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Today’s Update of Going to Hell in a Handbasket

  • All the research so far suggests they shot civilians that were leaving their homes with white flags. -HRW Senior Researcher

  • Amnesty: Israel used flechettes against Gazan civilians. An anti-personnel weapon designed to penetrate dense vegetation, flechettes should never be used in built-up civilian areas.

  • Maryland: Israel forever — Arabs never.

[Tarboush Tip: May, Rachel]

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No Responses to “Today’s Update of Going to Hell in a Handbasket”

  1. War polarizes. Breathe Emily… breathe. Good girl.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 29, 2009, 10:05 am
  2. It’s not a matter of polarization, it’s a matter of disgustingly blatant racism being directly supported by American tax dollars

    Posted by mehmet | January 29, 2009, 10:28 am
  3. i am so utterly shocked and disgusted – what is wrong with these people?! where is the humanity?


    Posted by Anonymous | January 29, 2009, 2:20 pm
  4. what is wrong with these people?! where is the humanity?

    That’s what we’ve been asking for 40 years. Israelis have been handling the Palestinians with soft gloves until now. Compare to how Russia, Turkey or China deal their insurgent provinces. Things are changing. Israeli society is tired of Palestinian terrorism. They are tired of being compassionate to a people who are not willing to end war. They are tired of bombing only to pay for the rebuilding. There is a real conflict on the horizon. When 70% of even Israeli liberals support strong action against Palestinian terror, it is unprecedented.

    Fifteen years ago 90% of Israelis supported giving up West Bank and Gaza and maybe 5% supported ethnic cleansing. Today it’s maybe 30% who support giving up West Bank, and 50% who are willing to consider ethnic cleansing. This is the reality. This is what two decades of endless Palestinian violence have accomplished.

    Continued “resistance” will bring catastrophe to your people. You can scream and shout how unfair and racist and apartheid and blah blah blah, but that will change nothing. It’s not just the Israelis. Everyone is sick of the Palestinians. If Obama fails in 2 state solution, as everyone expects, it is very likely there will be one final war, and large numbers of palestinians will be pushed out into Jordan and Sinai.

    You can congratulate yourself for doing the bidding of the settlers and convincing the Israeli public that there is no other way.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 29, 2009, 3:22 pm
  5. “If Obama fails in 2 state solution, as everyone expects, it is very likely there will be one final war, and large numbers of palestinians will be pushed out into Jordan and Sinai.”

    The problem with that vision is that going that far would destabilize the governments of the oil producing governments in the region. All of the industrialized nations would be upset about that. Israel does not exist in a vacuum.

    Posted by Green Flash | January 29, 2009, 4:03 pm
  6. I didn’t know that anti-Arab sentiment and crimes are on the rise. Now when anti-Semitism (anti-Jewish)is on the rise, you hear about that in the news no prob. The MSM just sucks.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 29, 2009, 8:55 pm
  7. I agree with you. The destabilizing effects can be mitigated to an extent, and both Egypt and Jordan could absorb say a million or so immigrants each. Egypt is a nation of 70 million. Jordan is 4.5 million in a vast country.

    I think if things get that bad, if there is mass violence and heavy handed Israeli reprisals, there will be a lot of natural migration beforehand, which may solve the problem on its own.

    The point is, it doesn’t have to be this way. Israelis did not start wanting to push all the Arabs out. Moshe Dayan could have done this in 67. It wasn’t even considered.

    Every time there is a terror attack on Israel, we hear from pro-Palestinian activists about how we need to understand the terrible conditions created by Israel that led to terrorism.

    It’s time for Palestinians to start thinking about the effects that THEIR actions are having on the Israeli psyche.

    The difference, of course, is that terror attacks against Israel are limited due to limited resources. Israel is not constrained in its freedom of action.

    Pro-Israel activists have been reassuring others for 40 years, if Israel wanted to kill all the Palestinians, it would take a week. Everyone took this as nonsense because it was obviously that the Jews would never do such a thing.

    Time to reevaluate that proposition, not on a level of propaganda, but with realism. There is a consequence to Palestinian actions. There is a gross imbalance of power between the two peoples, and the Jews are not going to keep being attacked indefinitely. It took 8 years with Sderot for public rage to build up. How many times can you turn on the news and hear of rockets destroying homes, or injuring and killing your countrymen, before you slam your fist on the table and say enough is enough.

    This is not a battle of equals, and the Palestinians need to understand there is an entire machinery of modern war that has NEVER been unleashed in them, and could be. Really.

    People like Kabobers are effective at spreading their message to millions around the world. What they are not seeing, however, is that there is a continual increase in frustration at a governmental level, globally, with the Palestinians.

    I was talking to an childhood friend whose parents are involved in French politics. French liberals, who were marching against Israel in the 60s, who never liked Jews, are now nodding their heads to the Gaza war. People are tired of this. Israel is not going anywhere and they are tired of the Palestinians turning the world upside down every time they feel like it because they can’t accept 1948.

    Despite the protests, we are seeing similar reactions in Egypt. I was just reading a BBC article interviewing Egyptians in a coffee shop who said that the Palestinians are their brothers, but they are tired of constantly defending them. Israel is not going anywhere, and why should Egypt be dragged into a war because the Palestinians can’t make an agreement.

    Is all this fair to the Palestinian people, or the Palestinian narrative? No. But it is the reality. Life is not fair, and crunch time is coming.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 29, 2009, 8:58 pm
  8. “Pro-Israel activists have been reassuring others for 40 years, if Israel wanted to kill all the Palestinians, it would take a week… Time to reevaluate that proposition, not on a level of propaganda, but with realism.”

    Step back and think about what you’re saying. That’s madness. So, let’s say Gaza keeps up the rocket attacks a lot longer and instead of 50 people, kills 200 more. Now in response Israel displaces millions of people and racks up death totals in the 100′s of thousands. Once the battle field is clear and the anger has dissipated, Israel will have blood on its hands that just won’t wash off. The rest of the world would be shocked. The West bank and Gaza would become synonymous with names such as Darfur and Rwanda, not just in Muslim circles, but even among nations that are supposed to be your allies.

    Posted by Green Flash | January 29, 2009, 11:32 pm
  9. If Israel goes into Gaza City then it will face a real battle. Haaretz revealed that this is what happened on the final day which is why the offensive was halted. And it is only halted because if Bibi gets in this shit will look like child’s play. So Hamas must not offer a truce at all or accept one unless it is only of a year or so.

    The Israelis are gangsters pure and simple, they only understand force so when they meet force and the bodies start coming across the border, the Palestinian people will be emboldened and strengthened in negotiations and the Israeli public, 80% of which is supporting the aggression anyway, will soon turn against the war.

    If/when the Israelis come to remove Hamas then every man of fighting age should be resisting and every stronghold a death-trap. Otherwise if there ever is a Pal state it will just be a few Bantustans with limited soverginity.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009, 12:42 am
  10. GF, let’s have this conversation. Look at the person who wrote just above this comment. Israel lost 10 soldiers, half of them to friendly fire, over 20 days of war. Meanwhile, it killed hundreds of Hamas fighters and decimated Hamas infrastructure.

    Because the IDF did not finish the job (roughly defined on the Arab street as the removal of the Hamas regime), the Israelis are seen as weak. The Palestinians have been bombed into the stone age. They had years to prepare for the Israeli assault, and the best they could do was kill 5 IDF soldiers, and it is the Israelis that are weak! I am not the one writing this. It is in black and white just above my own words.

    Yes, it is madness. Pure madness. Tell me, how do you respond to this? It’s been two weeks since the bombs stopped falling on Gaza, since the Palestinians were screaming “genocide” and already they are blowing up IDF jeeps patrolling outside 67 borders, launching rockets and taunting for a bigger, bloodier war on the blogs.

    The Palestinians are a defeated people who do not feel defeated. They take pride in this accomplishment, which they see as a result of Israeli weakness. Pride is a motivator. In the case of the Palestinians, pride has motivated them into existential, perpetual war with the Jews, believing that the Jews do not have what it takes to win.

    To show you how insane this notion is, let’s use an example. Imagine Jews taunting Hitler, “your ovens are not big enough for all of us”. Are the Palestinians really concerned about genocide?

    You need to listen to how Palestinians define Israeli victory. If a single Palestinian is standing, they say, Israel has lost. They are speaking in existential terms. They are defining Israeli victory as the extermination of their people. This is their expectation of what war should be, but because this is not how the Jews fight wars, they see no reason to stop fighting.

    As the previous Anon commented, they see the value in a truce that gives them time to rest and rearm. But then war must begin anew, because they see a path to victory through maqawama – perpetual war.

    The core issue, and the reason why Palestinians will never accept a two state solution, is simple. Look at a map.

    The West Bank is surrounded by Israel on one side, and Jordan on the other. One of them is an economic, political and military power, the other isn’t.

    Look at Gaza. To the south it faces a sparsely populated desert, and beyond that a nation of 70 million Egyptians that have their own problems. To the west, the sea, to the north and east, that same economic, political and military power.

    Suppose Israel magically returned to 67 lines. What would this change? The Palestinians are surrounded on all sides, essentially, either by empty useless desert or Israel.

    And to be surrounded by Israel, is to be dominated by Israel. The Palestinian economy today is around $4 Billion. The Israeli economy is approaching $200 Billion. Where will Palestinians get investment capital to build their nation? Even today, you would be surprised how many of the new malls and buildings in Ramallah are being financed by Israeli investors looking for a good return on their money. The Israelis can and will buy everything they want, and with ownership comes control. The Palestinians cannot reciprocate. In a pure, capitalist sense, their economic future is completely controlled by Israel.

    The Israelis have the region’s most robust military forces. What this means is that Palestinians are not allowed to have an army. Of course, they will be allowed to have an “army”, but who would this army fight? Jordan? Essentially the Palestinians will be living under Israel’s military umbrella, or its military boot, depending on circumstances.

    With economic weakness and military weakness comes political weakness. What this means is that no one will ever care what Palestinians think, because Palestinians will never be able to exert power and influence on the world stage.

    In short, a two state solution means inevitable domination by Israel – becoming a captive market for Israeli goods, a source of labor for Israeli companies, having no military or political power and deferring to Israel on everything from water rights to airspace restrictions.

    This is not how a proud people imagined their fates. To accept such a statehood, the Palestinians would essentially have to give up most essentials of statehood in all but name. They would be reduced to petty local governance, always playing second fiddle to Israeli regional or international policy.

    Even in a best case scenario, with Israel withdrawing completely to 67 borders and peace in the land, it changes nothing – the Palestinians will always remain prisoners of geography and Israeli domination.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009, 2:08 am
  11. such pride and arrogance…

    By and large, most people would rather break than bend. They would rather kill for (including themselves), than die for a cause. Suicide does not make one a martyr, being murdered unjustly while pursuing just ends does. In short, martyrdom finds the individual, not the other way around. The weak and supple are the strong. You can beat on water until your arms get sore, but the water will never lose its shape or be damaged. Yet, in the end water can tear down the greatest of mountains.

    Gandhi tossed out the world’s reigning super power with kind words and quiet determination. The greatest warriors win without ever fighting a battle.

    Every man has a right to justice, but no man has a right to vengeance. When hate is met with love, prejudice with acceptance, and violence with kindness; the weak can defeat the strong.

    Posted by Green Flash | January 30, 2009, 3:13 am
  12. My last comment was not to you btw.

    That is a ton to respond to at once.

    “Because the IDF did not finish the job (roughly defined on the Arab street as the removal of the Hamas regime), the Israelis are seen as weak.”

    sticks and stones… How could this possibly matter? They are hoping for a bloody response, firing rockets with no warheads to inflict minimal casualties with maximum annoyance. It’s a drip… drip… drip… water torture to drive the Israelis into a violent frenzy. Hamas sort of blows all the sympathy that they would normally get from the West when their leaders start spewing violent rhetoric, so from my point of view it looks insane.

    “Yes, it is madness. Pure madness. Tell me, how do you respond to this?”

    1) End the blockade for essential goods, thus ending the need for the tunnels.
    2) Make a deal with Egypt, using US pressure to make sure it is adhered to, to end the arms smuggling. This should not be hard for Egypt if the political will was there. It’s a small border with not many people on the other side.
    3) If the Gazans had something to live for they wouldn’t be so eager to die. The ambitious fight instead of work. This is a problem.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009, 3:34 am
  13. The last anon comment (3:34) was mine if you couldn’t tell, forgot to put the name in.

    “The core issue, and the reason why Palestinians will never accept a two state solution, is simple.”

    Yup, and they will become the majority in Israel given enough time, which means, in a democratic country, they would win without fighting. The ointment in the rub here is that even if Israel were down for it, the US do everything in its power to prevent it. 100-200 nuclear weapons in the hands of people who are willing to blow themselves up? That thought would send shivers down the spine of the most liberal of Westerners. Whether it is a fair assessment of the situation or not is another matter entirely.

    Posted by Green Flash | January 30, 2009, 3:46 am
  14. “In short, a two state solution means inevitable domination by Israel -”

    Well… Does Israel completely dominate Jordan or Lebanon in all those ways listed? They are small countries in Israel’s shadow, so to speak. Palestine hasn’t really been given a chance for its economy to flourish independently. Settlers, border restrictions, and check points: these have seriously stunted Palestine’s economic relations with all of its neighbors besides Israel. I guess you could say in the near term this would have to be the case, but saying that this would be a permanent situation is not really fair.

    The settlers really make any sort of separate 2 state solution impossible. If Israel’s politicians tried to remove them, that politician’s career would be ended quickly without accomplishing the goal. The Jew on Jew fighting would turn public opinion quickly if the idea even got to that point. If an American president tried to force it, he may be successful, but there are two factors that would make this improbable:

    1) It would violate the basic way that Washington projects its power in probably THE key region of the world. An explanation of this would be lengthy indeed.

    2) The resulting fallout would be a severe blow to any US politician’s popularity. Probably not fatal for a very popular one, but I don’t see many wanting to stick their necks out for a few million people whose supporters in other countries eagerly burn US flags at the drop of a hat. It’s hard to sympathize with those who declare that you are an enemy.

    Posted by Green Flash | January 30, 2009, 4:34 am
  15. GF, thank you for engaging the conversation. The answer you gave, your response to “how to solve this problem” was, essentially, “if their lives are good, they won’t fight”.

    I don’t know where you are from, but this is an essential Western concept. Your conclusion, basically, is that we can buy them off with greed.

    If they have a house, 2.5 kids, a dog and two cars, they will not start another war to lose all this. This is a very Western concept. We are counting on their greed to control their ambitions.

    In the West, money + power = good life. From a Jewish tradition, this is a concept of Edom, of the West.

    I want you to consider something; that this equation (money+power = good life) does not work with Arabs. Arabs descend from Ishmael. It’s true that everyone wants money and power. But while Edom desires money and power to enjoy life, Ishmael desires money and power as a means to an end – essentially to be the sole purveyor of culture, ideals and practice. It doesn’t mean control through war, although if he could he would.

    Edom doesn’t care what other people do as long as everyone keeps to themselves. He relies on natural human greed to corrupt grand schemes ensure that the world functions predictably.

    Will greed work with Ishmael, with the Arabs? This is essentially what the West is banking on to tamper Islamic radicalism. In fact, all of Western civilization hangs on this issue – will the Arabs get greedy and not wish to start a war that destroys all the cool toys they have acquired.

    I am speaking to you from a Jewish mindset because there is a spiritual undercurrent to everything that’s going on, processes that have been in motion for thousands of years which the Jewish tradition identifies and deals with at their source.


    Will the Palestinians accept a good life as the destination – as Ireland did – or will they merely use newfound power and money to continue the war against Israel?

    I don’t think we know the answer. If it doesn’t work, there is no choice but to remove them from the land or kill them. That is how Semites have always solved such problems. They have never bought each other off as a permanent solution.

    Essentially, what a growing number of people in Israel are saying is, look, we’ve tried to buy them off. That’s what Oslo was. Tens of billions pumped in and for what? We are back where we started. Obama will try to buy them off again. If we can’t buy them off, we must look at other options. We’re tired of getting shot at and bombarded by people who don’t understand our strength, or don’t think we will use it.

    So, your solution is not a new one. There was no blockade of Gaza in 2005. Palestinians used to work in Israeli factories and live better than most Arabs in the Middle East. Clinton paid to help create big industrial zones that could consume Palestinian labor. In the end, when essentially the 2 state solution was on the table, the Palestinians rejected it.

    Of course the Kabobers will protest that the 2 state offered was unfair, the Israelis would retain water rights and require a demilitarized Palestine, etc. It wasn’t unfair. It gave the Palestinians a state, while understanding that they were by far the weaker of the two people and subject to Israeli geopolitical and economic domination. This is what was rejected, but it can be no other way. You need to understand, the reason why the Palestinians rejected this is not because it wasn’t sufficient for a state, but because it wasn’t sufficient of a building block on which to continue to fight Israel. It trapped them in a geopolitical prison from which they could not claim Israel.

    The same two state that Obama will try has already been rejected. Maybe greed will work this time…
    I don’t know, Green Flash. For the sake of preservation of life, I hope so.

    As for your comment regarding demographic pressure, read this research article and let me know what you think. No one on Kabob is willing to discuss it; perhaps you are.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009, 8:20 am
  16. Does Israel completely dominate Jordan or Lebanon

    Absolutely. Look at what hell Israel imposed on Lebanon at the drop of a hat. And it is public knowledge that the Hashemite family in Jordan has been protected by the Israeli military for 40 years.

    If it helps to think about it, consider how the US sees Israel – essentially as a guarantor of stability, to contain Syria, to balance Egypt, to protect Jordan. One small country stabilizes the entire Levant.

    Yes, Israel fights small asymmetric wars with the Palestinians, but to the US they are not consequential from a geopolitical perspective. The only interest the US had in the Lebanon war was that Hezbollah is a projection of Iranian state power – it was basically a proxy war between the US and Iran.

    So, Israel very much is a dominant power in the region. It has not been allowed to expand economically into the Gulf, due to 60 years of boycott, and also 60 years of relative Arab economic weakness. But it will. Israel has the largest non-oil/gas economy of any Arab state, and many of those Arab states have populations five times Israel’s size.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009, 8:33 am
  17. “your response to “how to solve this problem” was, essentially, “if their lives are good, they won’t fight”.”

    Hmmm, well, any population that has been shook up by war for too long will only understand war. War perpetuates itself. As you pointed out there was peace at one time when Palestinians worked at Israeli factories. It’s not inherent in the DNA or psyche. Also a population so dominated by the young will want to fight. Demographics determine the character of a society to a degree. As for the other point about religious over-zealousness. Of course, that’s the root of all these problems. What can be said about it?

    And the paper on demographics, well I can see the desire to flub the numbers on the side of the Palestinians to get more aid, however, the future projections sound suspect. The authors want to project future West Bank birth numbers mostly lower from current trends without sufficient explanation. Why not use the current rate as a medium?

    “Absolutely. Look at what hell Israel imposed on Lebanon at the drop of a hat.”

    Yes, it’s a given that Israel dominates the area militarily.

    Posted by Green Flash | January 30, 2009, 9:57 am
  18. ‘The answer you gave, your response to “how to solve this problem” was, essentially, “if their lives are good, they won’t fight”‘

    Okay, assuming that the non-Muslim view simply will not work. What can break the deadlock?

    Well realistically I see two game-changers to the whole equation.

    1) The oil in the ME will eventually run out or cease to be a political issue of importance. Figuring out how this will turn out depends on predicting society’s attitudes and course decades in the future. However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what would happen if this were the case today.

    2) A “rogue” nation gets the bomb, such as Iran.

    Posted by Green Flash | January 30, 2009, 11:15 am
  19. I think more studies like the one I showed you need to be done – independent demographers need to be brought in to do a real census.

    The conclusions of the study are stunning, and if true, could undermine many of the arguments being used against a one state.

    Think about this, Green Flash. Let’s imagine those numbers are right, and that the demographics will remain at about the same equilibrium as in the last 50 years, with the Jews at about 60% of the population between Jordan and Mediterranean.

    In such a case, why not do a one state? It doesn’t have to happen overnight. Let’s say Israel announces tomorrow a comprehensive, 50 year plan for annexation of West Bank and Gaza, and the integration of their populations and institutions into Israel.

    Everyone is operating on the assumption that Israel can’t digest WB/Gaza at once, and that may be true. But it can be done peacemeal. Village by village, city by city can be connected to the Israeli sewage system, education system, courts, police, civic institutions…

    In the meantime, the Palestinian Authority can continue to administer areas still under its jurisdiction, and prepare them for integration with Israel.

    Think of what such an announcement will do for the Palestinian psyche. If annexation and integration is inevitable, what purpose does terror serve? The competition will become not who kills more Jews, but who prepares better to integrate into Israel.

    50 years is sufficient time for integrating the education system, growing a generation of young people who are prepared to live together. And, of course, it gives plenty of time for everyone who wishes to emigrate to do so as well.

    There will be setbacks, but 50 years is a long time to ride them out and execute the plan, step by step, with clarity for everyone involved about what will happen tomorrow and next week and next month and next year.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009, 12:03 pm

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