10 thoughts on “Thanks for your bold efforts, fellow Louisianian

  • Thanks for posting this article, Scottie. One of the major challenges about delivering this type of information to Americans is not so much that it is largely unavailable in mainstream media but that people simply don’t want to know it. And then there are the bozos out there who question the legitimacy of these articles! A few years ago I forwarded a picture in which two Israeli soldiers posed for a photo over a dead Palestinian (their trophy kill). Among those I forwarded was Mike Gahagan, a friend of mine at the time, my own mother, and a number of other friends. Mike and my mom both accused me of supporting terrorists by what I thought was an effort to convey the fact that Israelis are responsible for atrocities as well. Even if you point out that more Palestinian civilians have been killed than Israeli civilians people choose to ignore this, just as they both did. My mom and I put the issue aside and carried on with things. Mike won’t talk to me anymore. (Not that I care at this point–that was some four years back.) What has become a horrible reality is that a strategy exploited by the Bush administration–that you are “with us or against us”–inspires people to stick to their side or their cause and not budge from it even when faced with evidence that their cause is the wrong one. Stay the course!

    I’m very pessimistic about America’s relationship with Israel and Palestine. So many people in this country are complacent, uncaring, and uninformed. It would take more Americans like the author of the article going to the region and living with the people to make waves in this society. Average citizens won’t get it from our national television, where such insights are taboo. (That would be different if the men who owned Fox, CNN, and many other news media were Palestinian or Muslim.)

    I can’t say that I have personally been to the West Bank and seen firsthand what the author and many like him describe. But I have heard from Palestinians the trauma that has become part of the lives of every Palestinian. My 11th grade English teacher shared with us her memories of childhood living in caves to escape Israeli bombing. It baffled me over time that most people seemed to have not heard or read similar stories. Now I’ve come to learn that what people know is largely what they choose to believe. So the problem that you and I face is that people choose to believe that the Israelis are right and the Palestinians are wrong.

  • thanks for the post, rothell.

    i do not know if you have been reading my other posts on the israeli-palestinian issue, but you might want to do so.

    the facts on the ground do not portray israel in a favorable light

    there is a bias in reporting in the US, from the mainstream media outlets

    fortunately, alternative media get it , for the most part, correct

    it just takes diligence for the average joe to sift through many articles to eventually approach the truth

    so in that sense, the situation is improving in the US

    more and more americans with whom i talk are realizing the importance of balancing the foreign policy in israel

    as far as people reacting to your stances in a negative way, i have had similar reactions as well

    i will offer an old adage from roddy :

    the people that matter don’t mind, and people that mind don’t matter

    if your friendship with gahagan couldnt withstand a political difference, it wasn’t worth salvaging.

    my dad and i have not talked for 3 and a half years because of the iraq war

    he stopped corresponding with me because i opposed the looming iraq war, even though i supported afghanistan

    this was a hard one for me to take, but i realized exactly what i told you ;

    if this was such a big issue for him that he was willing to stop talking to his son, then our bond was not as strong as i thought

    after having taken the blue pill, i would not trade what i have learned since the summer of ’02 for reverting back to my illusions before that time, even if it meant restoring my rocky relationship with my dad

    i still love him, and i am sure he feels the same way, but i cannot go through this world with blinders on, and i realized i could not have it both ways

    so keep telling people in your own way about the core injustice of the IP issue

    i keep trying to make a dent on these stubborn bloggers on this site, and i haven’t lost heart yet

    if you get a chance, visit the following websites: you will see my point that more and more americans are becoming conversant with the gravity of the IP issue:

    normanfinkelstein.com
    jatonyc.org
    tikkun.com
    jewsagainstzionism.com
    commondreams.org

    human rights watch
    amnesty international
    b’tselem
    physicians for human rights – israel
    public committe against torture
    the UN website and reference israeli violations

    the alan dershowitzs and the abraham foxmans and the morton kleins of the world would have you believe that all these institutions are anti-semitic in nature because they voice criticism of the brutal and humiliating occupation of the palestinians by the viscious israeli government

    arm yourself with information

  • Hey guys…I know you both feel like you’re on a mission to change the minds of us evil “neo-cons” and help us “see the light” so that we’re not going through life “with blinders on.”

    And I actually admire this type of enthusiasm, but if you took a slightly less proselytical approach it would probably be more fun, and you might learn something yourself.

    If you’re beginning by assuming that everything YOU believe is absolutely true and YOUR perspective is absolutely the right one, and we need to be converted, how open-minded are you?

    If I started with that assumption and insisted on “staying the course” then this site wouldn’t have lasted 10 days.

    None of the active authors on this site “permanently lost your e-mail” Rothell, and noone here decided not to speak to you anymore, Scottie, because you didn’t support the war in Iraq.

    Almost every website (almost) and every book referenced by authors of this site has been read by yours truly, and there are equal number of sites and books with differing points of view.

    If the facts alone to prove that only one side was to blame for ALL evils in a conflict such as this, there would be no need for discussion. Your excessively Orwellian view of the world is why many feel alienated by your views.

    There are those on both sides of this issue that are more informed than any of us, and if I still don’t agree with you on every point, then too bad. So in other words, stop treating this like a religion.

    SO!!

    Regarding this article, I’m just not buying it…he was kidnapped, and thank God…he was not tortured. He witnesses a situation which is admittedly horrible, but these are obviously opinions that he brought with him.

    There is no allowance in the article for the idea that if Palestinians continue to support terrorist organizations to lead them then Israel will have every excuse to continue to be the occupier.

    I’m trying to think of the peacable avenues that Palestinians have pursued. Even Scottie has acknowledged that Arafat betrayed that cause, and I don’t see Hamas doing any better.

  • the first half of your response is ludicrous, butch, because you draw inferences that were never intended, and you generalize from nuances, and you are just plain wrong about the inferences.

    to be clear:

    i never called you all neocons
    i never said i was yoda and knew it all
    i do speak from the experience of having left the party that you cling ideologically to currently
    with respect to my comment about blinders, i was referring to myself pre-2002, so how you extrapolate offense from that comment is beyond me

    in regards to the second half of the comment about palestinians and terrorist organizations, you just do not get it.

    palestinians voted for hamas
    end of story
    the US cannot sound the trumpets of democracy in the middle east and impose sanctions on the palestinian people when they vote for the “wrong side” in a free election
    that is what happened though

    look at the US facet to the ongoing issue :

    3 billion per year in military hardware paid for by US taxpayers given to israel, who kills innocent people with them daily

    still, the image of the US suffers worldwide from this unconditional support

    the lobbying group responsible for the steady flow of money that the idf can use to kill even more palestinians was caught by the FBI taking possession of classified information

    the idf sold some US military secrets to the chinese as well

    the brutality of the idf is unparalleled ; occupation of the west bank, gaza is now a prison, the destruction of lebanon, refusal to give the golan heights back to syria, refusal to vacate the settlements in east jerusalem, collective punishment, house demolitions, war crimes, UN violations, judicial condonement of torture, an obvious double-standard of the sanctity of life (israeli versus non-israeli), kidnapped civilians, administrative detainess in the 1000’s

    each issue above has had relevant UN resolutions, and each time israel is condemned, and nothing happens

    and yet you still believe that the palestinians are the bad guys

    in your mind, i guess, you feel that the palestinians should react to all the above without fighting back with weapons, that they should throw rocks

    as soon as they pick up a gun to fight back, they are terrorists in your eyes

    the regrettable use of suicide bombers i certainly do not condone, but can you recall the last time something like that happened inside israel

    but you turn a blind eye to palestinians being killed every day, literally, every day

    check the numbers for the last 3 months, it will boggle your mind

    as far as hamas, the mossad helped create hamas to take power away from arafat

    hamas abided by its own 17 month cease-fire without any incident, during which time the israeli forces continued killing civilians and combatants

    and their reward for the cease-fire they honored and winning an open election :

    sanctions, being kidnapped by the idf, the “disengaged” gaza now a prison, the west bank still under control of a foreign army, because israel won’t live up to its UN agreements

    you expect the palestinians to act like jesus christ and turn the other cheek until americans see what their country is doing to the region

    shamir belong to the haganah, a terror group

    begin belonged to the stern gang, a terror group

    ariel sharon couldnt travel to belgium for many years because he would have been arrested for war crimes during the first israeli destruction of lebanon

    these are the leaders that the US has historically supported in their occupation of palestinian land

    all in violations of UN resolutions

    exactly who are the terrorists ?

  • First of all, I’m never offended by political discussions.

    Nevertheless, if am I accused of clinging to a party again, I think I will absolutely lose it.

    Just because I don’t believe that Israel is the “bad guy” and Palestine is the “good guy” does not mean I’m blindly following the Republican line. If you haven’t seen ample evidence of my lack of partisanship on this site, then you are not paying attention.

    You’re right about the lack of suicide bombers in Israel lately and Hamas’ cease-fire, but that is a direct RESULT of the brutal policies (admittedly brutal) that Israel has taken on. I do not believe that Israel is blameless in any of this, and I never have. But is Hamas blameless? Are the hundreds of suicide bombers that did operate for years and the leaders that promoted this behavior blameless?

    I’m not looking for moral equivalence here, but how far back do you need to go? Right now Israel is the bad guy because they are in control. Period. What is the alternative for them (gangsters or not)? Going back to allowing Palestinians to walk through their markets with bombs strapped on them killing innocent women and children?

    The main point and I will quote myself:

    “There is no allowance in the article for the idea that if Palestinians continue to support terrorist organizations to lead them then Israel will have every excuse to continue to be the occupier.”

    Yes the Palestinians democratically elected Hamas, and yes it was designed to take power away from Arafat, but whether they are considered more of a “terrorist” organization then Israel or not, their charter (http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm) clearly states that their intent is to destroy Israel.

    What choice does Israel have but to self-preserve? If you were Israeli, what would you do? Turn the other cheek, and say, “Oh well…you know we probably shouldn’t even be here in the first place, let’s go see if we can find some place in Africa, where we won’t offend the poor Palestinians.”

    Please show me where the stated goal and intent of the Israelis is to completely destroy all of Palestine (including that in Jordan and Syria) Nothing you have stated clears Palestinians of any fault, and nothing I have stated implies that Israel has been completely angellic in this affair.

    You are an anti-zionist, we get it. You believe there never should have been an Israel. The UN you consistently cite helped create it, and I contend it has a right to preserve itself. I agree that the policies that it is now imposing are brutal, but it has resulted in (as you have pointed out) significantly less Israeli deaths. If I was Israeli (gangster, terrorist, or otherwise) I would applaud that result.

    So do you believe that Israel has a right to exist or not?

  • Butch, again you stray from points.

    If you had read previous posts more closely, you would not have to ask me the last question of your response, because I have already addressed it, and more than once I am afraid.

    i noticed that in your articulate defense of israeli atrocities, which again outnumber palestinian atrocities issue by issue, that you failed to address the role of aipac in fundng US support for the militarization of israel, even after the larry franklin episode (et al if you would have taken the time to read a previous post on perle, bryen, wolfowitz etc), even after the israeli army took US weapons paid for US taxpayers and sold them to china ….

    you did not respond to this facet of my original post because you cannot.

    you fail to put yourself in the place of the palestinians, and that is why you will never have compassion for what is happening to them.

    since you are ideologically driven to defend violations of in ternational law by israel, and i am driven to defend the right of the occupied and humiliated palestinians to have a country of their own, and to fight back (which you have been programmed to think is wrong), then why don’t we defer to the experts, the groups that field autonomous research staffs and study the IP issue every day.

    AMNESTY, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, BTSELEM, PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS -ISRAEL, PUBLIC COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE

    according to these experts who report on violations from both sides in the conflict and who issue yearly reports on the relevant facets of the conflict , they condemn both sides for atrocities committed. yet if you read the annual reports for the last 5 years or so, which i have, since the 2nd intifada began, you would notice a consistent tone that is far more critical of israel on a basis of ITS behavior

    so the question to end this issue once and for all is “are these groups institutionally biased”

    do these groups who field their own autonomous research staffs and arrive at virtually the same conclusions have some political agenda, or do they arrive at the same conclusions because the conclusions are inescapable and a function of the data collected on the ground?

    if you can come up with a response to this question, then feel free to respond.

    if you respond to any other aspect of my response, then you will have the last word.

  • First, so I’m “idealogically” driven but you’re just driven?

    Second, I’m not responding to previous posts I’m responding to this one.

    Third, “if you respond to any other aspect of my response, they you will have the last word.” Should I take that to mean that every aspect of your post holds absolutely no merit EXCEPT that Israel is guilty of more atrocities over the last 5 years than the Palestinians? GREAT!! You got it. In the future, if there is only ONE POINT that is relevant, then just make it easier by just making that one point; that way I’ll know which one to respond to.

    AIPAC support, and US support for Israel is irrelevant. If it makes you feel better for the US to share that responsibility then so be it, and we will assume for a moment that EVERYTHING that EVERY ISRAELI has done that would show up on a human atrocity statistic is the direct result of the efforts of Wolfowitz, Perle, AIPAC, et al…

    BUT either Israel is justified in defending itself or they are not, and IF you believe they have a right to exist, then you must believe they have a right to defend themselves.

    If you don’t believe they have a right to exist, then this whole conversation is moot since you simply agree with Hamas’ goal of destroying Israel.

    The US will continue to support Israel BLINDLY (or if you feel so inclined–maliciously) because they believe (and I believe) that Israel needs to survive, and the “evil neo-cons” don’t believe Israel will survive without said US military support, and I agree with that contention.

    Israel IS justified in defending itself, and whatever human rights violations they are guilty of do not happen in a vacuum. They happen where a democratically elected party has as it’s mission to completely destroy all that is Israel.

    Even if I were to concede every human rights violations accused by these various human rights watch groups over the last five years (Again never said Israel was innocent of ANY atrocities)–I will still contend that the body count is VERY HIGH on the Palestinian side, and VERY LOW on the Israeli side NOT because Hamas has been sitting idly by adhering to a cease-fire but because Israel has taken (AGAIN ADMITTEDLY BRUTAL) control of the situation.

    I can appreciate your empathizing with the Palestinians, but what about the Israelis? You answer my question about Israel’s right to fight back by telling me that I’ve been “programmed” to think that Palestinians don’t have the right to fight back. That’s insane…and one could say even programmed.

    Arafat’s death was an opening, that was quickly closed by Hamas and it’s obvious that until the Palestinian people find leadership that does not state as its goal the complete destruction of Israel and does not daily call for Jihad and suicide bombings and put their own power over the needs of the Palestinian people. Israel has never stated that their goal is the destruction of Palestine, has it? And any peacable avenue has to begin with each side acknowledging the right for the other side to exist doesn’t it?

    The sooner this happens, the sooner the US will be able to see the possibility of holding Israel accountable for human rights atrocities. Until that time, they will turn a blind eye because they just can’t see an alternative. Regrettable? Yes. Insanely regrettable.

    My question for you…Do you believe that Hamas is the answer? And do you believe that Palestinians have the responsibility of finding leadership that can acknowledge Israel’s right to exist?

  • semantics

    we are both ideologically driven

    why do you get so defensive?

    next, go find the post where i clarified what ahmadinejad actually said versus what was reported, and in that post, you will find a long explanation of one injustice not giving the victims the right to carry out another injustice on an unrelated group of people

    you have reversed cause and effect

    of course israel has a right to exist

    currently there is no palestine, and why is that dude?

    you have never once addressed my repeated comments on dozens of UN violations that israel has defied and continues to defy

    why do you not respond to this?

    because you cannot

    israel comes out on the wrong side of UN resolutions, international law, and always because the US shoots down any punitive measure meant at enforcing security council resolutions against israel

    this information does tie the US with israeli atrocity, as if the 3 billion per year in military aid was not enough to be convincing in your mind

    its denial to say that the aipac facet does not play a a part, because i think most americans, were they more conversant with this issue, would have a change of heart about our current foreign policy

    no i dont believe that hamas is the answer for the palestinian people

    my comment more addressed the hyprocrisy of the US spouting out flowery rhetoric about democracy in the middle east and swiftly levying sanctions against the palestinians because they voted for the wrong side

    if you take that comment as an endorsement of hamas, then you are a jackass

    of course i believe israel has a right to defend itself, but the point you are missing terribly is that they are not defending, they are attacking, and they are occupying, and they have been doing so for decades

    also , if you believe that israel has the right to defend itself, why do you not allow the palestinians the same right? because they are not a nation-state? a bad catch-22 situation for them, if you think that only nations have a right to defend what is theirs

    i am moving on to another blog

  • Why do you keep talking past me?

    You ignore every point that I concede, shove aside every point I address, accuse me of being defensive on every point I address adamantly, and then point out the one point that I don’t address.

    You’re smarter than that…I’m going to post a truce blog on Israel and we’re going to limit all Israel comments to this blog for a while…we will focus on all the point that we can agree on.

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