From Under A Rock

David Thornton

David Thornton is a freelance writer and professional pilot who has also lived in Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Emmanuel College. He is Christian conservative/libertarian who was fortunate enough to have seen Ronald Reagan in person during his formative years. A former contributor to The Resurgent, David now writes for the Racket News with fellow Resurgent alum, Steve Berman, and his personal blog, CaptainKudzu. He currently lives with his wife and daughter near Columbus, Georgia. His son is serving in the US Air Force. You can find him on Twitter @CaptainKudzu and Facebook.

Related Post Roulette

86 Responses

  1. Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    Posts like this always leave me scratching my head because racial animus isn’t hidden in the US. Yet conservatives refuse to acknowledge it when liberal raise the issue. So welcome to the 21st century I guess?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      You can overcome it so long as you’re not dealing with ignorant people.

      We could fix Gaza with sufficient education.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      It wasn’t a clue when the tiki torch brigade marched outside a synagogue in Charlottesville chanting “The Jews Will Not Replace Us”?

      Were there, really, fine people on both sides?

      I’m not so sure.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        The tiki torch brigade is an interesting thing because while it was openly anti-Semitic and the clear target of the ire was Jews, a lot of the Intersectional Left really seems to like downplaying that aspect and depicting it as a generic white supremacist march. Many times when talking about, they don’t even mention the chant. This is because a lot of them don’t want Jews completely in the non-white column for whatever reason.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Liberals insist that it’s a binary thing. That because racial animus exists, it has to be the dominate issue for all sorts of cultural problems.

      Team Blue virtue signals it’s opposition to something that’s significance has diminished to the point where we have to trust Team Blue’s evaluations for where it’s still hiding.Report

  2. LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    “In the warmest of all hearts, there is too often a cold spot for the Jews”, varyingly attributed to Ben Hecht or Irving Howe.

    People saw anti-Semitism as something that only a few malcontents believed in because they were deeply invested to this for many reasons. American Jews didn’t like the idea that there was something to an illusion to the place that the held in American society. That all their work could disappear in a few seconds. Others thought that focusing too much on anti-Semitism would take away resources and energy from more sources. Plus a few white malcontents is something everybody can agree to hate. When you learn that there is a rainbow coalition of anti-Semites like we did with the women march than a lot of people found that they might have to criticize people they don’t want to criticize. Like writing about Kanye West’s anti-Semitism seemed personally painful to a lot of white liberals.

    The fact is that there are more anti-Semites in the United States than there are Jews in the entire world. Globally there might be tens or hundreds of millions of anti-Semites.Report

  3. LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    One thing that I do notice with anti-Semitism is that there is a tendency to give it the most limited and strictest definition possible while other forms of hatred are given much broader definitions. This allows anti-Semitism from groups the activist left cares about not be anti-Semitism. On the other blog, a poster is arguing that the German Vice-Chancellor stating that Muslims need to distance themselves from anti-Semitism and Hamas is a form of anti-Palestinian racism.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
      Ignored
      says:

      “stating that Muslims need to distance themselves from anti-Semitism and Hamas is a form of anti-Palestinian racism”

      Also: “From the River to the Sea” is a nice statement that should be interpreted as a desire for people to live together in peace.Report

  4. DavidTC
    Ignored
    says:

    “In 2005, in the absence of a land for peace deal with the Palestinians, Israel decided to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza. The Israeli government forcibly removed Jewish residents and left the Gazans to their own devices. Since then, rather than building up their own country for Palestinian Arabs, Hamas has been periodically lobbing missiles and launching other attacks into Israel…”

    Let’s…dissect something, shall we?

    First of all, to clarify, by ‘Jewish residents’, you mean ‘Israelis that had settled there, with Israel’s support, in direct violation of international law about the treatment of occupied territories, as the court had held in 2003’. But that’s not actually the point I’m trying to make, which is about two words, ‘since then’. Let’s look at ‘since then’, because that is a lot of summarizing.

    The official declaration by Israel happened September 21, 2005. They declared Gaza to be no longer under their control, and that entrances and exits were now international border. Gaza was, in some hypothetical sense, an independent nation, although Israel still (In violation of international norms) claimed control of the airspace and water rights. Hamas responded with their typical violent response of…victory parades. Huh. Okay.

    At one of these parades, one of Hamas’ vehicles exploded, killing someone fairly important in Hamas. The facts are thus: An Israeli military helicopter was undeniably in Gaza at the time (Wait, isn’t Gaza supposed to be its own nation now?), witnesses say it was an airstrike, and the IDF denies this. We’re not here to legislate what actually happened, that’s unknowable, let’s keep going because it’s not super important, it didn’t cause much. Hamas responded by firing some rockets at Israel. This wounded some Israeli, and Israel…fired some back, killing some Palestinians. And…that was it. The exchange stopped. Peace settled back in. Whew, that was close.

    It’s worth reminding people that Hamas was _not_ the government at the time, which means…Israel had just done something that, had any other country done it, would be incredibly weird. Palestine had a government at the time, the PA, which was, theoretically, sovereign over that territory. And…mostly trying to work with Israel at the time. But Israel didn’t try to operate as if they were a real country, report rocket attacks to them and demanding they solve this. If some Canadian terrorists shoot at us over the border, are we going to shoot back into Canada…especially that’s going to kill Canadian citizens? Or are we going to start talking to the government? (In fact, would we have been flying military helicopters over Canada without permission to start with?)

    Hmm. It almost looks as if Israel was not, in any manner, going to respect the idea that Gaza was its own nation. But they were quickly no longer shooting at each other, they had a truce even, let’s go forward!

    The next month, a bunch of stuff happens in the West Bank and Islamic Jihad, which theoretically isn’t relevant to this discussion which is about Hamas has done with Gaza…except that Israel, again, bombed Gaza during, which…again, weird to do to a sovereign nation. No response from Hamas, Gaza, or the Palestinian Authority.

    By the end of the year, we have basically nothing that happened from Gaza since the withdrawal, except that short exchange of rockets that ended fairly quickly. And then Hamas wins elections.

    Hamas…immediately does nothing. Nothing continues to happen for five months. Hamas is…apparently trying to be a government. Working stuff out with the Palestinian Authority, trying to build a compromise government, the stuff you have to in parliamentary systems.

    And now it is June 9, 2006. And the thing happens that breaks the truce. Which we all know, of course, it would be really weird to be talking about ‘since then’ with regard to Gaza and Hamas if we didn’t know. This is the point that the fragile peace actually came apart on the Gaza side, the rapid escalation of the war, the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, the entrance of Hezbollah into the fight, etc, all by the end of the month! Everything just immediately disintegrates.

    I’m sorta in a hurry, and this post is going long, so I’ll just end right here, on June 9, 2006, between 4:31 and 4:50 in the afternoon, at the events we know so well.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
      Ignored
      says:

      (I await the rather hilarious correction to my last two paragraphs, which I know are wrong, the peace ended the day before, but it is going to be funny to make anyone explain to me.)Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
      Ignored
      says:

      RE: If some Canadian terrorists shoot at us over the border, are we going to shoot back into Canada…especially that’s going to kill Canadian citizens? Or are we going to start talking to the government?

      We will give the Canadian gov a chance to deal with the issue and if they do not, or can not, then we’ll do it for them. Pissing on your own sovereignty is it’s own reward.

      If we’re talking about an openly genocidal terror group that holds parades down main street then that issue has already been resolved.

      They can be a government whose sovereignty is respected, or they can be a terror group that is at war with it’s neighbors. They can’t be both of those things. Every time they put a bomb on a bus filled with civilians they’re giving permission to Israel to kill them if they can’t have them arrested, and they can’t have them arrested because they’re too popular.

      In an ideal world everyone would sit down and have a peace deal, but they keep tripping over the part where they have to give up killing Jews. As the saying goes, they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        We will give the Canadian gov a chance to deal with the issue and if they do not, or can not, then we’ll do it for them. Pissing on your own sovereignty is it’s own reward.

        And…Israel…did…not…give them the chance.

        If we’re talking about an openly genocidal terror group that holds parades down main street then that issue has already been resolved.

        Really? So, if some Neo-Nazis holds a parade, someone is allowed to bomb us?

        They can be a government whose sovereignty is respected, or they can be a terror group that is at war with it’s neighbors. They can’t be both of those things. Every time they put a bomb on a bus filled with civilians they’re giving permission to Israel to kill them if they can’t have them arrested, and they can’t have them arrested because they’re too popular.

        How about instead of analogies, we talk about the actual events that happened, where Israel quite possibly blows up a parade, or at least looks like they are blowing up a parade because they are somewhere they legally should not be, and the response is…some missiles are shot at them from Not The Government, which injures a few people, and the entire world is now wondering how Israel is going to respond to this new independent-…and they’re shooting back at at Gaza.

        That was the place for Israel to prove it was serious about disengaging from Gaza, and it instantly failed. If that’s the _threshold_ of Israeli’s violence response, it was instantly clear that Gaza _could never_ meet it. One jackass with a homemade missile (Or Islamic Jihad, an Iranian controlled group.) can cause Israel to kill Palestinian civilians. But that actually wasn’t my point.

        My point was, even after that slight rocket exchange, the peace held. Hamas got elected to office, and tried to be peaceful. It even backed off from previous rhetoric as much as it could politically, offered a ten year agreement to stop fighting with Israel if Israel would withdraw from the West Bank also, and that was on top of the ceasefire that the Palestine Authority had negotiated before Hamas was elected, which Hamas honored. There was peace in early 2006…in Gaza, at least, and from Hamas. The West Bank was still having a problem with Islamic Jihad, but as the West Bank was still under Israeli control, including policing, that really seemed more like failure of Israel than the nation of Palestine, which was well on its way to existing.

        Then a thing happened. That thing I was joking about was the June 9 2006 explosion on a beach in Gaza that killed a family while trying to blow up some rockets that Islamic Jihad fired the previous day. Israel denied (It was a lie, everyone agrees) they did caused that specific explosion. But to simplify, let’s rewind to why those rockets were being fired, because that was the actual break of the peace. The prior day, Israel had assassinated Jamal Abu Samhadana, a Hamas leader that was part of the government. And three other government members.

        Um, okay. An assassination during a truce. So…was that in response to anything Hamas did? Um…no. Nothing had happened. Israeli claimed that Samhadana was ‘planning an attack’, but, um, there’s not any evidence of this, and also…you still don’t get to do that. Countries are actually allowed to plan attacks against other countries, we do it all the time. There’s an interesting argument under international law where ‘pre-emptive’ attacks become legal, but…that’s ‘troops are massing on the border in clear prep’, not ‘writing a plan down’.

        Samhadana’s appointment to the government by Hamas was already extremely controversial because he was, indeed, an unrepentant terrorist who had repeatedly said he was at endless war with the Jews, and the rest of the Palestinian government was already challenging his appointment and making an attempt to control the situation. This sorta would have been the first real attempt for Palestine to break away from the past, to see if Hamas would stay within the framework of peace that they had so far, etc, etc…oh Israel is just going to kill him with a rocket, instead.

        Surely that will tamp things down. You know, the same way that blowing up a Hamas parade would.

        Israel showed, time and time again, it was willing to break any peace due to the _slightly_ level of violence even vaguely in their direction (Which, of course, cannot magically be controlled by Palestine…Islamic Jihad is controlled by _Iran_.), and even _not_ actual violence here, just vague assertions of ‘planning an attack’. Same with the Hamas parade that they probably did really blow up.

        Which broke the peace and all progress that had been made towards an actual Palestinian government.

        They sit there and work out peace deals, and then think that somehow they can still kill ‘terrorists’ that are part of the organizations they worked out peace deals with, or bomb Hamas, or lobe weapons at the place they have the treat with in response to random people there shooting at them, and that won’t count as breaking the peace. Which, surprise, isn’t the way it works _anywhere_.

        Countries have to have, for lack of a better word, a _buffer_, when bad things happen from another country. Sometimes people in the rather lawless Palestine brand-new-country will shoot rockets at you, and if you are treating them like an actual nation, you have to work through channels, if that fails, you have some way to apply pressure that is not launching rockets, you build up to a response, perhaps an embargo, not just ‘I will shoot rockets and kill a bunch of their civilians’. Which is what Israel, historically, does. And sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and take it so you don’t have an actual war.

        Israel attacked the USS Liberty in 1967, killing 34 crewmen and wounding 171 more. Do you know what _our_ response to that was? Well, we didn’t bomb them, we said ‘What the hell?’, and they said ‘Wait, what? That was you? We thought it was Egypt.’, and everyone investigated. That’s how actual rational actors behave. Maybe Israel could have helped deal with Islamic Jihad, which I remind everyone is _Iran_, not Palestine.

        No. Israel does not act like that, and Hamas gave up on the idea of them acting like that almost two decades ago. Well, no, I lie, Hamas _still_ thinks Israel will act more rationally than they are acting…Hamas assumed Israel would show at least _some_ caution towards the hostages they took, instead of firing wildly towards them both during the initial hostage taking and afterward where they are blowing up everywhere they think Hamas is, aka, where Hamas would logically have the hostages.

        Hamas are violent fanatics now, and need to be destroyed, but that is a response to Israel being a goddamn lunatic on a hair trigger that anyone can set off, and once you do that, no matter who you are or what is going on, Israel will promptly…murder a bunch of Palestinian civilians in response. Like clockwork.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
          Ignored
          says:

          RE: And…Israel…did…not…give them the chance.

          ??? Who exactly should Israel “give a chance” here? Is it reasonable to expect Hamas, whose purpose is killing Jews, to arrest someone for killing Jews?

          RE: Really? So, if some Neo-Nazis holds a parade, someone is allowed to bomb us?

          If they’re actively killing people and we refuse to do anything about it because we want that, then yes. However this is failed state territory. We have extradition laws and Neo-Nazis who kill people are arrested.

          A better comparison would be a parade of active members of Al-Quida or ISIS, and yes we bombed them for exactly this reason. If the gov has a monopoly on the use of force then they don’t tolerate groups committing acts of war against other countries. If they don’t have that monopoly or refuse to use it then they’re inviting acts of war against themselves.

          RE: If that’s the _threshold_ of Israeli’s violence response, it was instantly clear that Gaza _could never_ meet it.

          If we’re talking about 2005 then Hamas had a history of blowing up buses of civilians by then. And if it’s unfair and unreasonable to think buses of Jewish civilians should be spared from terror attacks then keep in mind we’d go to war over something like that.

          Hamas got elected to office, and tried to be peaceful. It even backed off from previous rhetoric as much as it could politically, offered a ten year agreement to stop fighting with Israel if Israel would withdraw from the West Bank…

          I was following this issue at the time. If memory served, Hamas shocked everyone, including themselves, and the world paused. Gaza’s budget came from Israel and the West. We’re weren’t going to pay them to kill Jews. The West went to Hamas and said they were going to have to choose. We were willing to forgive everything they’d done and keep funding Gaza if they’d give up terrorism.

          They flirted with the idea but couldn’t do that. They resolved to continue as they had.

          A ten year truce where we pay them to arm up and get better at killing Jews when it ends is a non-starter. Yes, eventually Israel blew up someone but the issue on whether or not they’d continue to be a terror group was resolved before then.

          RE: This sorta would have been the first real attempt for Palestine to break away from the past, to see if Hamas would stay within the framework of peace that they had so far…

          Well then it’s very unfortunate that they couldn’t actually bring themselves to say they were done with terror attacks. Why do you think the “unrepentant terrorist who had repeatedly said he was at endless war with the Jews” was even slightly interested in peace?

          Shouldn’t Israel have looked at his appointment as a sign that they’re not actually interested in peace and are just getting ready for the next round of fighting?

          RE: That’s how actual rational actors behave.

          Rational actors don’t dance in the streets when children are set on fire, attempt to undo a war that’s been over for 74 years, or elect openly genocidal terror groups to office. If they want to be treated as rational actors and set up channels and such, that would be wonderful.

          But if the basic concept of not killing Jews is so controversial that they can’t say that in public or even promise it to the foreign governments who are funding them, then no one should be expecting rationality. They had a history of murdering civilians and even have a large political/industrial/financial setup making that happen. When asked if we should expect the killing to continue they answered yes.

          RE: Hamas are violent fanatics now

          Hamas have always been violent fanatics. They stop blowing up buses when someone makes them stop or they figure the cost/benefit in blood isn’t good.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            ??? Who exactly should Israel “give a chance” here? Is it reasonable to expect Hamas, whose purpose is killing Jews, to arrest someone for killing Jews?

            That wasn’t who was in charge of Gaza at the time, Dark. This was before that. The only reason I brought that up was that a) if I hadn’t, someone would have questioned my recounting of histry, and b) to show that Israel was _never_ serious about treating Gaza as a independent county.

            But, again, what happened her is that Palestine, even Hamas, restrained itself. In fact, this is also the point in time that the PA asked Hamas to drop driving around carrying machine guns, and Hamas said yes and stopped. It was right here that things could stopped, an actual peace, which did actually happen.

            Until _Israel_ broke that peace by assassinating a Hamas leader months later.

            This is, incidentally, not the only time. You get hung up in Yasser Arafat not signing a deal, do you remember what happened after that, why one never happened?

            Soon after that had stalled, Ariel Sharon made a visit to the Al-Aqsa compound on Temple Mount in Jerusalem (A major point of dispute in the deal) for no reason but to provoke Palestine. That started the Second Intifada, which…didn’t actualyl break the peace either. Israel then elected Ariel Sharon to office, someone who did not want to deal with the peace process at all. And didn’t try. He…had Yasser Arafat confined.

            The situation would not normalize until 2005…see above, where Israel breaks the peace again a scant year later.

            There’s a loop, of Israel sometimes pretending to make offers, do things, and Palestine might be settling down and trying to build a system…and just just when it looks like there be some progress, _Israel_ does something. Recently, they’ve just kinda stuck with illegal settlements.

            It’s an incredibly noticable pattern once you look at the actual history, and that’s because there’s a pretty significant faction within Israeli politices who does not want to solve this problem…or, rather, thinks the only acceptable situation is to control all Palestnian land.

            A better comparison would be a parade of active members of Al-Quida or ISIS, and yes we bombed them for exactly this reason.

            Do you not understand how wars end? They end when both side stop fighting and agree to let what happened in the past go, or, at least, allowing some sort of judical process to deal with it. Countries that are peacefully withdrawing do not come back the next day and blow up victory parades.

            Shouldn’t Israel have looked at his appointment as a sign that they’re not actually interested in peace and are just getting ready for the next round of fighting?

            The fact that literally no terrorist attack had come from Gaza or Hamas ever since Gaza had been released should have been taken as an indication that maybe Israel should do the same to the West Back.

            Rational actors don’t dance in the streets when children are set on fire, attempt to undo a war that’s been over for 74 years, or elect openly genocidal terror groups to office.

            …undo a war? You realize…they are still under occupation, right? The war is not over.

            Honestly, at this point, you are literally just repeating propaganda, mostly because you don’t seem to understand that Israel has been doing the exact same thing.

            In fact, you keep defending that.

            In fact, this is an exceptionally surreal statement: Rational actors don’t dance in the streets when children are set on fire

            …have you checked out Tiktok? Have you seen what Israelis have been doing? Dancing and mocking Palestinian casualties.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
              Ignored
              says:

              1st) Agreed, there are Israeli politicians who either don’t want peace, or who don’t see it as possible. Benjamin Netanyahu for example.

              2nd) The US also isolated Arafat. He seemed to be agreeing with whoever was in the room with him be they US gov or terrorist. We reached the conclusion that it was pointless to talk to him.

              3rd) Israel and Gaza didn’t have “peace”. Words have meaning, let’s use the right ones. They had a lack of active attacking, i.e. an ongoing cease fire.

              In the context of the official gov policy being that they were going to resume terrorism, it’s reasonable for Israel to act against people who had a history of creating dead bodies before they created more.

              Hamas was given the time and opportunity to decide if that was really, seriously, what they wanted as their official policy. With the West offering “donations” and “aid”, what in other situations we’d call bribes, they still couldn’t decide to become a government rather than a terror group.

              4th) This pattern of Israel provoking the other side both is, and is not, a thing. Israel is always doing things that the Arabs consider provocation.

              IMHO many of these peace opportunities are media created illusions. Drama to get eye clicks. Both sides can point to [some reason] why [this round of violence] is the other side’s fault.

              The big opportunities are rarer and come every few years at best. We can have a decade or two pass without them.

              We wondered if Hamas winning an election was an opportunity. They made it clear it wasn’t. Then Israel broke the cease fire because the unreformed anti-Jew absolutist was getting gov resources to do his thing. Israel gets to claim that he was plotting to kill Jews because he was always plotting to kill Jews, that was his job.

              The opportunity for peace was over when Hamas made it clear they weren’t interested. Insisting that they were lying and really did want peace is just not dealing with reality.Report

  5. pillsy
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s also worth pointing out that Israeli possession of the occupied territories isn’t colonization.

    This is arguably true post-2005… if you don’t count the West Bank, and the ongoing expansion of settlements there, along with the accompanying displacement and violence of Palestinians living there.

    This is a bizarre blindspot on the part of most pro-Israel people.

    I mean it’s not like it’s a unique feature of the pro-Israel side. You certainly have an opposite, equally bizarre, and even more odious blind spot towards the fact that Hamas poses a genuine security threat towards Israel, which they proved to the tune of 1400 dead just under a month ago.

    Usually attempts to point this out are answered with a deep dive into something that happened in Mandatory Palestine in 1929, which are of course extremely relevant and justify anything and everything.Report

    • pillsy in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      Also, it’s a little weird to point to the assassination of Sadat as a reason that Arab leaders are unwilling to consider peace while ignoring the impact that the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin had on Israel less than 20 years later.

      Or the fact that one of the driving motives for the recent Hamas atrocities was derailing seemingly imminent normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

      I’m mostly picking on Mr Thornton here because he wrote this front page article, and this means that I keep coming back to the weird distortions you get from pro-Israel voices that are necessary to cast decades of Israeli abuses in the Occupied Territories as entirely legitimate security policies made in the face of Arab intransigence, but the I-P discourse is very much an existence proof for BSDI.

      The motives of the actual protagonists of the conflict are not compatible with the ideals of the Western Left (for Hamas) or the Western Center and Right (for Israel), so everybody ends up editing reality in ways that let them pretend otherwise.

      In the case of the Western Left [1], this editing often stumbles, and sometimes gleefully dives, into anti-Semitism.

      [1] And a fringe of weirdo paleocons, but these days the Far Right is pretty cool with the idea of all the Jews moving to the Levant and engaging in mutual slaughter with Muslims.Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to pillsy
        Ignored
        says:

        Arab intransigence creates a power and policy vacuum.

        It’s very challenging to hold the land needed for peace with them for decades when they’re so good at proving that peace isn’t an option. That opens the door to making Israeli groups happy by letting them develop the land. Granted, it make peace harder, but since peace is already impossible that’s not changing anything.

        If they’d accepted peace before or after 1949, or before or after 1967, or any of the other times then that vacuum would be filled and “their land” wouldn’t be subjected to internal Israeli politics. It’s also true that every peace deal offered is probably worse than the one before it.

        Further, dealing with terror groups hiding among civilians is going to create problems. These various walls that Israel has built cause massive economic damage to the Palestinians, but they also keep Jews alive. Terrorism causes poverty.Report

        • pillsy in reply to Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          Egypt (which owned Gaza prior to the Six Days War) is at peace with Israel. They even got the Sinai Peninsula back, as described in Mr Thornton described.

          They have also been helping Israel blockade Gaza for almost 20 years.

          The “land for peace” thing with the Arab states mostly happened already, and it left the West Bank under Israeli occupation and Gaza as a sorta-independent, perpetually-blockaded enclave run by a terrorist gang.[1]

          So we’re left with a question of Palestinian intransigence in the face of a potential deal to give them the land they are already mostly living on, and, well, it’s not like there hasn’t been a ton of that, from the Second Intifada to the ongoing existence and dominance of Hamas, but it’s far from only that.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      One of the truths we aren’t allowed to acknowledge is that Gaza would be *MUCH* better off if they were a legit colony of (insert not particularly short list of other countries here). If their governance was outsourced to non-Palestinians, they might have a shot at stuff like “maintaining greenhouses”.

      Left to their own devices, they’ll do stuff like turn infrastructure into single-use weaponry.Report

      • pillsy in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        We have a natural experiment in the form of the West Bank, and I don’t think it really backs you up.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          Really? I tend to think that The West Bank is capable of greenhouse maintenance. Sure, when the embassy moved, they got a little rowdy, but The West Bank is a good argument for why the Palestinians need self-governance and pretty good evidence for why Israel needs to change.

          Gaza? Nobody wants Gaza.Report

        • pillsy in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          For real Israel is hell-bent on destroying Hamas because Hamas murdered over a thousand Israelis and kidnapped hundreds more.

          But Israel was mostly content to leave Hamas in place before that, and keep turning that infrastructure into single-use weaponry as long as the weaponry didn’t work terribly well.

          Israel doesn’t have (or, crucially, need) a more high-minded justification to wage war on Hamas than ensuring that Hamas can’t massacre more Israelis.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
            Ignored
            says:

            If Israel pulled out of The West Bank entirely, Gaza-style, we would see videos of crying Palestinians moving back into their old houses. We’d see children eating ice cream in the streets. And you know what? We’d see tourists there months later and, more’s the point, we’d see *ISRAELIS* there months later.

            Hey. There’s a need for tourism, there’s a need for commerce, and not having Israelis there is leaving money on the table.

            Gaza? Man. Gaza.Report

          • DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
            Ignored
            says:

            “Israel was mostly content to leave Hamas in place before that…”

            a surprising direction from which to hear a call to genocidal colonization, thisReport

      • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Psst, Jaybird: The greenhouse thing is Israeli propaganda. In fact, we knew the truth at one point, and then somehow internalized Israeli propaganda: https://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/propaganda-dehumanize-palestinians/

        So what actually happened: Something like half of the greenhouses were destroyed by the Israeli settlers before they left.

        What remained was looted of minor equipment, water pumps and sheeting and stuff, but that quickly replaced and the greenhouses that had not been destroyed by Israelis were operational that year, in a well-funded plan to export a bunch of food. After..those greenhouses had already been producing food.

        And…the entire program basically failed to work because Israel failed to operate a reliable border crossing. Repeatedly closing the one they had to use. Fresh produce was dumped out, food spoiled, etc. Weirdly, the IDF _admitted_ there was no security-related reason to close that border crossing. It’s hard to see why this plan, which had been carefully set up, was not working except that Israel did not want it too.

        By the next year, there was no money to pay anyone. Oh, and also…security not changing, the same border crossing which had been shut down was now…very open.

        (Fun fact, I just googled that to find a news article about it, and got a news article about Israeli settlers _currently_ destroying _Palestinian_ greenhouses.)

        I urge people in this discussion, when you think you know things about events, to go…check the actual facts. Cause…there is a _lot_ of Israeli propaganda that has made it into the minds of older Americans, which is one of the reasons there is such a giant disconnect between the young and the old on this.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
          Ignored
          says:

          Unfortunately, when I google, I find stuff like Al-Jazeera repeating Israel’s propaganda.

          This isn’t just Camera, a known propaganda outlet, saying it. This is, like, Al-Jazeera. (Who, granted, are also known for showing off the Israeli propaganda of Hamas tunnels being awesome and Hamas awesomely turning water pipes into rockets.)Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            … The very first line of that points out it’s 70 acres out of about a thousand, I kind of doubt that would have had a serious impact on anything.

            Moreover, the project had already failed at that point. That was in February 2006, and it was shut down the very next month, not because of looting, but because the Israelis would not allow food to be exported through the border crossing because of made up reasons.

            That’s literally why the greenhouses were empty and unprotected, there were no workers and the security wasn’t being paid. Because, again, they had stopped making any money, or in fact never had.

            That isn’t the failure of a project, that is an already failed project being pulled down for scrap.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
              Ignored
              says:

              Propaganda ain’t what it used to be.

              Or maybe it always wandered through “that didn’t happen” through “that only happened in a couple of places” into “it would have happened no matter what”.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The claim of the propaganda is ‘Palestinians looted and damaged the project so it didn’t work. That’s literally what you claimed, that they couldn’t ‘maintain greenhouses’.

                The actual thing that happened was ‘Israelis destroyed half the greenhouses before Palestinians could take it over, small amounts of looting happened due to Israel walking away before the Palestinian Authority could get security in place, the project managed to start anyway, failed to bring in enough income to actually pay the workers because of deliberate Israeli action, and the resulting useless greenhouses were looted when the project couldn’t afford to protect them’.

                You see those are two very different things, one of them a deliberate attempt to paint the Palestinians as being unable to function in a civilized way, and the other something done to them? You get that, right?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Replying to DavidTC,

                I see it as economic damage caused by conflict with your chief trading partner.

                One of the problems that humanitarian aid or economic development people face in this situation is they often run into security people who are standing on chokepoints and don’t give a fish about anything other than security.

                The amount of security gained might be small or even non-provable, the amount of economic damage high, but that’s what happens anyway. That’s in addition to deliberate economic war.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, that *TECHNICALLY* happened, but it was the fault of the Israelis and would have succeeded without their interference?

                Man, it must suck that this well came pre-poisoned, huh?Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I mean, it’s entirely possibly that this failed due to legitimate security concerns, I just wanted it on the record that the failure was not due to ‘Palestinians looting like animals’, which is Israeli propaganda, it was due to the inability to get good to market, which caused a failure of the business plan.

                Although, for the record, it’s incredibly suspicious that the next year, after it failed, that border crossing was kept open instead of randomly closed for long periods of time.

                Of course, as we were talking about in another thread, tensions and violence actually were pretty low in Gaza that entire time, from the freeing of Gaza in September 2005 all the way until June 2006, when Israel assassinated a top-level Hamas member and things went to hell.

                So it seems weird there were security concerns (Which never materialized) at that crossing from September 2005 until the project folded entirely due to lack of money April 2006, but those security concerns went away right after that.

                The other thing that happened right after that (Well, right before the very end of that.) was that, um…Hamas took office at the end of March 2006. And it really seems if there actually were real security concerns rather than just deliberate economic activity, that’s when they would have _started_, not ended. Or in June, when things actually did fall apart and I would understand entirely if the project had legitimately failed at that point due to border crossing issues.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, that *TECHNICALLY* happened, but it was the fault of the Israelis and would have succeeded without their interference?

                …do you think it wouldn’t have? Those greenhouses were already growing crops and shipping them to Israel before that, the plan was to buy them from Israeli illegal settlers who were being forced out by the Israeli government (Which only worked about halfway as about half the greenhouses were destroyed by said settlers on the way out) and do exactly the same thing with Palestinians.

                Are you asserting that Palestinians do not know how to grow food?

                As that article I linked to makes clear, everything worked except ‘getting the produce to Israel’, which suffered absurd inexplicably delays at the border crossing to the point it spoiled and people had to throw it out.

                Man, it must suck that this well came pre-poisoned, huh?

                No, Israel poisoning wells is a different thing, a long-standing allegations that was recently proven to have happened: https://israelpalestinenews.org/water-weapon-israeli-hands-ethnic-cleansing/

                I know, it’s easy to confuse the different ways that Israel randomly harms Palestinians in an attempt to drive them off their land. That actually happened way back in 1948, though, as part of the _original_ removal of Palestinians from their land, whereas the ‘destroying greenhouses’ happened because the Israeli government was letting Palestinians _back_ onto their land in 2005 and individual Israelis were not happy with it. Hope that clears things up.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Not just Israeli propaganda, Al-Jazeera!

                Which also provided a fun “pipeline rocket” pipeline documentary as well as one covering the tunnels used by Hamas.

                I’d be more than happy enough to say that the Israelis spun this to their own advantage. That’s great.

                The problem is when the principled opponents of the Israelis spin stuff, they agree on stuff like “yeah, there was looting, yeah, the greenhouse thing sort of collapsed…” and that’s from the people spinning *FOR* the Palestinian government!

                I’m not saying that the people of Gaza shouldn’t have bad blood or anything like that. I am, instead, saying that I am willing to take their cutting off their own noses to spite their face at face value.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You two should start this as a new thread so the reply button works.Report

  6. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    I touched on this earlier, but one of the oddities in history is that some of the isolationist arguments against the war were the very obvious facts that Britain and France were brutal colonial occupiers, guilty of everything that Israel stands accused of today.
    And so the argument went, why should a republican America come to the aid of empires?

    I’m seeing a lot of that, where people just repeatedly point out the crimes Israel has committed, then rest their case, as if the conclusion is obvious.

    Except, it isn’t obvious at all. Condemning Israel doesn’t do any work to help us figure out what course of action to take.

    Its a lazy argument, a close cousin to the equally lazy “pox on both houses’ argument which is usually uttered by the drunk at the end of the bar, or the dudebro on his third bong.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      People who condemn Israel believe that the argument against Israel or Zionism is so strong, that they don’t understand why the world doesn’t sweep down and do something about Israel once and for all and make all the settler-colonists go home.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        Treating Israel as we would treat any other nation has benefits for both Israelis and Palestinians.

        We can acknowledge the injustices Israel has committed, but that also allows us to treat the Palestinians as we would treat any of the oppressed group, that their demands for autonomy and self-determination come with expectations of liberal tolerance.

        We can also judge the Israeli war effort on the same yardstick we judge the Allied war effort, e.g., maybe THIS airstrike was defensible, but maybe THAT one wasn’t, even as we acknowledge the overall war is legitimate.

        In other words, doing this gives us some clear rational means to create policy rather than an endless game of whattaboutery.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          That. That exactly.

          Now I’m not sure what happens when the oppressed group refuses to accept a statehood if it means they have to give up terrorism. War probably.

          Israel sets boarders. They’ve got a number of micro areas inside of Israel now that are Palestinian but would be awkward to absorb. I guess they need to either force settlers to leave or buy off Palestinians.

          Then they leave, like they did in Gaza.

          And then are we willing to back Israel when war breaks out like it has in Gaza? Maybe we end up with more boarder shifting?Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          The problem is that large chunks of the world do not want to treat Israel as a normal state and don’t treat Israel as a normal state. This includes Muslim majority countries and Pro-Palestinian activists in the West.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Condemning Israel doesn’t do any work to help us figure out what course of action to take.

      I have a course of action for Israel. It’s actually a pretty obvious course of action. It would have been much easier a year ago, but it would work now.

      Step #1: Withdrawal all settlements from the West Bank and Jerusalem and _turn it over to someone else_. Anyone else, although Jordan is probably the best choice. I remind people that Israel and Jordan are on pretty good terms, the only reason their relationship is ever really strained is the tensions at Temple Mount/al-Aqsa Mosque, which Jordan is in charge of religiously but Israel is in charge of security. (Obviously, write out a formal agreement about access to parts of that area by Jews before turning it completely over. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds, they literally already have an agreement as to who is allowed where, all that needs to change is Jordan is enforcing it instead of Israel.)

      Step #2: Turn all West Bank Palestinians in custody over to whoever they handed it to.

      And it’s about here that people are going to start objecting that Palestine isn’t doing anything yet, but I don’t care. Israel has completely failed to meet it obligations under international law to help create a government in the territories it occupies, and someone else needs to come in and do it, and Jordan is right there, has run the place before, and is fairly trusted and behaved honestly for decades. This is not some sort of deal making, this is _fixing the problem_.

      Those two things, by themselves, would instantly uncut a huge amount of the support of the militants. And in probably five years, we might have a functioning West Bank that can actually be a real government, and becomes independent.

      Except that’s not where we can stop, because we still have Gaza, and that problem can’t be solved the same way, because the country there is Egypt, and…Egypt is nowhere near as trustworthy.

      But there is a solution. The solution is step #3: attach it to the West Bank, let Jordan run it. Build a travel corridor, it’s not unheard of for non-contiguous countries to have treaty-delimited travel corridors through other countries. When you need to cross things and yet keep them separate, you build bridges, which is a bit awkward when you try to pretend a bridge crossing is one country and the part under the bridge is in a different one, but it is workable and has been done. The entire thing secured by both Jordan and Israel.

      This would…almost instantly depopulate Gaza, because no one wants to live there, it’s way too small, and also Israel just blew a lot of the housing up. But luckily, the West Bank has housing.

      Now, there are some weird legal implications of this. First, I don’t _think_ anyone needs the Palestinian’s permission for this. Israeli is an occupying power and I _think_ they can turn all rights and duties over to someone else who will do those instead, without asking the population. Or perhaps they just have to ask the UN. This is…hilariously kinda screwed up by Israel pretending that Gaza is somehow an independent country, but most experts in international law point out that…legally didn’t make sense, that isn’t how you do that, so we can just pretend it didn’t happen.

      Israeli probably should have to _pay_ Jordan to administer this, but…we probably shouldn’t even try that, get the Arab League to pay for it as PR.

      But now…we end up with Hamas still the elected government of the internal political division that is Gaza. This is probably not workable…OTOH, it is somewhat solvable as there have no been elections in almost two decades on either half of Palestine, so elections are clearly needed, and Jordan should run those as quickly as possible.

      I don’t know what will happen at that point, Palestine will probably take a while to get straightened out, but the important thing is that Israel is _out of it_, and thus everything falls away on the militant side.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        The one objection to this plan, of course, is that Jordan might not be willing to do it and we’d have to find someone else. Which…almost certainly can’t be the US, who have been building he bombs that have been dropped on them for decades. So you need a) country that has good relations with Israel, aka, one Israel will trust, and b) one that the Palestinians will accept.

        Although B is perhaps a bit easier than people thing, as the comparison would be _Israel_. Almost any Arab country would work.

        The problem is A, because all those Arab nations that have recently normalized relationships with Israel are coming under massive public pressure to, uh, denormalize them. Because of Israel’s current actions.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC
          Ignored
          says:

          Implicit in your proposal is the willingness of the Palestinians to submit to this peaceably.

          Which they might, but its worth noting that this sort of arrangement is not one put forward by either the Jordanians or Palestinians.

          Is this a case of projecting our own desires onto other people and assuming they share them?Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Implicit in your proposal is the willingness of the Palestinians to submit to this peaceably.

            The Palestinians in general as _people_ won’t have a problem. I can’t predict the future, but there’s no reason they would.

            The question for the ones in the West Bank would be ‘Is Jordon better than Israel for this?’, and there is no possible way they’d answer no to that. Israeli settlers in the West Bank are, with the tacit support of the IDF, murdering Palestinians and driving them from their homes right now. Get the settlers out of there and put someone in charge who won’t allow that? Won’t allow settlements at all? The reaction will be ‘Sign me up!’

            Especially since, unlike Israel who has political incentive to string things out as long as possible because they are (and have always been) trying to get that land for themselves, Jordan…doesn’t.Which means Jordan will be willing to set up a new government as fast as they can. I point to the fact that that Palestinians took twenty years to actually pissed off enough at Israel to start the First Intifada. I rather suspect Jordan would be a lot faster.

            So the West Bank plan is rather obviously fine. There is still a government there, the Palestinian Authority, remember? It’s seen as very much in the pocket of Israel, so is not well liked, but…if Jordan switches in, it won’t be. Plus, again…there should be new elections anyway.

            I guess the question is ‘Will this work for Gaza too, or would Hamas reject it?’, as this, technically, would result in less power for Hamas, as they are nominally running the place, and this would require a step back to let Jordan run it.

            And I think the answer to that is ‘Build the connection to the West Bank, or, heck, just run a bunch of buses, and see how many people remain in Gaza to start with?’

            What Hamas is doing falls entirely apart if what Jordan should be doing in the West Bank works. They might still try to retain power, but the people won’t support them. A _huge_ chunk of their support is from the Israeli occupation, and a lot of it is just…expressed as antisemitism at this time. You put Arabs in charge of the West Bank, actually working to make a real country, and the people in Gaza will go ‘We want that’.

            Hamas is, of course, a terrorist organization that doesn’t actually care what the people want, but it does _require_ their support to continue to exist. So will either wither…or decide they’re find with Jordan, and try to remake themselves into something else.

            And before anyone goes ‘But what stops Hamas from moving to the West Bank’…nothing, but they have no legal protection of being the government there, and Jordon will arrest them if they commit crimes. Just like they are going to have to do with Islamic Jihad, because Iran will not like this plan _at all_, and Islamic Jihad will do everything they can to stop it.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Matt Y pointed this out a lot. Pro-Palestinian activists in the West impute their values onto the Palestinians when the Palestinians themselves make it perfectly clear that by Palestinian state, they mean either an Arab Palestinian ethnostate or an Islamic republic or some combination of both.Report

          • pillsy in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            It’s MattY’s Middle East Peace Plan.

            Once the Israelis and Palestinians all completely change their preferences, a solution is trivial!Report

        • pillsy in reply to DavidTC
          Ignored
          says:

          The one objection to this plan is that it’s not a plan, it’s a wish, which depends on every involved actor suddenly deciding to would be call if everybody just got along.

          It’s MattY’s Middle East Peace Plan, but unironically.

          Which, well, if they wanted to do that, they would have done it a long time ago.Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        Three large issues:

        1) Israel is the most powerful military there. Them pulling out will create a power vacuum and probably empower the militants.

        I think we’d instantly have a civil war between the PA, Hamas, and Jordan. If the wrong side wins the war we could see Hamas or something like it establish a terror state.

        I can’t find a link, but one of my news feeds claimed Jordan said it would consider it to be an act of war if they were given Gazan refugees.

        2) That’s over and above the problem that Israel will keep some of the land. They’re not going to force hundreds of thousands of Jews to move, so they’d pull out of some of the land but there are serious facts on the ground that don’t match the 1967 boarders.

        Are we cool with Israel unilaterally imposing boarders?

        3) What happens after this is tried and the results are closer to Gaza than peace?

        We see either an ugly war or just terror attacks, do we bless Israel going in with it’s army to deal with the West Bank like it is Gaza?Report

        • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          I think we’d instantly have a civil war between the PA, Hamas, and Jordan. If the wrong side wins the war we could see Hamas or something like it establish a terror state.

          There is no real reason that PA would object to Jordanian control instead of Israeli control. I know they’re seen as in the pocket of Israel, but it is entirely practicality. If Israel said ‘We’re putting Jordan in charge’, they’d be ecstatic.

          And we’ve _already had_ a civil war between Hamas and PA, or rather, Hamas and the other groups that were elected into the PA, like Fatah. They were at odds with each other for years, with a stopgap agreement that Hamas controlled Gaza and everyone else control the West Bank. And _finally_, a year ago, agreed they would hold elections within the year and actually create the unity government that is how the Parlimentary setup in year.

          That agreement is probably now toast, as Hamas sorta kinda unilaterally declared war and the PA said ‘Uh, no.’.

          But, here’s my question: Why do you think Hamas would be mad at PA? I mean, madder than they already are? They don’t want the PA working with Israel, and…it wouldn’t be anymore. Odd thing to get mad about!

          Also, as I pointed out…Palestine doesn’t actually have any say over this. They are an occupied nation. If they were in control of who their occupying power was, I promise, they wouldn’t have picked Israel to start with.

          2) That’s over and above the problem that Israel will keep some of the land. They’re not going to force hundreds of thousands of Jews to move, so they’d pull out of some of the land but there are serious facts on the ground that don’t match the 1967 boarders.

          Are we cool with Israel unilaterally imposing boarders?

          Okay, perhaps I was unclear here: WITHDRAW ALL SETTLEMENTS FROM THE WEST BANK AND JERUSALEM.

          ALL. ALLLLLLLL I cannot make the word ALL bigger, I don’t have access to the right HMTL tags.

          I do not get a flying f*ck if they annexed it in 1968. I don’t care about ‘facts on the ground’.

          Move. Their. People. Out. Of. Palestine.

          Every. Square. Inch.

          A border was set, they do not get to be on the other side of it.

          Not only do I argue this because that is their duty, but as a sheer avoidance of moral hazard for the future. Israel does not, in any manner whatsoever, get to gain a single inch there. Israel has spend decades _violating international law_, and in doing so, has almost entirely created this conflict themselves, and merely as a moral obligation for the future, they cannot be allowed to make ANY gains there, or international law about stealing land from occupied territories means nothing and other people will do it.

          This will probably produce some very awkward outcomes, and Israel is welcome to negotiation with the Palestinian government once it has finished coming into being.

          We see either an ugly war or just terror attacks, do we bless Israel going in with it’s army to deal with the West Bank like it is Gaza?

          You mean invading Jordan? Seems like odd behavior, but, OTOH, Israel has invaded Lebanon repeatedly also.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
            Ignored
            says:

            Move. Their. People. Out. Of. Palestine. Every. Square. Inch.

            Borders should be set by some sort of peace agreement. Here, since the Palestinians have refused peace several times, it will be Israel who will be drawing the maps. Your plan requires Israel to impose it.

            That requires them to be willing and they never would have been willing to go back to 1967. The war of 1967 was forced on Israel and an attempt by it’s neighbors to destroy it.

            It’s very appropriate for those neighbors to be penalized for that and land is normally appropriate. It’s inappropriate for someone to launch a genocidal war, lose, and expect to be compensated.

            IMHO exact boarders isn’t something we’d even think of insisting on for a normal country. Those boarders deserve to be in the dust bin of failed peace offers.Report

            • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
              Ignored
              says:

              Borders should be set by some sort of peace agreement.

              It _was_ set by a peace agreement. In the 1949 Armistice Agreements. This is actually _larger_ than Israel’s declared borders when it came into existence.

              That requires them to be willing and they never would have been willing to go back to 1967.

              It is not optional to accept your country’s borders under international law. In fact, it’s crime against humanity, the most serious crime, called a ‘crime against peace’, because it leads to wars.

              And you are _admitting_ they were never willing to go back to 1967…and you are correct, they never were willing, which is why they strung this out so far, because they are required to do so by interntional law.

              The war of 1967 was forced on Israel and an attempt by it’s neighbors to destroy it.

              You…do know that Israel started that war, right? They launched the first attack? Bombed an Eygptian airstrip?

              They did it in response to heightening tensions, on both sides, and Israel asserted Egypt closing the Straits of Tiran to Israel traffic was causus belli for a war which…that’s not technically accepted as a general causus belli. A blockade outside your own waters (As I have pointed out that Israel has been doing to ‘the nation of Gaza’ for a decade.) would be, but the Straits of Tiran are legally Eygptian water, and they can legally keep out any ships they want, from any nation.

              Now, was Israel justified starting that war? I mean…I won’t argue they weren’t. It’s just weird to me how many people have internalized Israeli propoganda that everyone else started that war. At best you can argue it was a pre-emptive strike, but there was no Egyptian force massing at the border, which international law does aknownledge can be a legit reason to fire first. Egpytion forces were still on defense and in fact were taken mostly by surprise.

              The entire premise of closing the Straits of Tiran was to slowly strangle Israel’s shipping, which was Egypt’s actual plan. They were not planning on a shooting war. And feel free to argue that Israel shouldn’t put up with that, and has a right to start a war in response, but…that doesn’t mean _Egypt_ started the war.

              It’s very appropriate for those neighbors to be penalized for that and land is normally appropriate.

              Okay, look, I’m going to explain this carefully:

              Wars of aggression have been illegal forever, which is why everyone who wants to start one carefully works to increase tensions until they can claim self-defense. (Except for the US, which just invades Iraq.)

              This is why we have a VERY specific rule that, no matter how justified the fight is, even if they blatantly invaded you in total violation of international law, no one EVER gets to gain territory from war.

              Ever. Period. No exceptions. This is because if there is _any_ way for wars to end up with a country gaining territory, countries will start wars to do that! It is, to use a term conservatives love, a ‘moral hazard’.

              If you end up occupying territory during a war, at the end, you give territory back to the people who started with it. If that government collapsed, then you have to try to vaguely make a government first, at least enough of one to bootstrap into a real government. Sometimes, rarely, if an entire country is messed up and it wasn’t really working to start with, it goes to the UN (Or League of Nations before that) and gets split apart and merged in ways that make more sense, but _you_ do not get to decide that, some multi-national body does. (This is what happened with the Ottoman Empire.)

              I don’t really want to go over the detailed history of that area (The Ottoman Empire controlled it until the end of WWI, Britain ended up as the occupying power, Israel declared independence as Britain left, wars happened, Egypt ended up legally occupying Gaza in 1949, whereas Jordan (illegally) annexed the West Bank, and then Israel ended up in control of those areas in 1967, along with the Sinai Peninsula, since returned to Egypt, and Golan Heights, which is still Israel-occupied Syria), but the end result was that Israel was, legally, an occupying power who controlled occupied territory, and had a duty under international law to ‘Not steal it, make it functional as possible, and create some sort of government to start with’.

              And weirdly, I think people who plan for decades to violate international law to steal territory, and hence deliberately stretching out their occupation of territory to do that, should not be rewarded.

              (Incidentally, it’s worth mentioning the Golan Heights, part of which…was just straight up stolen from Syria. Unlike Palestine, Syria had a real government, Israel could legitimately walk out and say ‘Yours again’. But instead of returning it as required, Israel essentially annexed it in the 80s.)

              IMHO exact boarders isn’t something we’d even think of insisting on for a normal country.

              Um…what? Pretty sure we do, and also, why are you even arguing if this isn’t important?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Darn it, I had a great post that was eaten.

                Right this moment, Armenia Azerbaijan are fighting a war over their boarders. One side will win (or already has) and the boarders will shift. The world won’t care and everyone will move one.

                This is normal for how these sorts of things are done.

                What’s not normal is to point to a war generations ago and claim that we’re going to retroactively impose international law.

                The only conflict where that’s a thing is where Jews are involved and we’re trying to impose a much higher standard on them because they’re Jews.

                For other examples of shifting standards, Syria has killed roughly 350k of it’s own people and judging from the level of international outrage (i.e. not much), this is much less of a problem than Israel being Jewish.

                For another example, no Western country would be expected to live with constant terrorism or the threat of terrorism. If an organization killed 100k of our civilians, it’d be expected that we’re going to go in and make a brutal mess of their country.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                >Right this moment, Armenia Azerbaijan are fighting a war over their boarders. One side will win (or already has) and the boarders will shift. The world won’t care and everyone will move one.

                The borders will not shift, because those borders were never set.

                Moreover, that doesn’t count because it was _civil war for independence_. The two sides in that conflict were the same nation. All successful civil wars end up with one nation carved out of another. This is, incidentally, how Israel came to exist in the first place. Now, Israel did it in a fairly horrific way with mass expulsions, but still did it. It’s _also_ why Russian pretended Crimea was fighting for independence and just happened to want to join Russia back in 2015, a thing which no one believed, but gave the barest thread of legal argument they could make.

                A war of secession by the people of a country (Which is completely in line with the UN’s principles of self-determination) is not the same as one country with set, treaty-agreed-to-borders ending up with the land of some other nation they are at war with, and keeping it against the wishes of the country they took it from. Regardless of who starts it.

                Israel and Palestine have set borders. Israel signed a document ending the war by agreeing to them, and agreeing it would _occupy Palestine while building a government there_.

                They don’t get to change that now.

                Also, Israel was not actually at war with Palestine anyway, as Palestine did not exist! The idea that they get to take any part of _Palestine_ is absurd.

                The territories they ended up occupying were previously-Egypt-occupied Gaza, previously-illegally-annexed-by-Jordan West Bank (Which is why Jordan gave up on their claim, and if you want to assert that Jordan should not be able to get it back as their property, you are right, but they aren’t trying to.), and the only section they ended up with that was actually part of another country, which they were at war with, would be the Golan Heights, which was (and still is) legally Syria’s.

                In fact, if the idea is that you should punish a country for starting a war…this process _literally took the West Bank from Jordon_ and made it something that is supposed to be an independent nation, both of which punished Jordon for seizing the West Bank, freed the Palestinians who had come illegally under Jordon’s control, and followed principles of self-determination.

                Imagine thinking ‘Person A stole Person B’s car and drove it into person C, and thus we will punish person C by…giving Person B’s car to Person A.’

                >What’s not normal is to point to a war generations ago and claim that we’re going to retroactively impose international law.

                That is not what we are discussing.

                Being an occupying territory under international law has obligations, and I wonder when you think the mysterious point is that Israel was released from them? Because the actual way to be released from them is to _finish them_.

                >The only conflict where that’s a thing is where Jews are involved and we’re trying to impose a much higher standard on them because they’re Jews.

                No, we’re trying to impose a moral standard on them because they have obligations under international law and signed treaties that said they would follow them.

                Again, MORAL HAZARD. You let countries keep seized territory and _they start wars to seize territory_.

                Which is why that sort of thing _violates international law_.
                Like Russia did.(Obvious Lie was Obvious Lie.) And rightly got condemned for it, and kicked out of the G8, and started on their path to being a global pariah. (Although that is extremely difficult in many ways because they are on the UN security council, but that’s ‘The UN is set up moronically’, not ‘Russia is not violating international law’.)

                Well, Israel did that 70 years ago, and has basically just been _pretending_ they aren’t going to do that.

                People actually get the wrong idea about war crimes …they think it’s just a list of ‘horrible’ things you can do in war. No. A huge chunk of war crimes are things that seem fine in the abstract, but you cannot do because if they are allowed before wars, during wars, or after wars, they make wars more likely.

                And a very big one is ‘Land is returned to its owners after, or because if it is not, future wars are very likely’.

                You know, like literally the situation we are talking about.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                RE: it was _civil war for independence_

                When I said “now”, I meant “now”. The boarder shifting was underway this summer and might be still happening. Armenia and Azerbaijan have both been independent countries for 30+ years.

                The boarders will shift, and 75 years from now it will be a footnote in history and not an international cause to undo a crime.

                This is normal. What’s not normal is insisting that the child of a refugee is also a refugee and has any sort of legal claim to land his father (much less his grand father or great grand father) had.

                There’s also a massive disconnect between you pointing out that the war of 1949 was somewhat legal when the source of the conflict is the war of 1949. The “refugees” in Gaza are waiting for 1949 to be undone. The right to return is over the war of 1949.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Armenia and Azerbaijan have both been independent countries for 30+ years.

                You know what, you’re sorta missing the forest for the trees here. I.e., you’re missing the actual crime that Israel is trying to do, which is ethnic cleansing, not territory seizing.

                It is entirely possible, via proxy wars (Which is actually what is happening in Artsakh ) to end up with extra territory. Armenia isn’t going to seize that territory in war, they are just…going to provide arms to rebels who secede from Azerbaijan and then are very Armina friendly, a well-worn loophole in international law. Maybe even friendly enough to vote to join. This is why countries _do_ proxy wars instead of wars of conquest, they are much more legal.

                But that’s not what Israel wants. If Israel was supporting some sort of pro-Israel armed resistance in Palestine that asserted to be fighting for Palestinians, and then wins and votes to join Israel, that would be one thing.

                Or if Israel had just annexed all of Palestine in 1967, we’d be having a very different argument. They probably could have pretend there was a vote or something, that the people wanted to be part of Israel. It’s happened before. Illegal, but they would have gotten away with it.

                Hell, Israel could have simply _declared Independence over all of Palestine_ to start with! They could have started with the entire place! That actually would have been legal, I guess. (To the extent that declaration of independence are ever legal, in that they are not really, but eventually are decided so.)

                The problem is that Israel wants the land _without_ the Palestinian people (See what actually happened before Israel declared independence, aka, the removing of the Palestinian in that area), and there’s not actually any loopholes under international law that allows THAT. Which is the real place your argument falls down…there’s no examples of the world allowing that. You can sometimes run off with people’s land, legality be damned, but you have to take the people _also_, and Israel destroys its ethnostate status if it does that.

                The “refugees” in Gaza are waiting for 1949 to be undone.

                No, that is what some of the refugees want.

                What Israel is required to do by law is something completely different. What they are required to do by law is create a functioning government (Of _all_ of Palestine) and step away.

                Stepping away, incidentally, requires acknowledging ownership of waterways and airspace. So no, they have not done it in Gaza.

                Israel had _twenty years_ to do this, from 1967 all the way to 1987, when the First Intifada started and protests and violence actually started _in_ Palestine. (Before that, it was a bunch of fighters living in and propped up from _outside_ Palestine.)

                Israel actually agreed to this in the Camp David accords, in 1978, although technically it was already their obligation under international law. If you want to count from that point, feel free, but it was supposed to do that within five years, and by 1987 _had not even started_.

                Have a paragraph straight from Wikipedia about what started this:

                According to Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian American clinical psychologist, the Intifada was a protest against Israeli repression including “beatings, shootings, killings, house demolitions, uprooting of trees, deportations, extended imprisonments, and detentions without trial”.[29] After Israel’s capture of the West Bank, Jerusalem, Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Jordan and Egypt in the Six-Day War in 1967, frustration grew among Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories. Israel opened its labor market to Palestinians in the newly occupied territories. Palestinians were recruited mainly to do unskilled or semi-skilled labor jobs Israelis did not want. By the time of the Intifada, over 40 percent of the Palestinian work force worked in Israel daily.

                Do you understand what the situation there was? Settlements to seize land and put Israelis illegally in Palestine, violent crackdowns on any sort of protests that exists, no actual criminal justice system and the IDF just doing whatever they wanted, employing tons of Palestinians for cheap labor. In fact, the largest part of the First Intifada was a _general strike_ of Israeli-employed Palestinians.

                And the Palestinians…mostly put up with that for two decades. Internally. There were fighters operating out of Lebanon and other areas, but inside Palestine, they were not able to operate freely because the Palestinian people did not support them enough. Guerrilla operations need that level of support.

                Twenty years of living under military occupation. Twenty years in which Israel had to solve the problem, to do what they were required to do. They not only didn’t try, they constantly proved they were not going to, with illegal settlements. Over a decade earlier, Israel had signed an agreement with Eygpt that was supposed to finish the process within five years.

                And the reason it hasn’t is that Israel and Israeli politics has a rather large chunk of voters who see _all_ of that area as theirs, and thus will not put up with any progress towards it as an independent nation.

                The merely _start_ of self-governance, the Palestinian National Authority, was not even started until a decade later, under Oslo. In fact, the prime minister who started that was assassinated by a far-right Israeli for doing it.

                Again, this entire process, from start to end, took the US eight years in Iraq.Report

  7. LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m now convinced that the Left tends to be really bad when it comes to anti-Semitism because it doesn’t fit into the model of systematic racism. The current argument is that oppression should manifest itself in terms of outcome deprivation. Jews despite the oppression they faced have been very successful though. That means either there are at least some errors in how the Left thinks of oppression or that Jews were never oppressed or persecuted. The first is unthinkable and the latter sounds both monstrous and ridiculous if expressed.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to LeeEsq
      Ignored
      says:

      You’re threatening their religion.

      It means that the level of racism in this country is so low that it’s possible, or even easy, to be successful if you play your cards right. That the conservatives are correct and “systematic racism” is short hand for “bad cultural habits”.

      Walking proof that racism isn’t a big deal is something the Left wants to pretend isn’t real. Much easier to think Jews are White and super privileged.Report

  8. Steve Casburn
    Ignored
    says:

    The OP writes: “The weeks since Hamas’s October 7 surprise attack have been filled with people around the world celebrating Hamas’s glider attacks, ripping down posters of missing Israelis, and ranting about colonization.”

    Have “the weeks” been filled with that?

    Or have the news sources the OP trusts been filled with that?

    An American analogy:

    In 2020, as a resident of Portland, Oregon who lived about a mile from the federal courthouse, I had one perception of life in Portland at that time.

    During that time, people who trusted Fox as a news source perceived life in Portland in a very different way.Report

  9. LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    I keep seeing calls for a ceasefire. I understand why people are distressed at the war but Hamas leadership is on the record that they aren’t going to change their ways after a ceasefire. What will happen is that Hamas is just going to regroup and after awhile go back to its goal of completely destroying Israel and killing or driving Jews out of the Middle East. Plus rewarding Hamas for the Simchat Torah massacre by giving them everything they want seems like a bad idea.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
      Ignored
      says:

      I have yet to see someone who is calling for a ceasefire acknowledge that there was a ceasefire in May of this year. Freaking *MAY*.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        A lot of people in the West can’t really grok that Hamas is being literal when it comes out and says what it wants rather than just using adamant rhetoric to make a point about injustice.Report

        • Philip H in reply to LeeEsq
          Ignored
          says:

          Is Israel being literal?Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            Various sub-sections of Israel’s right wing openly say they don’t want peace at all, they’re serious. Israel also has a peace wing, occasionally they’ve been in charge long enough to make serious peace offers to the Palestinians.

            From the Palestinians… at the peak of his power Arafat couldn’t even make a serious offer. The best explanation we’ve seen is he needed to include a “right to return” which destroys Israel.

            Between the first peace conference which established the process and the final one which was supposed to wrap things up, he was telling his people they’d get all of their land back, i.e. a right to return which includes the war of 1949.

            After that it looks even more grim. Hamas has occasionally offered long term cease fires to let them arm up, but the concept of not killing civilians is big time unacceptable.

            It’s also true that in the face of 74 years of hostility and no peace offers, Israel is trying to move on. If the Arabs won’t be happy with anything less than the destruction of Israel then they might as well be unhappy with less.

            To be fair, the surrounding states are also trying to move on. This constant hostility and rejection of peace agreements doesn’t just cripple Israel’s peace wing, it makes it harder for the Arab states to see the Palestinians as a resolvable issue. The Middle East is filled with human rights abuses, the Palestinians are in danger of becoming another one.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            What Dark Matter says. You can find official and unofficial Israeli positions from vanquish all Palestinians to lets make peace and all are being literal. The Palestinian leadership can’t even come out and give the most essential concession to Israel, giving up having 5 million Palestinians go into Israel proper. Hamas and other Palestinian factions have frequently said that the only solution they continue to be just is “No Israel” and maybe even “No Israel, No Jews.” Hamas has acted on this principle. Nobody in the West seems to know what to do about this, so they don’t acknowledge it all.”Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to LeeEsq
              Ignored
              says:

              The thing which really stands out is the consistency.

              Big picture the Israeli narrative is: “We have a strong connection to this land”. There’s sometimes room in there for a second set of people.

              The Palestinian narrative is way more xenophobic: “to the sea”, or “the Jews don’t have a connection but we do”.

              I think we’re multiple generations away from resolving this.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            I really don’t understand the point of this retort. I did not make a comment about all Palestinians or all Palestinian factions but about one in particular, Hamas. They aren’t going to go away unless something is done. Therefore if Hamas really does believe that the only just solution from their point of view is “No Israel, No Jews” than there needs to be some sort of acknowledgment of this rather than pretending it isn’t happening.Report

            • Philip H in reply to LeeEsq
              Ignored
              says:

              I’m not pretending it never happened. I believe Hamas. I’m just questioning which line from whom in Israel I should believe. The Prime Minister seems to want an all out war killing all of Hamas, and civilian causalities be damned. Doesn’t elevate him above Hamas from out here in the cheap seats.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                What were we like after 911? What would we have been like if we’d lost 100k civilians?

                IMHO the bulk of Israel now considers Hamas to be an existential threat. If their civilian supporters get in the way that’s unfortunate but whatever.

                I expect this to go on for years and that maps well to what Israel is saying.

                One of the reasons Biden is not calling for a cease fire is because he knows Israel would refuse.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think the impact of deaths really scales like that. Yeah, it’s the same percentage of the population, but 0.015% (actually, how are you getting 100k? Wouldn’t it be 40k?) is a small enough share of the population that it doesn’t significantly weaken Israel strategically or economically, nor is it a large enough percentage of the population that a significant share of voters will have lost a close family member or close friend.

                The absolute number of deaths matters, and when the percentage of population killed is so small, I think the absolute number matters much more than the percentage. So I’d say this is a lot more like 1400 Americans being killed than like 100k or even 40k Americans being killed.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I think that the whole GoPro thing changes *SOME* of the dynamics.

                Imagine, if you will, a news media that showed clips of the 9/11 hijackers hijacking the plane, yelling “KNOCK KNOCK” “WHO’S THERE” “ALLAH” “ALLAH WHO” “ALLAHU ACKBAR!”, and actually hitting the tower in the weeks and months following 9/11. Like, over and over and over and over again.

                Well, the news media over there is playing the GoPro stuff.

                Instead of tastefully discussing how we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about *ALL* Palestinians and how only *HAMAS* did these things.

                I mean, it’d be a lot easier to call for a ceasefire if the media wasn’t being so biased.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                With these numbers it matters a lot where you round and whether you consider it to be Jewish targeted.

                I re-ran and got 70k. If we wanted to call it 50k that would be fine.

                Point is we’re more than a order of magnitude above 911 and this can be repeated.

                The 911 attackers could have been stopped by a locked door and knowing what they wanted. All of them also died.

                The 10/7 attackers are right next door, many survived, and a locked door can’t stop them.

                In order to not be repeated, Hamas needs to be destroyed. Israel thinks it’s in a total war for it’s survival.

                Gaza is at 10k dead and this conflict could go on for years.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                “If their civilian supporters get in the way that’s unfortunate but whatever”

                But whatever?

                Judging Israel by the same yardstick as any other nation means that they aren’t allowed to just say “but whatever”.

                “We were attacked” isn’t carte blanche to just do anything you feel like or that satisfies the desire for revenge.
                Israel still has to justify their actions as the minimum needed to secure peace.Report

  10. Dark Matter
    Ignored
    says:

    (Replying to Chip)

    RE: But whatever?

    I was describing where Israel’s head is at.

    In addition, Hamas has deliberately made it impossible to have a war without large numbers of civilians getting killed. Ergo large numbers of civilians will get killed.

    When the world “wants Israel to justify their actions as the minimum needed to secure a peace”, what Israel hears is “it was only Jews who died and that’s fine”.

    The world is calling for Israel to not defend itself. They could, and should, be calling for Hamas to surrender.

    From Israel’s point of view, this is a fight to not have the occasional 911 on steroids. Unfortunately it’s going to look a lot like revenge because Hamas isn’t going to give up and Israel thinks it can’t.

    If Hamas can’t be destroyed then this will get ugly. The fight would go on until Hamas thinks the body count is so high that it needs to promise to not do it again, i.e. until it thinks retrospectively that 10/7 was a bad idea.

    Given that the people of Gaza actively wanted this, that might take a while.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter
      Ignored
      says:

      Put differently, what is “the minimum needed to secure peace”?Report

      • pillsy in reply to Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        Destroying Hamas’ ability to launch further attacks against Israel, which in practice almost surely means destroying Hamas by killing or securing the surrender of its leaders, and many of its rank and file fighters.

        This seems to be roughly the line where you see the worst fractures between Israel and its allies, and for that matter internally in Israel’s governing coalition, between the government and the opposition, and within Israel’s security establishment. E.g., https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-officials-coalitions-west-bank-policy-rhetoric-harming-us-support-for-war/Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          That’s a fine definition.

          The next question is, how many hundreds of thousands of Palestinians need to be killed to make that happen.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          Any Israeli PM would basically do the same thing that Netanyahu is doing in Gaza in response to the Simchat Torah massacre. Destroying Hamas is going to require going deep into Gaza and will get lots of Palestinians rounded up in the process. The people protesting Israel’s actions would howl ever louder if Israel did what needs to be done to gut Hamas.Report

          • pillsy in reply to LeeEsq
            Ignored
            says:

            “Any Israeli PM would basically do the same thing that Netanyahu is doing in Gaza in response to the Simchat Torah massacre.”

            Sure.

            “The people protesting Israel’s actions would howl ever louder if Israel did what needs to be done to gut Hamas.”

            Different people are protesting different actions, and those actions have different relationships to successfully gutting Hamas.

            For example, I doubt Israeli and US officials objecting to letting settlers turn the West Bank into a third front in the war by murdering Palestinians would protest just as hard against Israeli air strikes into Gaza, for extremely obvious reasons.Report

  11. pillsy
    Ignored
    says:

    Quoting DavidTC:

    “A war of secession by the people of a country (Which is completely in line with the UN’s principles of self-determination) is not the same as one country with set, treaty-agreed-to-borders ending up with the land of some other nation they are at war with, and keeping it against the wishes of the country they took it from. Regardless of who starts it.”

    This doesn’t really apply to either Gaza (Egypt doesn’t want it) or Jordan (Jordan probably doesn’t want it and it wasn’t Jordan’s in the first place, as you noted).

    Maybe it does apply to the Golan Heights, but unlike Jordan and Egypt, Israel is still officially at war with Syria, and is periodically still conducting air strikes against targets in Syria.

    Whatever long term prospect there is for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not going to work along the lines of Israel returning land to some other country. What’s going on in the West Bank neither fits clearly into the “inter-state” bucket or the “intra-state” bucket.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover more from Ordinary Times

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading