Subject: Moral Inequivalence
When the Israelis kill a Palestinian civilian,
it's either an accident,
or because a Palestinian combatant was hiding behind that civilian.
When the Palestinians kill an Israeli civilian, it's called a successful terrorist mission.
Which is more immoral, destroying innocents' property, or destroying innocents' lives?
Here's a clue.
You can always build a new house.
Subject: Palestinian solution
While I agree with you on most everything else,
I can't agree with you on the destruction of housing in
the Palestinian territories. Frankly, I think this is a terrorist tactic (among many others used by Israel
including cutting up the Palestinian territory into pieces so that you have to go through an Israeli border
to get to the local supermarket) and definitely ranks up there with the type of tactics that the Nazi's used
against Jews during the 30s and early 40s.
Most Palestinians, including those whose houses
and businesses are destroyed, have nothing to do with
the bombings (although like any other people occupied by a foreign power, I'm sure they aren't crying
over attacks against their occupiers), and to punish people at random is simply stupid. You might as well
tell Ashcroft to start shooting people at random on the streets of New York because, after all, SOMEONE
is causing all the problems we have! The solution in the Middle East is for both sides to grow up and stop acting
like adolescents. Will that ever happen? I bet if the US & Europe said they would actually do what it promised
and cut off all aid to terrorist regimes (including both Israel and the PLO) you might get some reaction.
Keep up the good work.
P.S. -- please don't include my name or email address. When you say anything nasty about Israel all hell breaks loose.
Maybe an arms embargo to Israel would slow them down.
It happened in 82 until 94 if memory serves.
England and the EU refused the Israelis any more arms.
The US didn't partake. So what else is new?
The peace process actually had a chance.
Many times I have thought it best you leave the
Israeli/Palestininian problem alone.
I don't make the mistake that one is right and is wrong, but one thing is for sure,
your knowledge of this subject is about the same as most people's cognizance of the migration of Javan Munias.
All the best,
Since I have no clue what or who Javan Munias
is (nor the time to look it up)
it's a good opportunity for me to remind everyone that I don't have a dog in this pit.
All I meant to suggest was the psychology of spelling out the cost in
advance may be
something that hasn't been tried. I should've stopped there.
But this war will be raging 500 years after we're all dead unless nukes
Religion is the reason neither side can ever give in.
Let me say this: the "left"
(if you include New York democrats) certainly does not "totally support"
the Palestinians. Remember how Lazio decried Clinton for even shaking hands with Yasir Arafat's wife?
Jews make up a very big block of voters in New York, and pandering to them, in the form of support
for Israel, is quite common.
I suggest that you analyse
the letters you've posted more carefully. The main theme in most
is not total support for the Palestinians but rather criticism of your ridiculous idea of destroying "2%"
(as stated last Saturday) of Palestinian buildings every time there is a suicide bombing. I'll not go over
the myriad reasons why such a "plan" is a bad idea (I've sent three previous e-mails, of very great length,
detailing those reasons). Rather, I'll just say that the horrific, genocidal, and self-destructive suggestion
you made is why people are writing, people who could very well be just as sympathetic to Israel as Palestine.
Israel/Palestine - I too, am no expert,
but I do have a few facts and opinions to throw into the mix
that might explain why the left tends to support Palestine:
The religio-crazy nuts here see the fulfillment
of the State of Israel as the fulfillment of the book of Revelations,
therefore bringing us closer to the "end times". Even though the moral majority believes that all Jews are going
to hell, they also believe that if we give them millions upon millions of American tax payers' dollars PER DAY,
as we have been doing, that we will facilitate their bringing us closer to the Rapture.
Both sides of this argument have valid claims
to the land. It's referenced in each culture/religion's holy texts.
It's part of their written and oral history. It's intrinsically wrapped up with their whole sense of identity as a people.
However, much like the situation in Ireland (if you ever get short of material one day you might try opening up
that can of worms!), these two cultures have bred hatred for each other into their societies and their rhetoric is
light-years apart. To listen to them both is like hearing people talk about two entirely different situations - yet
they're both describing the same one - only from their point of view.
The fact is that Israel, via the U.S., has the
military power to enact their agenda. The Palestinians do not.
They were beginning to get some political recognition, until Sharon was elected on the basis that he would
make life very difficult for the Palestinians. And he has. He has dragged that situation backwards from the day
he was in office by antagonism during a cease-fire. The Palestinians do what comes naturally when you know
that the bully on the playground is bigger than you: fight dirty.
I read your site everyday. It is one of the ways I make sense of the world.
The Palestine situation scares me, it just seems
to keep escalating. And if I read you right, you are supportive
of Israel's efforts in squashing the violence coming from suicide bombers.
But please keep in mind that this violence is
not stictly related to a pie-in-the-sky religious fantansy.
It is a response to a brutal and relentless 35 year illegal occupation. I sometimes think the Palestinians
are painted as religious crazies in order to not talk about the occupation, or the use of black hawk
helicopters and cruise missiles against a populace held under curfew on bantustans.
Maybe if they gave them back their land the killing would stop? Am I just being naive?
Also, a lot of Palestinians who aren't terrorists
are getting killed. See the attached link.
Thanks for the site. I have read it nearly
everyday since the coup.
You really are doing God's work.
(I know you are a Koresh man, but bartcop.com seems like a tolerant place)
"If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride."
Dear Bartus Copus,
Iíve got this figured out. This is so simple.
The Israelis and Palestinians are fighting over real
estate. The real estate in question is Jerusalem. This is a city with some old holy stuff.
You know, the Wailing Wall, the Holy Hump, the Masonic Lodge and all kinds of other shrines.
Itís not about oil wells or gold mines itís about old holy stuff.
Letís just move all the people out for one day;
tell them thereís an anthrax scare or something.
Then just bomb the shit of the all this holy real estate. I mean flatten the whole area, so you canít
find anything that looks like anything. I mean make it look like the Salt Flats.
Make it radioactive so nobody even wants to go there.
Then let them come back in. Oh yeah, there would
be a lot of wailing, but nobody would be able to find the
holy sites or anything. Oh, there might be some that would try to move back in thinking they would be
protected by Chapter 63, Verse 2, Sub-paragraph 69. But these guys are the real goofy radicals.
Theyíd find out that radiation is some bad shit (See Chapter 26, Verse 11, WWII) and it would kill Ďem.
The rest of the folks would just move about ten miles away.
Then they wouldnít have anything to kill each other about.
It would take about a week to plan and I think Koresh would even like the results.
I can be hired if you need other problems in the world solved.
My brother-in-law and I have been having a debate
along the lines of your point on
"announcing the retribution before the attack" concept. He agrees with you. We had this conversation today.
Well it just seems to me that violence just begets more violence. Bob
Thank you, that's precisely the point I'm trying
to make! So if the Palestinians want to make absolutely
100% positively sure that their innocent civilians will be brutally attacked, they should attack civilian
Israeli targets at every possible opportunity -- which is exactly what they do. Regardless of whether or
not their "rage" is justified, the fact is that at every turn they choose the path most likely to fail. Larry
And of course Larry the converse is;
"So if the (read Israelis) Palestinians want to
make absolutely 100% positively sure that their innocent civilians
will be brutally attacked, they should attack civilian (read Palestinian) Israeli targets at every possible opportunity
-- which is exactly what they do."
One of the Old Star Trek episodes from the original
series had an entity transport half the Enterprise crew
on board a Klingon ship and vis a versa. They were given primitive weapons, swords and stuff, and promptly
started killing each other. It turned out the entity feed off the hatred and violence. Kirk finally figured it out
and got the Klingons and his crew to make peace and the entity left.
In this case there is no Captain Kirk I'm afraid.
So when two enemies are beyond reasoning it takes a third party
to intercede. Peace will come if and when Israel retreats to it's original 1948 borders and removes all settlements.
Then the UN should set up a demilitarized zone between the two countries of say 50 miles. No weapons allowed.
Then a massive inflow of aid, especially to the Palestinians as their infrastructure is nonexistent and the '48 partition
gave most of the arable land to the Jews. The holy places like Jerusalem should be World Heritage Protectorates
run by concensus. This is a small place on the globe and solutions are not impossible. The protagonists, though,
are far to close to their hatred to stop this thing now. Someone must step in.
So in a most humble way I offer at least one suggestion to end the mindless slaughter.
Subject: Are you sure your IQ is all of 64?
You persist in referring to Palestinian suicide
bombers as religio-nuts. Fact is, their motivation has little
or nothing to do with religion/Islam. They are killing themselves in a last resort effort to make life miserable
for the people who are enforcing a military occupation on their homeland and refusing to grant them even
minimal human rights. If the Palestinians had access to helicopter gun-ships and/or F-16s they would surely
use other means to achieve their goals. It is only coincidental that most Palestinians are Islamic. Some of the
suicides have been Christians and some have abandoned any religious affiliation. The only thing they have in
common is total loss of hope that things will get better. If you'd make an effort to educate yourself and look
beyond mainstream U.S. news media for information, you might know these things.
The only religio-nuts in the Palestine/Israel
mess are the Israeli-Zionists who base the Jews claim to that land
on a conversation Moses had with God several thousand years ago. Any history since is irrelevant. G
so you wanna bulldoze Palestinian homes?
let's continue the inevitable cycle of violence.
No no no.... bad idea.... the solution is neither Israeli nor Palestine.
How about letting those UN-inspectors do their job for starters.
How about UN forcing Israel to abide by those resolutions they're in violation of.
How about not letting religio-crazy suicide bombers decide the Palestinian people's fate.
How about giving Arafat the authority to control his people rather than destroying it.
There is ONE country in the world who can make all this happen:
But I guess that country's president is "religio-crazy" too......
Great site by the way........
i love reading your web page but on the issue
of Palestine we fundamentally disagree.
one of the difficulties in understanding the current
chapter in the struggle of the people of Palestine for statehood
is the leadership of Israel. The current unrest began with Ariel Sharon. It was not just his trip to the "Temple" Mount
but his actions in 1982 as the General in charge of the Invasion of Lebanon. The Israeli Army surrounded the refugee
camps of Sabra and Shatila and allowed the Christian Phalangists -- a group of Lebanese Fascists close to President
Reagan -- to go into the camp and slaughter 3,000 old men, women and children. Where were the men?
Phil Habib had negotiated an agreement whereby
the Israelis would leave West Beruit id the Palestinian fedayeen
withdrew. The men did but the Israelis broke the agreement when they took the Beruit suburb of Bir Hassan.
He then moved into West Beruit under the pretext of "restoring order" where no disorder existed in a nation that
was not his. Under the terms of the 4th Geneva convention the Israeli Army as an army of occupation was legally
responsible for the safety of the people living in Sabra and Shatila.
What happened next defies human description.
On Sept. 15th Sharon met with the Phalangists and agreed to
let them loose in the camps. On the 16th the Phalangists entered. The slaughter went on for 3 days and nights.
The Israeli army was kind enough to use flares to light up the night for the Phalangists to create their sea of blood.
All of the staffs of the international aid agency hospitols were forced to leave the camps. The Israeli army sent
civilians carrying white flags back into the camps. It is estimated -- estimated because the Lebanese government
headed by the Phalangists never allowed the mass graves to be opened and had them paved over -- that 3,000
old men, women, and children died in those 3 days. And they were not all shot. Some were decapitated,
some were disemboweled. One woman -- recounted by Genet in Prisoner of Love -- was crucified with her
fingers cut off at the top knuckle joint.
So the nect time you write about Palestine, i
encourage you to think of those 3,000 dead and wonder how you
would feel if 3,000 people were killed in your homeland and 2 decades later the mastermind of their murder
became your nearest military neighbor.