Fortunately other posts have taken the pressure off my back :)Just some clarifications to balance some of the (in my opinion misleading) Neocon comments. Since this is not the point of my main post (In the article I am more interested in the role of Charismatic leadership), I will post it in the comments. Terrorism: If you look at the Foreign office reports of 1937-1948 you will see the word terrorism applies to Haganah and the Irgun. Mr. Shamir wasn't exactly Mahatma Gandhi. 1948 War: Palestinians had little or nothing to do really with the 1948 war. It was an Arab/Israeli war initiated by Jordan and the other extsing Arab states. Palestinian nationalism: The argument of Palestinians not being a real nation aprt from other Arabs is one of the most stupid arguments I have ever heard. Israelis were also not a nation before 1948. Jews were never one single nations. In fact Jews were an important part of the progressive nationalist and socialist movements of their respective countries, before facing the reality that their countrymen didn't really consider them equals and compatriots. The Zionist movement arose from this disappointment in the last years of the 19th century, but still that movement alone didn't make a nation. Nation-states are Western European constructs and were totally foreign to most of the Middle East before WWII. On the Arab side, it was initially Arab nationalism that emerged as a response to the western influence. Palestinian Arabs felt themselves part of the Arab nation until the early 60s. Palestinian nationalism arose after the Palestinians realized (not unlike the Jews in Europe), that nobody would really look out for them, and if they were to achieve their internationallly recognized right to statehood, they had to do it themselves. Hence the PLO. All this does not change the international legal realities: the Palestinians are the rightful owners of the areas specified in U.N resolution 242, and the Israelis are the rightful owners of the area within the internationally recognized borders of Israel. If the Palestinians decide to sell or exchange parts of that land, it's their choice, but it's their inalienable right recognized by all countries in the World (except for Israel and sometimes the U.S., and previously South Africa under Apartheid). No amount of firepower, Israeli military occupation/landgrab operations/fence will change that. Nor will the thousands of refugees massacred on the Palestinian side, or the hundreds of civillians massacred on the Israeli side change the mutual right of existence for the two peoples. The Israelis cannot be forced into withdrawing from the occupied territories (the U.N definition, not the I.R. definition), by having their children massacred by Hamas terrorists, nor will the Palestinians be bombed, buldozed and massacred into submission. Each side is waiting for the other to budge, but given they are both proud people this does not happen. I normally only criticize Neocons/Christian Fundamentalists for their support (or justifcation) of massacres against Palestinians (using the infamous security/self-defense argument. But increasingly I see reason to criticize some of the more intellectual and progressive types who support (or justify) the massacre of Israeli citizens (using the occupation argument). In my view, there is only one principle on which to judge both of these, and that is the Declaration of Human Rights. The life of a Pa ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
A guy named Satan at November 18, 2004 03:52 PM [permalink]:

Just some interesting quotes.

"If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" Quoted by Nahum Goldman in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp121.
-----
"We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel... Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours." Rafael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces - Gad Becker, Yediot Ahronot 13 April 1983, New York Times 14 April 1983
---
"Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them." Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.
________
"One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail." -- Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, Feb. 27, 1994 [Source: N.Y. Times, Feb. 28, 1994, p. 1]
__________

Ron at November 18, 2004 04:52 PM [permalink]:

Ali,

Your lack of intelligence is only matched by your lack of maturity. Labelling us as “neocons” “progressives” or “intellectuals” is simply childish, and only shows you don’t have the capacity to engage us on the merits of our arguments. You can call me whatever you like, I don’t mind, but don’t expect me to take you seriously.

On the sweeping generalizations and unsupported conclusions of your last post, you are demonstrating a lack of ability for subtle thought. Furthermore, by cramming so many contentious claims in one post, you are precluding the possibility that anyone can challenge them in a reasonably short post.

Forgive me if you feel I’m being too harsh, but as you are the initiator of this discussion, I must hold you particularly responsible. I don’t claim any authority but I enjoy the discussions on this site and I hate to see them deteriorate.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 19, 2004 12:12 AM [permalink]:
OK, here is one eeeviiiil "Neocon" (...-servant: probably. since being an Iranian could bring me only that far in the eyes of the "progressive"s...hmmm on the other hand my "Iranian"ness is actually not formally approved by the authoritative "Ali Mostashari's Legal Association for Defining and Determining Iranian Nationality" (ALADDIN) so my situation is uncertain here) who would like to tackle some of Ali's points. (and as Ron obsereved, this would take a bit of space) So let's "NNNeeeeooooo"-rrrrrruuuummmmbbbllle! "1948 War: Palestinians had little or nothing to do really with the 1948 war. It was an Arab/Israeli war initiated by Jordan and the other extsing Arab states." In a sense that is so, since there was no such thing as a Palestinian people back then in the first place. as Ali himself said, the Arabs didn't declare one. Which brings us to this: "The argument of Palestinians not being a real nation aprt from other Arabs is one of the most stupid arguments I have ever heard. Israelis were also not a nation before 1948. Jews were never one single nations." ehem. You see Jews were a "nation" back in the old days in what was called Judah, and for your information up untill the modern times,to be precise the French revolution and the Napoleonic "Sanhedrin" where Jews were offered equal citizenship in the "modern" concept of a nation state, the Jews ever since the times of old Judah were seen as an alien "people" in the lands where they were settled and lived under the authority of their own Laws and Rabbis and only under the "grace" of the 'owners' of those lands, who could and many many times actually did eventually force them to leave...sometimes to the last person as in Spain or in proper Russia (ie. not the Pale Settlement) Unlike "Palestinians" who before 1960's didn't have in any way any distinction from the rest of the Arabs, Jews were always a disntict people. If your definition is that of the "modern nation state", I don't think anybody ever doubted that the Modern State of Israel is a newly formed nation state. So what?! What exactly is your point? Israel always accepted an ultimate Palestinian state which would live in real peace with her. From the beginning. Also it was Bush- the chimp puppet of those infernal "Neocons" that you seem to have disrurbing nightmares about all the time- declared that he stood by a two nation result and still does. What you hear and what I wrote is actually a response to the mulsims, Arabs and "Palestinians" who are the ones who deny any Jewish connection and claim to have always existed and to have the only ligitimate connections. That's their main excuse for the crimes they commit. It was actually Arafat and his ilk who insisted and stil linsist that ever since history began this land belonged to palestinians, athat all the prophets including jesus were Palestinian and not Jews (in the case of Jesus that is also what was in our history and religion books at school if you remember. Even now tell people that Jesus was a Jew and their response is that of a shock). It is still the PLO's and Arab bulldozers that are destroying everything in the Temple Mount to delete all the evidence of Jewish connections to the land. This shouldn't surprise us, since this kind of Chauvinism is very evident in all Arabs. Their struggle to rename the Persian Gulf is basically no different. Deny any non-Arab connections to the region undre any circumstances and contrary to all the evidence that say otherwise. ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
heydarbaba at November 19, 2004 02:24 PM [permalink]:
Is Palestinian-Israeli conflict such a complicated issue or it just seems that way? or is it that we are not smart enough to solve it. Can it ever be solved? Are the leaders and the populations involved in this conflict as good or as bad as they are portrayed to be?.what makes it a difficult task to talk about this conflict is the abundance of myths about it specially among the Western nations. Considering the fact that in Western countries Israel has many friends in the media and in places that form public opinion, it is not surprising that majority of these myths are against Palestinians. So in order to have a more complete or less incomplete perspective on this conflict it wouldn't be a bad idea to dispel some of the myths before we become judges or juries. Since terrorism is a big item in our times and thanks to Bin Laden and Wahhabi fundamentalism , FOX-news/propaganda and alike the name Muslim and Palestinian has become synonymous with terrorism and terrorist, we look at this myth first.... In Palestinian-Israeli conflict when we hear the names Palestinians, Yassin, Arafat, Hamas, PLo and Jihad....one thing that comes and sticks to your mind is terrorism. It is almost like if you look up the word terrorist in the dictionary you are supposed to see a picture of Arafat, Yassin. But wait a minute. There are some other names , ok, Jewish names,that we don't hear and therefor are not so familiar. Above anything this is injustice to them after all they had a big role in terror business and its birth in Middle East. Credit should go where it belongs, it wouldn't be fair to talk about terrorism and leave out these Jewish terrorists just like it wouldn't be fair to talk about Yasir Arafat and not mention that he was the Peace Noble Prize winner..Lets start with Haganah...It sounds like a Jewish name? yes it is...it was formed in 1920 .(nine years before Arafat was born) It was supposed to protect Jews from rioting Palestinians and insurgence. Well they did little more than protection...they even made their own hand grenades and other military equipment..(that is what Hamas is doing now..making their own weapons) well, just like roommates, not everybody was happy with everyone else. Some wanted to do more things and more radical things, like manly things and they thought that Haganah was too soft on Arabs, so in 1931 (when Arafat was only 2 years old) these guys branched off the main Haganah and they called themselves Irgun. (just remember the word GUN and it is easy to remember the name of this Jewish group) They had a change of heart (or a problem with cash flow) and went back to Haganah but then again in 1937 they branched off the Haganah again. This time for good. They had had it with the softies. They wanted to do more manly things, their way and that they did ..plenty of it. They proved their manhood big times. Many of the things they did were not very nice things but being nice was not their goal, sort of like Al-Qaida now. One of the Irgum people was Menachem Begin. Oh yes that good ole Menachem. Menachem was not a softie. He was not like todays neo-cons who so willingly send others' 18 year olds to die in Iraq, while they themselves used all sorts of deferment to stay away from the war and its harsh and dangerous conditions( Cheney used 5 deferments to stay safe in America rather than go fight in Vietnam) Menachem had dirt on his boots and blood on his hands. He was all about loud explosions and big bangs , of course not i ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Ali at November 19, 2004 03:39 PM [permalink]:

Ok I promised I wouldn't engage in the discussions, so I won't. This is just a clarification on my posts, with some apologies.

1) "Evil" is a term mostly used by Compassionate conservatives, Neocons, Nazis, Christian Fundamentalists and Islamic Fundamentalists. I never said "evil Neocon" anywhere in my posts. I just said Neocon. A friend of mine has an objective definition of Neocons that is based on recent factual observations. She said, and I quote "Neocons are people who justify wars using their faulty intelligence." Of course intelligence can have multiple meanings here, I leave that to your judgement. But given the current push to increase the administration's intelligence (something experts say is nearly impossible) by delegating the responsibility for any kind of intelligence to one person, it seems our Neocon friends also realize that their something wrong with their intelligence. Well at least if they do not posess good intelligence they have conviction. I agree, labeling is a bad thing. Still, when soemthing looks like a Neocon, smells like a Neocon and talks like a Neocon, then maybe... But it was very Neocon of me to label anyone as Neocon. I do apologize.

2) I have no clue of the citizenship status of AIS. ALADDIN just confirms that In order to be an Iranian citizen, one doesn't have to have special characteristics. Mr.Askaroladi, Mr. Mesbah Yazdi, Mr. Pahlavi, Mr. Hossein Shari'atmadari and AIS are undoubtedly all Iranian citizens. I apologize if my previous post denied AIS the right of this association with such formidable peers. We all make mistakes (except for President Bush). We just need to say we're sorry. I'm sorry.

3) Poisonous gas is what U.S. and German companies (at the time of our friend Rumsfeld's handshake with Mr. Hussein) sold to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war to gas the Kurds and Iranian troops. BTW if you have a gas problem, they say Pepsid AC works well. In the case of a serious leak please do call 911. I shouldn't have said that. Bad dobby! Bad dobby! I am sorry.


Ron at November 19, 2004 04:21 PM [permalink]:

Hyder,
Thanks for your enlightenting review of the history of Jewish terrorism. But you neglected a crucial dimension, which is the motivation behind it. You made an equation between their techniques and those of Hamas, bin Laden, etc., but you failed to make a distinction between motivations. Jews were being attacked in Europe. Jews were being attacked in the Middle East. They weren't allowed to come to America. They were not wanted anywhere. The British and Arabs in Palestine were deliberately preventing Jewish refugees from landing, instead sending their ships back to the death camps of Europe. These parties were directly responsible for the slaughter of thousands of Jews. Forcing the British and Arabs out is called "survival"...only with Jews is self-preservation called terrorism.

BTW..Jenin massacre?? are you kidding me? 23 IDF soldiers died in that "massacre" of 50 arabs. Since when does the massacring party lose 1 for every 2 killed. That's called a battle, my friend.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 19, 2004 07:07 PM [permalink]:

Ron,

the other thing "Buddy" neglects is that before all of this, there were total massacres of Jewish communities (some of them very ancient communities as in Jerusalem) by the Arabs before all of this started. There was also the lovely Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, Hitler's buddy and actually close relative of our lovely Yasser, who besides declaring fatwas to massacre Jews also formed an SS brigade in the Balkans....

The other thing he fails to account is that those groups like Irgun and especially Lehi were NOT endorsed by the main Jewish body, that Haganah for a long time cooperated with the British to find and arrest and fight Irgun and Lehi members.
Until it became clear the British were not going to give up the White Paper policy. That's when it finally joined forces with them under the condition that they follow the rulings of a joint council of a united indpendence movement that basically only allowed assasination of those individuals who already had killed Jews or British Army officials.(It was not always completely followed by Lehi or Irgun, but that was the policy) He also fails to mention that afterwards Ben-Gurion actually ordered that all Lehi (Stern) gang members be arrested or otherwise killed if necessary (after they assasinated a UN official) and so Lehi was destroyed as an organization. Thet he ordered a ship of illegal ammunition for Jews to actually be bombed on the shores of Israel. That he also demanded and carried out the abolition of Irgun under the threat of treating them as War criminals if they didn't comply.
this is a FACT that all that was carried out in a short and limited period of time before the independence and it is a FACT that most of those terrorist activities were carried out against British or Arab SOLDIERS or those individuals who had already killed Jews. There were few exceptions, including the only real massacre of Arabs by Jewish thugs in Deir Yassin which was a horrible criminal act. Again this has not been justified or denied but bitterly aknowledged as such by Jews. Unlike what the Arabs and muslims have been doing to this very day in denying or glorifying (or both) continous civilan massacres in Israel and elsewhere.

And although the "buddy" tries to paint a lovely picture, for centuries Jews, Christians and other minorities (like Zoroastrians in Iran) were living as Dhimmis and second hand citizens (by law) under almost "racist" discrimnations in ALL Islamic lands of the region. He also fails to mention that before and after the formation of Israel almost all the Jews in other Arab countries either fled or were massacred by Arab gangs.

I already said the Jewish terrorism before the independence is correct. Nobody implies that in those days they were all saints but the difference between the conduct of the main body of Jews and Israelis and what Arabs were doing then and now and in between is very clear, unless you have heavy burdens old prejudice to carry and satisfy all the time.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 19, 2004 07:10 PM [permalink]:

Ali,

so I did disrupt the "akheysh" experience and caused those gases to be formed after all.
I'm so sorry. Maybe you feel a bit better already?

Do let us know of your condition if the pressure reaches unbearable limits, will you?
Maybe we can help.

Ali at November 19, 2004 08:30 PM [permalink]:

Sorry AIS, didn't mean to make you this angry or frustrated. I had some fun on your behalf, but didn't really mean to hurt you. I think I overdid it. I do apologize sincerly ( I also really meant the apologies regarding labeling you as a Neocon).

I don't see this as a personal problem with you, and I respect your having a different belief system, while of course I am no big fan of that belief system, and can't really see how that is anything but racist and full of double standards (killing one person is ok, but killing another is not). Your rhethoric sometimes does sound like passages of "Mein Kampf", which procliamed the Jewish race had an inferior morality than the Aryan race. Similarly everything you seem to be saying points to the Israelis having a higher morality than Palestinians, but I am sure you have a different point.

In fact it is my belief that different opionions are not necessarily a manifestation of fundamentally different values, but a manifestation of different causal reasoning (refer to System Dynamics, Mental Maps etc. for more information). Making different assumptions about initial states and causal relationship actually leades to different conclusions.

And you didn't ruin my akheysh, don't worry :)

Ron at November 19, 2004 09:45 PM [permalink]:

“…Similarly everything you seem to be saying points to the Israelis having a higher morality than Palestinians, but I am sure you have a different point.”

Ali,

The idea that Israelis and Palestinians (or Jews and Arabs) have different ideas of morality may seem at first like bigotry, but I’d like to propose there may be some validity to it. In fact, it seems logical that two different groups with different religions would have a different set of collective moral standards. Specifically, I’d like to talk about attitudes of each towards the value of human life.

Jewish tradition values human life above all else. Period. The most common medallion worn around a Jew’s neck is the “chai”, in Hebrew, two letters meaning “life”. There is a Jewish saying that when a life is taken, an entire universe is destroyed. The State of Israel has no criminal death penalty.

Are there Jewish murderers? Of course, that’s a fact. And we don’t have to go back to the 1930’s to find examples of Jewish murderers. In 1995 a Jew named Baruch Goldstein went to a mosque in Hebron and massacred almost 30 Arabs before being killed himself; a crime every bit as bad as a suicide bomber on an Israeli bus. As a collective however, Israeli society didn’t praise him, or call him a martyr. Aside from fanatic circles, he was condemned for being a murderer. No streets were named after him. No songs sung about him in schools.

Individual Jews don’t all live up to the collective ideal of preserving human life, but my point is that the ideal exists.

Does Palestinian society value life to the same degree? Forget the murderers, the suicide bombers, the terrorists, we all know about them. The question is, how does the rest of the society view these individuals? Arafat is on record for publicly praising them. Children are on record for saying they strive to be a shaheed (martyr). They are praised, adulated, exalted. We’ve all seen photos of children (even babies) dressed up with fake bomb belts. We’ve seen children wearing real bomb belts!

Before anyone tells me this is a disease caused by the “occupation”, I’d like to add that this same society also exhibits a phenomenon known as “honor killings”, where a man murders his sister or daughter if he suspects she is having a relationship outside of marriage. Again, fratricide can happen in any society, even among Jews. But the point is that this practice is not condemned. It is encouraged, it is a tradition, it is part of their collective value system. What can we think about a society where it is acceptable to murder one's own children?

Linguist at November 19, 2004 10:10 PM [permalink]:

synonyms KILL, SLAY, MURDER, ASSASSINATE, DISPATCH, EXECUTE mean to deprive of life. KILL merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner <killed in an accident><frost killed the plants>. SLAY is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive <slew thousands of the Philistines>. MURDER specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility <convicted of murdering a rival>. ASSASSINATE applies to deliberate killing openly or secretly often for political motives <terrorists assassinated the Senator>. DISPATCH stresses quickness and directness in putting to death <dispatched the sentry with one bullet>. EXECUTE stresses putting to death as a legal penalty <executed by lethal gas>. -- Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 19, 2004 11:18 PM [permalink]:

Dear Ali,

what made you think I was frustrated and angry of you? Quite the opposite, I was (and still am) having fun. So don't worry about it. We disagree and we discuss and sometimes we also have a bit of fun.

(The shamelessness and nerve of people like the "Buddy" on the other hand does somewhat get to my nerves, to be honest. Not really the nonsense they utter, that's easy to burst, but for the "ruye ziadi" and the hypocracy that comes with it. But he is not very good at it and dealing with him has its own pleasures...and he likes 'Heydarbaba'.)

"Similarly everything you seem to be saying points to the Israelis having a higher morality than Palestinians, but I am sure you have a different point."

No actually that is EXACTLY my point and that doesn't just include the Palis but the entire Middle East and most of Europe (especially France)

Don't be so sure my friend. ;)

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 20, 2004 12:28 AM [permalink]:

OK, I know I have been talking too much here and I gotta go and catch up with my studies.
But I just thought some footages about the level of morality among Palestinians, Arabs and our own mullahs and hizbullahis
(broadcasting in Arabic) be "interesting" to watch.
Like these:
TV Woman Magazine

or this:
Egyptian Psychologist

Here is more of such Videos

(Especially watch the Igraa TV videos at the bottom half)


Of course before another wise guy starts quoting from some wacko Rabbi somewhere, I am well aware that there are some , especially amopng the Ultraorthodox Jews inside and outside Israel that are as lunatic and as despicable as the other side. But they are on the fringes of the society and actually these ultrareligious groups are hated by the majority of Israel population. There exists real tensions within Israel between the Seculars (about 2/3 of the population) and the religious (not the ultrareligious wackos but even the normal ones), and ironically most of the ultrareligious were against Zionism and the establishment of Israel at the beginning and many still hate the secular state as much as they do the arabs.
Unlike the Arab case where such hatred is the norm and the voices of reason the tiny minority and in constant fear of their lives.


morally superior? You bet!

heydarbaba at November 20, 2004 03:21 AM [permalink]:
Ron, First things first..Heydarbaba without baba is Heydar and that is mighty fine, the only problem is that it is not my name. My name is Heydarbaba.!! Now, about what you wrote in your post, I have to be careful not to diverge from the path that I had in my mind, namely to dispel some of the myths in this conflict, not to mention that my time, just like all the others' time, here, is limited and once in a while it doesn't hurt to live a little life here and there now that I am allowed to. In this conflict, as Ali mentioned there is a plethora of sources abound with claims and counter claims. My point in posting that review was simply to make the playing field a bit more level. Now about what you said regarding the motivation behind Jewish terrorism that originated in the form of Haganah, Irgun and Stern gang and currently exists in the form of the Israeli government. The way I see it , you cross the border and violate my home, I will chop your livers; no problem there, I wouldn't even waste my time trying to justify it; but I have always had this problem with justifying the ultimate unjustifiable, destroying another human's life for no reason other than being able to do it and knowing you can get away with that and this is the worst of all possible reasons one could think of. What Jewish terrorists did to Palestinian Arabs then, was not justifiable and it was not the war for survival. The beginning of Jews' migration to Palestine, the role British played to help them or hurt them, the persecution of Jews in other countries, the original response of Palestinians to the Jews coming there and the beginning of the tensions and who did what and who deserved what...all this can be argued but it can never lead one to conclude that all the atrocities Jews committed was for their survival. This survival argument has more to do with bilking the Holocaust than the real task of survival itself. It has been used before and it is still being used today. A case in point is the village of Deir Yassin. That village had agreement with the Jewish side that they wouldn't give any sanctuary for the Arab insurgents and many times they stood up to Arab insurgents who had come in to that village and had sought sanctuary. Deir Yassin villagers had kicked out those Arab insurgents more than one time. At times they had clashed with those Arab insurgents in order to keep them out, but this didn't stop the Irgun and Stern thugs from invading that village and ...this had nothing to do with survival. In fact some of the Irgun and Stern thugs had originally expressed surprise at the decision to invade that village because that village had been in peace with them and had kept their word on their agreement, but the desire for land grab, and such a casual attitude toward human life and specially Palestinian Arabs' life over powered all the original hesitations to invade. This can be applied to almost all the other bus and marketplace and cafe bombing by Irgun and Stern. In fact Stern group was so pissed off at the British that they contacted Germans and offered to fight on their side against the British, of course, in return, they were asking the German support for establishment of a Jewish State. "Forcing the British and Arabs out is called "survival"...only with Jews is self-preservation called terrorism" That land didn't belong to British it belonged to the Arabs who lived there. Kicking Arabs out of their home and making them refugees in no man's land is not c ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Ron at November 20, 2004 04:11 AM [permalink]:

Dear Hyderbaba,

First and foremost, my apologies for abbreviating your name. I will certainly not do this in the future.

Second of all, with regards to Jenin battle/massacre, I was not parroting anyone, I'd never heard the official govt. version of the events. I only looked at the facts. People who commit massacres don't lose 23 troops, they lose none, because their opponents don't fight back. that's what makes it a massacre. i don't see why that's such a difficult concept.
Regarding the film with Kurdi Bear, I saw it too, on Israeli television no less. Don't see how it detracts from my above point.

I'm sorry to hear that Jewish survival is inconvenient for so many people. But German gas showers are inconvenient to Jews. You may pardon them for wanting to find refuge in the land of their ancestors when there was nowhere else to go. Stealing land? I'm quite sure the Jewish National Fund spent millions buying up land in Palestine, so I don't see why any liver chopping was in order.
Yet another absurdity, when Jews purchase land, it is called theft.

heydarbaba at November 20, 2004 12:20 PM [permalink]:
Ron, Apologies accepted. "Second of all, with regards to Jenin battle/massacre, I was not parroting anyone, I'd never heard the official govt. version of the events. I only looked at the facts. " As I wrote earlier, Gideon Meir set the principles of the Israeli version of the events, a)"what happened in Jenin was a fierce battle and not a massacre" and b)"the battle was fierce because the IDF sought to minimize civilian sufferings." These messages have since been repeated time after time not just by politicians and Israeli government and military spokesperson, but also by reporters, analysts and columnists, they are woven into news reports, or disguised as spontaneous acts of expressing and educated opinion. Even those dazed souls in Ha'aretz jumped on this propaganda wagon. Here is the Haaretz editorial version of the propaganda line:"There is evidence of intense combat, but with appropriate caution, it can already be said what did not happen in Jenin refugee camp. There was no massacre. No order from above was given, nor was a local initiative executed, to deliberately and systematically kill unarmed people." This line is quite sophisticated. The word "massacre" may bring to mind soldiers moving from house to house, shooting everyone they find-men , women and children as it occurred in Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon). Such a form of massacre clearly did not take place in Jenin. No Palestinian source ever described the facts that way. Still Haaretz and everyone else insisted on falsifying only this specific interpretation of the word "massacre." What did clearly happen in Jenin was that Israeli forces simply ignored the fact that there were an unknown number of civilians in the areas that they attacked day and night with missiles from Cobra helicopters and demolished with bulldozers, in order to clear the way for the invading tanks. No one came to execute these people individually; they were crushed and buried under their bombed or bulldozed homes. Others died of their wounds in alleys, or cried for days under the ruins, until their voices faded away. Later testimony from soldiers came out little by little.. "After the first moments of the fighting, when a commander was killed, the instructions were clear: shoot every window, spray every house - whether someone shoots from there or not.".. Did he, the reservist , see civilians get hurt? "Personally, no. But the point is that they were inside the houses. The last days, the majority of those who came out of the houses were old people, women and children, who were there the whole time and absorbed our fire. These people were not given any chance to leave the camp, and we are talking about many people." "People who commit massacres don't lose 23 troops, they lose none, because their opponents don't fight back. that's what makes it a massacre." This argument is totally irrelevant. There are many scenarios under which a massacre can happen. Soldiers lose their comrades but win the battle and then they gather all the civilians or the POWs and murder them, part of what happened in Deir Yassin massacre. Irgun and Stern thugs had many casualties but the way they fought that battle and what they did after they won the battle turned it into a massacre. Thirteen out of those 23 Israeli soldiers were killed in the seventh day of the battle. The military reaction was a decision to erase the entire center of the camp even though ma ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Ron at November 20, 2004 03:54 PM [permalink]:

Hydarbaba,

You seem to be trying very hard to stretch the meaning of the word massacre to apply it to this event. You even allude to a massive conspiracy (including Ha’aretz no less!!) to paint this as a battle, and seem to claim that I myself am a victim of brainwashing. This is really stretching the boundaries of believability. I won’t even mention the ridiculous figure of 500 (!) deaths the Pals claimed at first, or the tactics they used of booby-trapping densely populated civilian areas as an indication of disrespect for their own people’s lives.

Many people like to ignore the fact that before 1948, Zionist organizations and individuals were engaged primarily in the business of buying and cultivating land in Palestine. Here’s a nice quote for you:

“By 1947, Jewish holdings in Palestine amounted to about 463,000 acres. Approximately 45,000 of these acres were acquired from the Mandatory Government; 30,000 were bought from various churches and 387,500 were purchased from Arabs. Analyses of land purchases from 1880 to 1948 show that 73 percent of Jewish plots were purchased from large landowners, not poor fellahin (peasants). Those who sold land included the mayors of Gaza, Jerusalem and Jaffa. As'ad elShuqeiri, a Muslim religious scholar and father of PLO chairman Ahmed Shuqeiri, took Jewish money for his land. Even King Abdullah leased land to the Jews. In fact, many leaders of the Arab nationalist movement, including members of the Muslim Supreme Council, sold land to Jews.”

Now, many Arabs living in Palestine were poor laborers who didn’t actually own the land they lived on. When the land was purchased by Jews from absentee landlords, some were kept as laborers and some were evicted. Regardless, the new owners had the legal right to do with the land what they wanted.

The UN partition plan, which the Jews accepted, wouldn’t have created any Arab refugees.

Refugees? Yes, when Israel fought defensive wars in 1948 and 1967, they took as much land as possible. When a country is attacked, it doesn’t push the enemy to the border and then go home, it pushes as far as it can.

Those Arabs that fled their homes in the 1948 war lost them. Those that stayed kept them and became Israeli citizens.

heydarbaba at November 21, 2004 12:55 PM [permalink]:
Ron, you said: "You seem to be trying very hard to stretch the meaning of the word massacre to apply it to this event. "...In order to try hard two processes are needed. One is trying and second is hardening it. In the case of Jenin massacre there is no need for either of those. I posted the interview with the soldiers who say they were shooting and spraying the windows and houses with people in it..That you shrugged it off. I posted the interview of Kurdi Bear , the Israeli national hero in the Jenin massacre, in which he talks about how for three days and nights he boozed up and bulldozed peoples' home over their head without giving them any warning .Your response was that you had seen the interview in the Israeli TV and therefor no big deal. You see, just that interview of a psychopath such as Kurdi Bear would make an average decent person shiver and tremble in sadness and rage. Outside world would have a hard time understanding this level of callousness and atrocitites on innocent human lives by a government. Outside world would have a hard time understanding this level of disrespect to human lives and human dignity.Your only reaction was to worry about your image being a brainwashed person. I thought that was interesting. In your earlier post you said that "Forcing the British and Arabs out is called "survival"...only with Jews is self-preservation called terrorism." and in the last post you say that Jews bought the land and didn't steal it. Well if you buy the land you don't need to force anybody out and cry survival. There would be no need for ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. So which one is it ? survival by ethnic cleansing or purchasing a land legally? I am not denying that Jews bought lands and to me that tells me that when they were moving back to Palestine there were no hostility toward them otherwise the population wouldn't sell them lands which once more begs the question what gave rise, among Jews, to such an urge for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians? you said : "The UN partition plan, which the Jews accepted, wouldn't have created any Arab refugees. ".and ."Those Arabs that fled their homes in the 1948 war lost them. Those that stayed kept them and became Israeli citizens. " for your information, UN resolution shortly after the 1948 war demanded that Israel to let those Palestinians who either had fled or forced out to go back to their homes and Israel refused to do this and therefore we have the first generation of refugees. you wrote:"Yes, when Israel fought defensive wars in 1948 and 1967, they took as much land as possible. " when you use your military to attack another country it is called offensive not defensive. I haven't looked up the word defensive in the dictionary lately but...no big deal...it was a nice try.... However you are right about the last part that they took as much land as possible. In fact the reason behind attacking Syria in this offensive was all about stealing land and not the security. This is no secret. In Israel's collective consciousness of that time, Syria was conceived as a serious threat to the security of Israel and a constant initiator of aggression toward the residents of northern Israel. But according to Moshe Dayan this was "bullshit"--Syria was not a threat to Israel before 1967. "Just drop it,"he said as an answer to a question about the northern residents. "I know how at least 80 percent of all the incidents with Syria started. We were ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Amir at November 21, 2004 02:21 PM [permalink]:

I found this article about Araft, interesting.

http://www.counterpunch.org/fisk11132004.html

heydarbaba at November 21, 2004 03:46 PM [permalink]:

That article is sort of fair. It does miss to mention some key points. One is the fact that Arafat did step on Hamas before the 2000 Intifadah and he stepped on them quite heavily. He later decided to use Hamas when he realized that he was being dicked around by the Israelis. Arafat wanted the Sharon to be elected and Israel would have a horrible image in world opinion. Israel does have a horrible image now , worse than before, but Hamas was also aware that Arafat was using them and played the game in a way that even Arafat couldn't stop them without an open and bloody civil war. I am not so sure about Israel creating Hamas as a means to balance Arafat but no matter what Hamas is there and is not going away by assassination of its leaders. Thanks to Hamas, Sharon got his ass handed to him in Gaza, that is why he is leaving. I think Hamas has to give up the existential argument in favor of a two state system and this is where Iran can be useful. I read awhile ago that Sharon had received a message from Iran and he had instructed his government to check out the authenticity of the message. I never heard anything afterward Other than Iran and Israel getting at each other in public in a very harsh threatening language. To me that is not as bad as it looks, from my experience every time Israel and say Hizbullah heat up their public war of words and threats, it is usually used as a distraction from some top secret behind the scene negotiations. This last public war of nerves and war of words between Iran and Israel started right after Iran allegedly sent a message to Sharon. who knows I could be completely wrong...

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 22, 2004 11:55 PM [permalink]:

Well, well well. Some people have been talking lately. :)

OK. Here's the deal.
Israel's military power (including most probably nukes) far outweighs that of her opponents and enemies, ie. the rest of Arab and most of Muslim world and could eradicate them if necessary.

If the best kind of atrocity people like the "buddy" can come up with is the shortness of time between shouting for people to evacuate their houses and demolishing them-people living in a place that became the center of terrorists and suicide murderers of the worst kind-then that says a lot about the higher morality of the Israelis. Simple.
If you are looking for real culprites look at the terrorists who build their strongholds in the midst of civilan population.
There is a WAR going on and they don't share candies there and pointing at a soldier is not behaving 100% as an angel in a battle in the midst of the worst kind of inhuman murderes where each house can be filled with an enemy ready to shoot and kill, where each room can be booby-trapped is the your worst kind of war crime, somethings fishy about your arguments.
(More reasons why this "arguments" are utter nonsense is the fact that he cites a newspaper of a country to show his point which he himslef accuse of censoring the reality and leading a global conspiracy!)

Of course for someone who thinks those who exercise their artistic expressions in something as benign as wriring some Arabic sentences on a woman's body "have only themselves to blame" when their throat is slit, or whose degree of "humanity" is evident in phrases like "you cross the border and violate my home, I will chop your livers; no problem there, I wouldn't even waste my time trying to justify it", nothing more can be expected.


Just to see how much more human he Israelis are in this tragedy that they face daily, think for a second that the situation was reversed and that the Arabs/Muslims had the upper hand in their military power. Do you think even a single Jew, man woman or child, would have been left alive by now?

QED.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 23, 2004 06:24 PM [permalink]:

Well, well well. Some people have been talking lately. :)

If the worst kind of atrocity people like the "buddy" can come up with to blame the Israelis, is something like the shortness of the time span between Israeli soldiers' warning shouts and demolishing the houses in a region that had become the center of the most dangerous terrorists and suicide bombers, if that is the worst they can find it alone says a lot about the higher morality of the Israelis. As simple as that.
If you are looking for real culprites, look at the terrorists who deliberately build their strongholds in the midst of civilan population. There is a WAR going on in case you haven't noticed and they don't share candies there.

Pointing fingers at a soldier for not behaving as a 100% angel during a battle in the midst of the worst kinds of environments, where each house could be holding enemies ready to shoot and kill, where each room could be booby-trapped, where you are facing death every second for hours and hours... that is the worst kind of war crime "buddy" so desperately tries to sell here. Fishy, ain't it?
(More evident reasons why this "arguments" are utter nonsense is to see how he cites a newspaper of a country to show his points and at the same time accuses it and its counterparts in Israeli media of censoring the reality and leading a global conspiracy! Again, "Buddy", you are not very good at this!)

Of course for someone who thinks those who exercise their artistic expressions in something as benign as wriring some Arabic sentences on a woman's body "have only themselves to blame" when their throat is slit, or whose degree of "humanity" is evident in phrases like "you cross the border and violate my home, I will chop your livers; no problem there, I wouldn't even waste my time trying to justify it", nothing more can be expected.

OK. Here's the deal.
Israel's military power (including most probably nukes) far outweighs that of her opponents and enemies and those countries that want to annihilate her among the rest of Arab and most of Muslim world and could have eradicated them many times if she had wanted to. Right?

Just to see how much more human the Israelis are in this tragedy they face daily, think for a second that the situation was reversed and that the Arabs/Muslims had the upper hand in their military power. Do you think even a single Jew, man woman or child, would have been left alive by now?

I don't think so either.

QED.


(To Editors: Please remove the comment above this since it was not posted properly.)

heydarbaba at November 29, 2004 02:57 PM [permalink]:
To our apartheid apologist... couple of quick observations. It is nice to see that you are not vomiting or nauseating and you , hopefully grew out of that punk ass neurotic routine of yours that you seemed to be so proud of . And the other one is that thanks to "buddy" who stepped on your tail , your mouth diarrhea has improved...my most sincere congratulations on that...keep up the good work kid...you will be fine. My other observation made me little worried about your mental health. You posted your post twice with a different arrangement of "cut" and "paste". This is what happens when you get tooooo emotional , your wiring start coming off loose and I hope I am wrong and lets hope that you just had little too much of Tequila in your system. But I liked the first version more, it opens up with a big bang, with a big opening, NUKES....awesome....!!!!!!!!! Now that I am done with the greetings let me get to the point. As for my comments about that Van Gogh, those interested , can go and read the entire comment ( on the people have spoken ), they could do without your neurotic spin on it. As for your sanitation efforts regarding those gun toting Israeli thugs/soldiers and the redefining and watering down the meaning of atrocity, I say this. I have lot more respect to the intelligence of those who read these posts than to even contemplate refuting your wishy-washy sanitation efforts. They can decide for themselves. As for the Israeli military power including their useless nukes, it is obvious that military might has not brought them safe and security, it has not brought them respect around the world, it has not helped their economy, (Israel depends heavily on the regular hand out from US and even from EU, Israel is the fattest welfare queen, the annual begging ritual from Uncle Sam still goes on and is one of the most important and revered events in Israeli calendar)it has not even provided safety and security to their pizza shops and downtown streets. The synagogues in Iran are lot more safer than the ones in Israel. Those nukes have not made one friend for Israel in their own neighborhood in the past 50 years. Israeli nukes were supposed to help them hold on to the lands they stole from Arabs, but it has contributed more to the problem than the solution. But if worse comes to worse, almost any Muslim country of any significance can sign a contract with a nuclear power to provide nuclear protection, something that Saudis have done with Pakistanis, so those weapons are as useless as ever. Another reason why Israel will not use nuclear weapon is that Israel's widest section is less than 50 miles and if it comes to nuclear war Israel will be annihilated, unlike Muslims who are one quarter of world's population and live in different areas on globe with different cultures and their annihilation takes lot more than some 200 nukes as opposed to one or two nukes that would wipe out the most of Israeli population. For Israel to use nuke would mean a national suicide, period. Now that we are on the nuke subject, let me bring up the Bin Laden nuke. It is widely known that Bin Laden has for sure one suitcase bomb as they are called, the debate is not if he has it or not but does he have more than one. And he has said he will use it against any one who uses a N-bomb on a Muslim country. As much as I and many around the world dislike Bin Laden, we all better have some healthy respect for his technical, operational skills. As for your anti-Arab ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 29, 2004 09:28 PM [permalink]:

"Buddy",
It was a pleasure reading your latest comment.

I must also thank you for your kind words.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 2, 2004 02:08 AM [permalink]:

Yet another revealin

example :

"JERUSALEM - An Israeli military court on Tuesday sentenced a Kuwaiti-born bombmaker to 67 consecutive life terms in jail for killing dozens of Israelis and at least five Americans.

Abdullah Barghouti, 32, pleaded guilty to building the bombs that killed 66 people and wounded more than 500. The court handed Barghouti one life sentence for each person killed in the attacks and one more for wounding hundreds of others.
...
Barghouti was convicted of making the bombs used in the bombing at the Hebrew University in which five Americans and four Israelis were killed, a suicide bombing at a branch of the Sbarro pizzeria that killed 15 people, the suicide bombing at the Moment Cafe that left 11 people dead and a triple bombing on Jerusalem's Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall that killed 10 people"

The Israelis do not even execute a criminal like this.

But this is most interesting in the face of the likes of Behnoud and other "reformists" who have been ytalking ever since about the "similarities" between the Islamic hardliners in Iran and theor Israeli counterparts.
In Iran 16 year old girl is hanged, a 14c year old boy dies under lashes he recieves for breaking his fast during ramezan, old and young are imprisoned, tortured, executed...and our "reformist"s who recently have discovered hoe "intellectual" and "democratic" they are, one cne example that previous bache basiji Dariush Sajjadi, see a lot of similarities.

Some democracy and open-mind they advocate.
Let THIS be a lesson to all of us.

JFTDMaster at December 2, 2004 02:52 PM [permalink]:

"Hence the PLO."
- Ever read the PLO charter? Some of the goals include national-socialist (nazi) revolution, taking over all of jordan/israel by violence, etc. PLO was created by the arab nations and soviet spies as a anti-israeli "revolutionary" movement.

"1948 War: Palestinians had little or nothing to do really with the 1948 war"
- ever hear of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini, Arafat's uncl? the egyptian pan-arabic Nazi? I believe I've posted pictures of him on this website before, with hitler, discussing the total extermination of the jews. I can do that again.
That is what Arafat the great leader was all about, not the "national interest of the palestinian people". The riots in 1920's and 1930's were organized by his uncle, which caused the creation of such jewish groups as Haganah (which means "defense" by the way).

"All this does not change the international legal realities: the Palestinians are the rightful owners of the areas specified in U.N resolution 242"
- prove it. Once upon a time, that land was all promised to the jewish nation by the League of Nations, who gave the Brits a Mandate over that land only because the Brits promised to build a jewish homeland there. Later, it was divided up because arabs were not willing to live with the jews in charge, and Jordan was created. Later, it was divided again because the remaining arabs did not want to live with jews in charge, and thus the UN partition, which the arabs again invaded.

Anyway, this arguing is pointless. Fact is, Israel and Israeli soldiers in general attempt to minimize civilian casualties, while "leaders" like Arafat and Barghouti advocate terrorism against Israeli civilians. Fact is, the palestinians rejected various partitions in 1938, 1948, and many times since then. Fact is, every palestinian "political party" is also a terrorist group. Fact is, Israel has a 20% peaceful muslim population, while the palestinians today generally kill and tear apart any jews that accidentally drive into their cities, just as fallujans have been doing recently in iraq.
Fact is, even the most moderate palestinian leaders like Abbas still call for a right of return and explusion of 1/5 of west bank's population (the jews), which Israel will not realistically accept.
Fact is, the pre-1967 "armistice line" is not a border, it was a temporary armistice agreement between jordan and israel. The agreement was made in 1949 I believe, and the armistice has obviously been broken many times since then. So there is no reason for jews not to live in the west bank until a final status agreement is made. Palestinians can begin serious negotiation if they want to, but they should first become a democracy.

I can only wish that Israel had done in 1970's what American is doing today in Iraq, building a local democratic leadership. I can only wish that it will happen in the future.

heydarbaba at December 3, 2004 03:23 AM [permalink]:
JFTDMaster, You keep repeating "facts" and "facts" and "facts"...it seems you like to give the impression that you are interested in facts. Ok then shall we talk about the facts now? You wrote: "Once upon a time, that land was all promised to the Jewish nation by the League of Nations" hhmmm...once upon a time?.Can you tell us when that "once upon a time" was? your use of once upon a time is a little bit suspicious and I will show you why. In the information age that you can get the times and dates of any event by just a few clicks , it struck me strange that you would use the phrase "once upon a time"...That once upon a time you are referring to was in the Balfour Declaration in which British had promised the Zionists a Jewish national home (not a Jewish state) and this declaration was in 1917. League of Nations was not formed till 1919. Now if this Balfour Declaration was a child and the League of Nations was sort of like some of todays' parents, you could easily argue that the child was 2 years old when the parents got married (Pat Robertson call these children BASTARDS, which includes his own first child but that is not the point here..)but Balfour Declaration is not a child and League of Nations are not like todays' parents which makes me to say nice job in creating such a confusion. What gave you away was that innocent looking phrase you had at the beginning "once upon a time.." it almost worked. The next interesting phrase in your sentence is the use of "that land". Are you referring to Palestine?What do you mean by "that land"? I will tell you something you already know. In the early draft of Balfour Declaration they had used the word "that" in referring to Palestine but later this changed to "in Palestine" so that every body would know they didn't mean all the Palestine and to make sure this was understood clearly the Declaration said "it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine". So the promise for creating a Jewish national home(and not a Jewish state) was given in Balfour Declaration in 1917 , two years before the League of Nations was born and this is exactly what that declaration said: ""His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." I admire your talent in placing so much disinformation in just one sentence but you failed to do any service to justice , truth, and facts, something you keep repeating later on. The first generation of refugees was created in 1948 war. Israel said they had left willingly!! which means they willingly decided to give their homes to the Jewish people and become refugees themselves. I hope this is not what they teach the kids in Israeli schools. Anyway, UN resolution immediately after the 1948 called for Israel to let these refugees back to their homes and Israel refused , therefore those lands are considered STOLEN LANDS and Israel was created by ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. You wrote: "Anyway, this arguing is pointless" I wouldn't call it arguing. I would call it disinformation and I agree with you , ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 3, 2004 04:56 AM [permalink]:

"Buddy",
Just keep repeating your bullshit islamist propaganda,OK? Like a transmitter whose reciever section is damaged and sends noise nonstop..just keep bullshitting your nonsense. Never let go, OK?

Someone who talks of Bin Ladens Nuke in a favorable way has no right to bullshit about western democracy or buying pork, go it? GOT IT?
And if you think recylcling good old british doubltalk and half-dedications will get you anywhere, think again.

And one more time, it might just get in to that thick empty skull of an idiot like you, THERE WAS NO COUNTRY AND NO NATION CALLED PALESTINE AND NO PEOPLE CALLED PALESTINIAN. Now go hang yourself with it.

I once told you about CAIR and their kind of sophistry. Go ahead and tear your rear with the same crap and repeat yourself like a dirty out of joint grammaphone! You seem to enjoy it a lot.

Plisraelistinian at December 3, 2004 02:57 PM [permalink]:

http://newyorker.com/shouts/content/?041206sh_shouts

heydarbaba at December 3, 2004 06:01 PM [permalink]:

to our NEUROTIC APARTHEID APOLOGIST,
I see once again you popped your top kid. Just when you were beginning to change your image to someone who is less neurotic and more stable, comes this last cry for help from you. You left your rehab center too early. It is not easy to find someone like you who so much loves and worships ignorance and darkness, some one so much on fire, some one who seems to be a constant companion of fire. Do you ever ask yourself why is it that anything truthful sets you on fire? Anything that challenges your ignorance sets you on fire?. Anything that challenges the dogma in your head sets you on fire?
Now as for Bin Laden's nukes, those who want to know what I said can simply go and read my post on it, they certainly don't need a neurotic ignorant beast like you editing it for them. As for your mental health, I remember that once I asked you to get off the prozac, I think I am going to have to put you back on prozac again. This is good for you and for the rest of us,( excluding your "buddy" Babak.S,) who may not want to hear your neurotic outbursts. Here is another suggestion that could help you become more stable and less neurotic. Do the following as I say:
-Lie down on your back in a comfortable position
-Take a deep breath through your nose and hold it in while counting till 4
-At the count of 4, slowly let the air out through your mouth while saying the word "relax" in your head
-Keep repeating this at least 25 times a set and three sets per day for the first week. It is sort of like circuit training for your burning soul.
Let me know how you are feeling , if this didn't do you any good there are other therapies , a bit more severe but useful nonetheless for you, and if none of these work then we have to put you on some kind of a strong medication and I am really sure that will work. What makes me so sure? my neighbor's horse was acting the same way and they injected him with a healthy dose of that medication, "good stuff" and now that horse is doing just fine, he is even nice to me.
......................................
when you start feeling a bit more relaxed can you tell us if you know anything about those religious courts in Israel? I thought only Talibans had religious courts..........Doesn't it really piss you off you cant even order some good ole pork chops with some home made apple sauce in a restaurant in Israel?...

An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 3, 2004 08:05 PM [permalink]:

"Buddy",
I love it when you speak true to your self and your origins. I'm happy I can bring you out of your superficial "civilised" and "objective" cacoon so easily (but you don't seem to even get it..that's a bit disappointing, mind you).
Keep it up anyway. ;)

heydarbaba at December 3, 2004 08:31 PM [permalink]:

to our "NEUROTIC BUDDY",
Don't forget that prozac thing and relaxation I told you...Don't worry about "civilised" and "objective" things..these are for RELAXED people to talk about....right now the most urgent issue at hand is your mental health...that is good for you and good for us..just don't run away from the rehab center...you are in our thoughts and in our prayers..good riddance kid..

An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 4, 2004 06:30 AM [permalink]:

Keep talking.

Ron at December 4, 2004 02:02 PM [permalink]:

Hyderbaba,

Some of the best pork chops i've ever had were in a restaurant in Israel. Nothing illegal about it.

And you can find religious courts in Canada, Britain , etc. for parties who mutually agree to settle civil claims according to their religious beliefs, just like in Israel.

So, keep bathing in your ignorance.

heydarbaba at December 5, 2004 04:37 AM [permalink]:
Ron, You said that I am bathing in ignorance. It seems the more I show the true face of life in Israel, the more I refute Israeli lies, created by Hasbarah folks, the more ignorant I look ha...isn't it funny the way it works....but it won't stop me from shining more light and exposing the big lies ..it gives a more balanced picture of Israel...it is done in good faith .....so lets bath some more in ignorance shall we? you said: "Some of the best pork chops I've ever had were in a restaurant in Israel. Nothing illegal about it." Since you have been to Israel you know that you can not put the name pork on the menu. As simple as that. But if a restaurant owner knows you (and not every restaurant, only some) they will offer you a non-menu item called "white steak" or "white meat" which is nothing but pork. If it wasn't illegal it would be on the menu. But I do agree with you they do cook some of the most delicious pork chops there. (according to those who have been there). According to Jewish law they are not supposed to raise pigs on Israel's soil, so those clandestine farms who raise pigs, how do they go about it?..First they claim that they are raising the pigs for scientific research. Then they don't raise the pigs on the ground, they raise them on platforms above the ground. That way those pigs don't actually touch the Israel's soil, technically speaking. In Iran we call this "kolahe sharee". When the pigs get bigger, fatter and meatier they are slaughtered and sold for money so the farmers can use that money to raise more pigs for more scientific research. You see it is different than any western country that raise and sell pork and you can walk in any retaurant(not just A restaurant) and order pork without fearing that local Rabbi's wrath. As you said you had it in A RESTAURANT in Israel and not in Israeli Restaurants. Then you wrote again:"And you can find religious courts in Canada, Britain , etc. for parties who mutually agree to settle civil claims according to their religious beliefs, just like in Israel." While this is true, in Israel the nature of religious courts is completely different than the ones in western democracies. In Israel in cases of marriage, divorce, adoption.....etc religious courts are the only option you have, mutual agreement or not is totally irrelevant. In Canada, Britain you can go and marry in a civil court without the approval of your priest or what have you. Impossible in Israel. Israel does not allow civil marriage. These are strictly within the power of the religious courts. It was a deal that Ben Gurion made with the religious orthodox who were opposing the creation of state of Israel and didn't like Zionism, he gave them the power over the affairs of marriage, burial, divorce, adoption and many many more. In todays Israel Orthodox Judaism, these Rabbinate have a considerable authority over the lives of Israelis through their control over their marriage, divorce, burial, recognition of them being a Jewish, issuance of Kosher certificates to restaurants and many many more. Israeli law grants authority over all matters of marriage of Jews in Israel to the Orthodox Rabbinate. The law does not provide for civil marriage and non-Orthodox Rabbis are not allowed to perform marriages. Lets continue with bathing in ignorance some more shall we? I am sure you are aware of these existing ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Ron at December 5, 2004 11:50 AM [permalink]:

Hyderbaba,

You made the claim previously that “you cant even order some good ole pork chops with some home made apple sauce in a restaurant in Israel?” and then I said that I did just that.

Can’t you just admit your mistake?

heydarbaba at December 5, 2004 02:27 PM [permalink]:

Ron,
I did say that and technically, it, did give the impression that was not what I had in mind. So in that regard I stand corrected.

Ron at December 5, 2004 03:23 PM [permalink]:

Hyderbaba,

Granted the Orthodox have too much influence in Israel. But you’re still only talking about civil courts. If you choose to get married or divorced in Israel, so you have to deal with it. If you don’t want to, you take a 30-minute flight to Cyprus and get a civil marriage, that’s what many Israelis do. Pain in the ass? Yes. Is it a life or death issue? No.

If you are charged with a crime in Israel, you go to a secular court, you don’t get hauled in front of a rabbi. Compare this to Iran where the Attorney General and the Supreme Court justices all must be religious clerics. I don’t think there’s any comparison.

And what’s this story about the Kosher test of the restaurant? If the restaurant isn’t kosher, it doesn’t get shut down, it just loses the big K on the window and will lose its Orthodox customers. It has nothing to do with “control over Israeli lives”. It has to do with freedom to choose where you want to eat, and the customers have a right to know if the restaurant is considered kosher by religious authorities.

heydarbaba at December 5, 2004 09:19 PM [permalink]:

Ron,
My intention was to give a more balanced picture of Israel, I think I did a pretty good job at it. I can tell you many of the Iranians who have read my last few posts, are probably scratching their heads and wondering if that is the same Israel that Farsi language Radio Israel and other Israeli freindly media outlets in American and other places portray.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 6, 2004 04:45 AM [permalink]:

"Buddy",
"It seems the more I show the true face of life in Israel, the more I refute Israeli lies, created by Hasbarah folks, the more ignorant I look ha...isn't it funny the way it works....but it won't stop me from shining more light and exposing the big lies .."

LOL! So you picture yourself in a holy mission here. In your head you are doing Allah's decree or something. oh man this is even better than I thought! It is funny how you go to such pains to paint Israel black.

As Ron said above there is NO COMPARISON becuase matters of life and death are outside religious jurisdiction (what I gave an example of which evidently set you on your holy jihad...ooops! I meant challenge) So come back with your stupid rantings when they started lashinga nd stoning in Israel.(Which is not gonna happen ever!)

For your information first of all converts to other movements OUTSIDE Israel who later make alyah are considered Jews by the Law of return.
The problem was with those inside Israel and the supreme court recently ruled that all conversion by different movements is valid. It also ruled for selling pork.
This is a crucial difference. There is a supreme court that is the highest authority and it is SECULAR. (He he he!)
As you said yourself the power of the orthodox in Israel is because of the balance of the coalitions and not anything that is in the foundations of the state... and it is in minor issues that can indeed be a pain in the back sometimes but they don't go anywhere near the case in muslim lands , including this pathetic palestinian authority. Unlike Iran that is a Theocracy in its (remeblance of a ) Constitution.
So nice try.

You seem very fond of pork. As a muslim do you approve of free pork in all restaurants in muslim lands like Iran or in Hejaz, say besides the Kaaba, being legalised and enforced by law? Just curious.

Anyways, continue your lonley Jihad and keep up the bullshitting!

FToI Editorial Board at December 6, 2004 09:27 AM [permalink]:

Please respect our comment policy.

Overuse and abuse of offensive language can never be justified in a civilized and learned dialogue.

heydarbaba at December 6, 2004 10:21 PM [permalink]:

To our neurotic goon,

It seems to me you have calmed down a bit. I didn't see you use all sorts of profanity and vulgar, I didn't see you utilizing all the colorful obscene words that most definitely have to do with little bit of rough upbringing than my post, and I didn't see you vomiting or nauseating, it is hard to believe that you have changed that much even though at the end you still called my post bullshit, and the way you keep repeating this word it seems that must have been your nickname in the neighborhood....anyway..I would say you have improved a bit and I like to take credit for that...just keep repeating that relaxation technique, don't forget to take your prozac, and for the next two weeks I want you to repeat 40 times a day: "Lordie Lord, Lord of Gog and Lord of Moagog, creator of Menachem, (bad ones and the worse ones), help me to be better, to be a less neurotic on monday than on Sunday, help me to be a lesser head case, neurotic on Tuesday than on monday, help me become a lesser neurotic dope on wed than on Tuesday,, Lord of Gog and Lord of Magog, I am in dire need of your help, your hand, your mercy. SO HELP ME GOD."
we are all rooting for you kid. You are in our prayers. As for the bunch of lies you managed to put together as a response to my post, don't worry about those things now. Your mental health is of prime importance. First things first. Once again you are in our prayers. Bueno suerte papa. That is Spanish , which is the same as "sickdir" !!! in Turkish , which is the same as "bacheye yeki yekdooneh , ya khol mishe ya divooneh" in Farsi, or just "good riddance kid" in English.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 6, 2004 11:37 PM [permalink]:

Keep ranting. Remember its holy and your eternal life depends on it.
(Just let me know when you start having bad dreams about me, OK?)

An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 7, 2004 03:35 AM [permalink]:

In the meanwhile chew on this to keep yourself satisfied and in form.