Monday, December 29, 2008

Israel, Gaza, and 'The Left.'

Eric Lee of Labourstart states the obvious, which should not be necessary, but is necessary, anyway: "Israel is defending itself against an uncompromising fascist enemy, and while it is entirely legitimate to debate its tactics and to insist that it make the utmost effort to spare civilian lives, a decent Left should have no difficulty saying which side it is on."

For an outstanding example of the falsifications, misrepresentation and absurd circumlocutions the indecent Canadian left is obliged to practice in order to sustain its irrational hatred of Israel in the context of ongoing events in Gaza, read this. It's all there, in one neat package. It's one-stop shopping: Israel is guilty of slaughter, atrocities, war crimes and massacres, prosecuted according to its own "genocidal logic," and the ultimate blame lies with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Stephen Harper, Condoleezza Rice, the European Union. . . everyone but Hamas.

If you prefer your hyperbolic idiocy succinctly stated in a single sentence, then Sid Ryan is your man: "I want to condemn in the strongest terms the acts of genocide committed by Israel this weekend." Thank you, brother Ryan.

UPDATE: Here's a video of the demonstration against the "Israeli terrorist state apartheid regime" in Vancouver today (to their credit, these people appear to have at least abandoned the fraudulent claim to be part of an "anti-war" movement). About half way through, the camera turns to my good comrade Jonathon Narvey among a small group of pro-Israel supporters, across the street. He explains the difference between his side and the other in a single, plain statement: "We want peace for both the Israelis and the Palestinians. They don't."

Edmund Standing notices a certain pattern: "The continuing attacks on Israel from those who claim to favour civilised values are based on a perverse inversion of reality. When theocratic devotees of a Jihadist death cult launch murderous attacks on Israeli civilians, the fashionable approach is to ‘understand’ these criminal actions. And when Israel, in a very limited way, fights back against this violence being directed at its civilian population it encounters a firestorm of criticism and abuse, being accused of ‘racism’ and painted as a bloodthirsty monster that delights in ’slaughtering’ and ‘massacring’ women and children."

For a properly progressive critique of Israel's current strategy, you can always rely on Ami Isseroff: "The Israeli action is justified and long overdue. But the real question is, 'What can it accomplish?'" That's the question Lisa Goldman has been asking, and the answer she settles on is not exactly encouraging: "I am against the attacks on Gaza because they won’t work. Neither air force bombardments nor a ground invasion will stop the Qassams. In fact, the IAF and IDF attacks will make life more dangerous and disturbing for the residents of Sderot and the western Negev, because Hamas and Islamic Jihad will respond by increasing their rocket barrages."

We will see. For the time being, there is only one proper response: Solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis. For the time being, this will require acceptance of being in a minority position on the left. But that is what it has come to, because this is what it has come to:


Blogger grant said...

Thanks for the overview Terry. Hamas got what it wanted and it is no good for anybody . I am so tired of people talking about negotiating with Hamas because it is democratically elected.It isn't it was elected through intimidation and fear. I have great compassion for both the Palestinians and Israeli's.It is unfortunate that the will of the majority of people in both Palestine and Israel cannot be satisfied vis-a-vis a two state solution.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Aye and aye.

3:54 PM  
Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

The consensus in Israel definitely supports a two-state solution, following proper negotiations to iron out the tougher wrinkles of Jerusalem and the settlements. Even on these issues, Israelis will be ready to make brutal choices if it means real peace (absolute and abiding cessation of all hostilities).

Many Palestinians declare their willingness to accept a two-state solution, simultaneously insisting on RoR. So we know that they don't really mean it.

It is disingenuous and distorting to claim that "the will of the majority of people in both Palestine and Israel cannot be satisfied vis-a-vis a two state solution." It's tantamount to a shoulder shrug: since they are both the same, I'm not going to be bothered with them.

Well, they are not both the same and people should have the clarity of vision as well as the courage to understand and know which side is doing what and why and make a judgment, for or against.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

O Contentious One:

You appear to have mistaken Grant's statement of fact and his stated wish for a negotiated two-state solution for an error of judgment. You misundertand what he is saying. He is for a two-state solution. It is his view that this is what both the Israelis and the Palestinians want. He regrets that this want and need is not being met.

See also the update to this post, abut half way through it.

4:31 PM  
Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Ah. Ok. Sorry, Grant. And Terry.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

No problem.

A wee bit of testiness is perfectly understandable at the moment.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I think is interesting is Hisbollah is quite, not a peep. Peace talks, baby talk for sure but talks, continue with Syria. Nothing from Jordan or Egypt. The Arab media is doing the usual carping and the western media has nothing new to offer.

Hamas is isolated, alone and despised in the Arab world as friends of the hated Persians in Iran. They are the pariah of the middle east and are being allowed to suffer their own self-inflicted orgy of pain. The Arab world leadership is enjoying it.

Too bad for Hamas, their financial backers in Iran are having financial difficulties as the Iranian economy collapses.

Alone, isolated, vulnerable and getting their asses kicked. Israel is decapitating the Hamas leadership and eliminating the weapon stockpiles that threaten their citizens.

The Palestinian people suffer for their political support of the Hamas terrorist organization.

Their choice.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Well either the civilian victims of the IDF chose their fate willingly and thus have it coming, or were intimidated into it by voting Hamas and are thus innocent, you can't have it both ways. Nobody in this foul little neocon circlejerk seems willing to own to their bloodlust, to come right out and say that the shredding of entirely innocent women and children by Israeli bombs is perfectly acceptable to them, it's "their choice" after'll teach em not to "fuck with the jews"--

"a wee bit of testiness"

"their choice"

what a den of weasels...

8:20 AM  
Blogger The Plump said...

Going to catch up with your other posts when I get back but wanted to pick up on two points on this one that have been churning in my head.

1. There is Fred's callous throwaway remark about 'their choice'. Not good. Hamas were elected on a minority vote but any normal democratic process would see them removed today. They hold sway in Gaza on the basis of a coup against Fatah. And they are bringing misery to their own subject people. As for 'paying the price'. How long must the Palestinians continue to pay a price for their own dispossession? Isn't 60 years enough?

2. The attack on Gaza is a continuation of Israeli policy to threats posed by terrorist groups since the 1950's - massive retaliation and decapitation of hostile organisations. It has been a total failure. Even leaving aside the appalling level of human suffering and the fact that it has lead to some of the worst incidents in Israeli history (the invasion of Lebanon - the collusion in Suez etc.), this is a failed policy because it has been pursued with, at best, a lack of interest, or, at worst, a dismissal of the legitimacy of Palestinian self-determination.

Therefore, I would modify your statement. I stand in solidarity with Israelis who recognise Palestinan self-determination and with Palestinians who recognise Israeli self-determination. Hamas are not part of this category, but I wonder if the present Israeli government can be included too.

The cause of the current event is Hamas, they bear responsibility. But Hamas cannot be wholly crushed from without and cannot be defeated from within unless action is part of a comprehensive and just two-state settlement. In the meantime the Palestinian suffering will continue.

2:59 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Dear Plump Peter:

I flinched as well at Fred's last words, they may be true, but the Palestinian "choice" of Hamas should not be confused with a conscious democratic decision to embrace the genocidal and Jew-hating policies of Hamas. I well recall in the days following the electoral success of Hamas, reckoning that if I were a Palestinian living in Gaza, I may well have voted for Hamas, just to be rid of the corrupt Fatah. And I well recall that a couple of my Zionist friends agreed that they might have voted the same way.

I'm also mindful of the unceasing barrage of propaganda to which ordinary Palestinians are routinely subjected, which would explain the great numbers of Palestinians who continue to support Hamas, even though they be a minority now among Palestinians who exercised their "choice" by voting for Hamas in the first place. You say: "I stand in solidarity with Israelis who recognise Palestinan self-determination. . ." as do I, and "with Palestinians who recognise Israeli self-determination," although I would go farther and support solidarity with ordinary Palestinians who have been so brutalized that they cannot bring themselves to recognize Israeli rights in this way. I agree "Hamas are not part of this category" - I would go father and say Hamas is the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people - but I am not so skeptical as you about whether "the present Israeli government can be included too."

I wish we were hearing more from One Voice and Combatants for Peace. If there's one great thing an "anti-war" movement in the west might do, it's provide these Israelis and Palestinians with massive logistical and political support. Sadly, "the left" has, largely abdicated from its duty to do this necessary work, and in this way it has become as useless as "the right" to the cause of reconciliation and peace in Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, Darfur. . .

3:01 PM  
Blogger The Plump said...

although I would go farther and support solidarity with ordinary Palestinians who have been so brutalized that they cannot bring themselves to recognize Israeli rights in this way.

Really nicely put and fully agreed. Though even as a Palestinian in Gaza I hope that you would be wiser than to have voted fascist :-)

Hamas is the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people

Again agreed, but that is why action against Hamas needs to be part of a comprehensive peace settlement. Whilst Israelis continue to try and prove that they are the greater enemy, Hamas cannot be defeated.

not so skeptical as you

The history of the Israeli right's engagement with a peace process has been highly problematic. It has been risk averse, ungenerous and has sought a security driven diktat. Ultimately it cannot meet the key needs of the Palestinians so that final agreement can never be reached. Not that the left has been much better, though at the moment they offer the best hope.

I wish we were hearing more from One Voice and Combatants for Peace.

So do I, that type of solidarity would be invaluable, but all the ignorant tossers on the 'left' can bleat on about is nasty anti-Israeli propaganda and supporting Hamas. These completely useless wankers are also some of the worst enemies of the Palestinian people.

Back from paradise so now it's time to catch up with some more reading :-)

6:59 AM  
Blogger The Plump said...

And it is worth adding that the Palestinian resort to terror has been the greatest failure of all, leading to the overwhelming concern with security in Israeli politics - it created the impasse, rather than proved to be a way of unlocking it. It also created innumerable cruelties and sickening human tragedies.

Groups in the real peace movements on both sides are the ones that are offering vision and imagination to break the cycle. Their voices go unheard; after all 'we are all fascists now'.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous single_fighter said...

“And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails”. (Judges 15:4)

“And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives”. (Judges 15:5)

“And he found a new jawbone of an ass (donkey), and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand5 men therewith”. (Judges 15:15 )

“With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men”.
(Judges 15:16)
Say hore……hore……….!!!!

The same Samson went to Gaza and “he saw there an harlot (prostitute), and went in unto her (he f**k her)”. (Judges 16:1)

What Samson doing with damn prostitute ? doing haleluya ?
Ha ha ha... Samson look like James Bond 007

“And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: (little stick) and he also delivered Israel”. (Judges 3:31)

Why IsraeHell use White Fosfor Boms if there are super weapon called “ox goad” and “jawbone of donkey” to eliminated palestinian ? so that their job more clean.

Samson + Shamgar = Rambo
Rambo V.......!!!!
Samson and Shamgar is Rambo in one

“Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife”. (1Samuel 18:27)

And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? (Numbers 31:15)

Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. (Numbers 31:16)

Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man (not virgin) by lyingwith him. (Numbers 31:17)

But all the women children, that have not known a man (virgin) by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. (Numbers 31:18)

I think, IsraeHell God’s loves Palestinian so much...

7:45 AM  

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