“Sy Hersh: Syrian Facility Bombed by Israel not Nuclear”

Sy Hersh confirms: Syrian facility bombed by Israel was not nuclear (Click to see video of CNN interview with Hersh)

A Strike in the Dark
by Seymour M. Hersh

David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Sunday February 3, 2008

After Israel bombed a Syrian military facility last September, the United States and Israel both claimed the target had been a Syrian nuclear facility under construction.

RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna was alone at the time in reporting that the actual target was a cache of North Korean No-Dong missiles, dating back to the 1990's, which Syria was convert for use as chemical warheads.

In a follow-up report, Alexandrovna added that Vice President Dick Cheney was suspected of being behind leaks to the press of misleading claims of a nuclear basis for the incident.

A third story in Alexandrovna's series reported that the US and Israel were refusing to cooperate with an attempted investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but that the IAEA had concluded on the basis of satellite imagery that the target was unlikely to have been nuclear.

However, the US/Israeli version continued to dominate most accounts of the incident. As recently as December, the Sunday Times was still insisting that "Israel's top-secret air raid on Syria in September destroyed a bomb factory assembling warheads fuelled by North Korean plutonium."

Now veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has weighed in on the matter. Hersh appeared on CNN's Late Edition on Sunday to discuss his upcoming article, "A Strike in the Dark," which will appear in the Feb. 11 issue of the New Yorker.

Hersh writes in that article, "Whatever was under construction, with North Korean help, it apparently had little to do with agriculture — or with nuclear reactors — but much to do with Syria's defense posture, and its military relationship with North Korea. And that, perhaps, was enough to silence the Syrian government after the September 6th bombing."

"This is a wonderful sort of a complicated story," Hersh told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Here Israel bombs another country, basically an act of war. … They don't say anything publicly about it. The Israeli great ally, the United States, says nothing. Syria doesn't say much about it. They complain, but they're very muted too. … Nobody talks about it."

Hersh went on to say that even though nobody was talking publicly, "there was tremendous sotto voce stuff. In other words, the Israeli government, the American government were leaking, telling newspaper people, particularly in America, but also in Europe, all sorts of wonderful, grandiose details about what happened."

Hersh finally concluded as a result of his investigation that "when you began to look at each part… they sort of fall apart." He is not even convinced the plant was even a chemical warfare facility but believes it may have been a missile plant. "Israel may indeed have some evidence that's overwhelming," Hersh stated. "But without that sort of evidence, what they've done is, they've simply bombed another country."

Hersh's best guess as to the motivation of the bombing was partly Israeli politics and partly that "it's a message for the Iranians that we're coming."

Comments (104)


abraham said:

Well, there you have it. Sy Hersh has spoken. Now we will start to hear all the derision and insults from the pro-Israel peanut gallery that Sy Hersh is a crank, an idiot, misinformed, etc.

Meanwhile, reality goes on.

The bombing was an act of desperation by Israel. They know their backs are against the wall and there’s no stopping Iran’s rise in the region. This was a pathetic bluff, coordinated and aided by the Bush administration. Ultimately, it has proven to be a dramatic failure, and this fact will be borne out even more graphically over time.

February 3rd, 2008, 8:00 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Now we will start to hear all the derision and insults from the pro-Israel peanut gallery that Sy Hersh is a crank, an idiot, misinformed, etc.

Abraham,

Here’s an interview from a Syrian (from about 2 years ago) that I think the forum could learn from including yourself.

We need more people like this in the Arab world. I wonder if Sy Hersh will interview this extraordinary person. I doubt it. This person doesn’t share the same “agenda”.

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1050.htm

February 3rd, 2008, 8:13 pm

 

offended said:

Off the topic, but quite interesting:

Have you met Jonathan Pollard?

” Jonathan Pollard is an American of Jewish descent, born in Galveston Texas, who established a career as an intelligence analyst for the US Navy.”

“Pollard delivered over 1000 classified documents to Israel for which he was well paid.”

“The most egregious damage done by Pollard was to steal classified documents relating to the US Nuclear Deterrent relative to the USSR and send them to Israel. According to sources in the US State Department, Israel then turned around and traded those stolen nuclear secrets to the USSR in exchange for increased emigration quotas from the USSR to Israel. ”

So this is basically how the free and democratic world works; Israel didn’t only spy on its trustworthy sponsor and long term ally, but she also betrayed the trust and the relationship in exchange for few more numbers of settlers.

Enough said…..

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/motherofallscandals.html

February 3rd, 2008, 8:28 pm

 

annie said:

Ak refers to a memri source; memri is not reliable
Don’t ask me to give you five reasons why memri is not reliable; just google “memri lies”. You’ll get more than five.

February 3rd, 2008, 8:38 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Annie,

The interview was conducted on al-Jazeera TV. Is al-Jazeera reliable?

How was MEMRI’s translation faulty? Was the translation so bad and so fabricated that the main thrust of the discussion was not even presented accurately?

Perhaps you were so afraid or so uncomfoatable listening to this person’s words that you arrived at your conclusion without actually listening to it.

February 3rd, 2008, 10:05 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

lies lies lies
Holagu killed over half million as he destroyed Baghdad.
the crusaders killed many many innocent moslems.
Israel killed children in Qana,dair yasseen, .
the jews betrayed the prophet and tried to kill him several times
the list is so long.
memri is full of lies.

February 3rd, 2008, 10:34 pm

 

Seeking the Truth said:

Akbar Palace said:
We need more people like this in the Arab world refering to the Arab-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan.
Well, it is sad that such people can’t live in the Arab world, or they can’t go public with their views, if they live there.

February 3rd, 2008, 11:07 pm

 

abraham said:

Hmm, I was seeking relevant opinions and analysis. Instead, I get useless, stale, nonsequitur and wholly dismissible propaganda. This tells you something about the opposing viewpoint. They never seem to be able to respond to the relevant issue. Never.

And for good reason of course.

February 3rd, 2008, 11:34 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Instead, I get useless, stale, nonsequitur and wholly dismissible propaganda.

Abraham,

Correct. And the dismissible propaganda is fomented by Sy “Ali Baba” Hersh.

Just like the US was “going to war” with Iran…(yawn)

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/04/17/060417fa_fact

February 4th, 2008, 3:32 am

 

qunfuz said:

if anyone’s interested, my impressions of my latest visit to Syria are on http://www.qunfuz.blogspot.com

I don’t know what Wafa Sultan would have of interest to say about the presence or absence of nuclear facilities in Syria. You may as well asl Ayaan Hirsi Ali – someone equally irrelevant. There are a few people like Wfa Sultan living in Syria, but you don’t hear much from them, not because they are threatened but because they have nothing interesting or intelligent to say. Such people get thrown into the media spotlight when they are useful to Western propaganda. There are also principled people in Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world who criticise the idiocies of government and intolerant Islamism, but that’s a different matter.

February 4th, 2008, 4:59 am

 

ausamaa said:

I really miss G, if you people remember him. At least, he did not lie and skirt around the Truth like AKBAR PALACE and ANOTHERISRAELIGUY do.. he obviously seemed to have a higher EIQ as well.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I see their posts, are the five Israelies who were arrested by the New York police for cheering, clapping and acting in a jovial manner once the planes hit the World Trade Center buildings on 11 September 2001.

It is good that both live away from Occupied Palestine, so when a settelment is reached one day, we do not have to emcounter them there too.

February 4th, 2008, 5:31 am

 

Alex said:

Ausamaa,

I’m afraid that I had to add G’s IP to the moderation list… and he is the only one on it.

I had to do so after spamming us with about 20 comments in 10 minutes … all of them telling me how stupid etc. I am.

Sometimes he leaves comments. I check everyday, and I have released all his recent comments. But they are moderated first.

February 4th, 2008, 6:15 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Qunfuz,
I read what you wrote. Quite interesting.

What is a prinicpled way to criticize? Ok, let’s suppose that Wafa Sultan’s method is not a good one, but what is a good method? Please also bear in mind that any good method must also be effective.

February 4th, 2008, 6:18 am

 

Alex said:

AIG,

Wafa suffers from what you suffer from when both of you tr to communicate to Arabs … neither one of you is a trusted source.

You are a mini-Netanyahu and she … insulted the same Muslims she wanted to “help”.

A psychologist like her should have understood better what she should not have done and should not have said.

But she is more into taking revenge from those she can not tolerate.

I agree with a part of her criticism (about the violent takfeeri lunatics for example) and I absolutely appreciated her reminding those who hate Jews about the incredible contribution of the many Jewish scientists and thinkers.

But she was bitter … revengeful. She did not help anyone.

And you are also playing a similar negative role here… but you know it at least.

February 4th, 2008, 6:31 am

 

offended said:

Besides ya Alex, Wafa Sultan is in no position to criticize a religion she knows nothing about. She cannot even distinguish between her grievances with the regime and her criticism of Islam. Actually, her insults can hardly be deemed as criticism.

But she was smart in one thing though, she knew she would find audience in the wild west, and that how she’s become ‘in’famous.

February 4th, 2008, 8:32 am

 

why-discuss said:

What Hersh insisted upon is the fact that if a country can attack a sovereign country without any international reaction it creates a dangerous precedent that is innaceptable, but maybe Israel is allowed not to respect international laws.

February 4th, 2008, 8:43 am

 

t_desco said:

A STRIKE IN THE DARK
What did Israel bomb in Syria?
by Seymour M. Hersh
The New Yorker

February 4th, 2008, 10:16 am

 

qunfuz said:

One typical comment from Wafa Sultan was that, however much they suffered at the hands of the Nazis, the Jews unlike Muslims never resorted to suicide bombing. Just the sort of idiocy the neo-cons like to hear. It suggests that Jews are innocent of terror – but Zionist Jews as we know have blown up civilians, mosques, markets, schools, hospitals, have killed and terrorised on a far greater scale than that managed by their victims. They’ve done it with planes and tanks rather than with their own bodies – because they have planes and tanks. It also suggests that suicide bombing is rooted in Islamic culture rather than in specific historical contexts. But it took the Palestinians decades of other forms of resistance before they tried suicide bombing, and the first suicide bombers in this conflict were Lebanese leftists. The very first was a Christian woman.

Just one example of how Wafaa’s sometimes justified anger is poorly targetted. I agree with Alex that she makes some valid points. I also think it’s a great shame that many Muslims and Arabs explain Zionism in terms of the inherent evil of the Jews rather than understanding the context in which it arose (the Holocaust as well as European colonialist discourse). Wafaa’s poor targetting means that, even if she has important things to say, the Arabs won’t listen to her. On the other hand, the Syrian mufti is campaigning against honour killing. People listen. I’ve heard perhaps a hundred Arab Muslims over the last six months talking against the intolerance and stupidity of Wahhabi-nihilists. And there is now muted but significant criticism of Syrian economic policy, corruption and dictatorship on Syrian TV abd in the newspapers.

February 4th, 2008, 10:57 am

 

Milli Schmidt said:

“Syrian Facility Bombed by Israel not Nuclear” – I wonder, is there anyone, repeat: anyone who is surprised by this “news”?

February 4th, 2008, 11:47 am

 

MSK said:

Dear Josh,

While I find the title amusing (“Sy Hersh confirms …” – as if he’s some sort of nuclear expert. It’s the people he interviewed who confirmed …) the article itself is very important.

There are a few issues that deserve highlighting:

(1) The Israelis will go solo, if they feel it’s necessary. That’s true for military strikes against Syria, Iran, or whoever. But that is then also true for, say, talks with Syria, Hamas, or whoever.

(2) The Syrian regime has no control over the information that Syrian officials give out. The aftermath of the Israeli strike – where Faruq al-Shara contradicts Muallem who contradicts Bashar al-Assad, who all are contradicted by anonymous Syrian officials – is almost an example of “how not to do one’s public relations”. That would not’ve happened under the old man and it’s certainly not helping to portray the Syrian regime in a good light …

(3) There is already (or still?) a faction within the Iranian regime that wants to talk to the Americans. We can only hope that it doesn’t disappear and is still around by the time the US is ending its “we don’t talk to evildoers & turrrrsts” policy.

(4) Investigative journalism isn’t dead.

(5) Sy Hersh’s Lebanon fiasco may have been only a glitch in his otherwise damn good track record.

Cheers,

–MSK*

February 4th, 2008, 12:45 pm

 

annie said:

APalace, I had not listened to that show on Al Jazeera; though my knowledge of Arabic is limited I believe the translation was correct.
So, big deal ! You find an arab woman who is pro Israeli and who says muslims are the only ones to call non muslims by other names, what about the word goy ?
And her Israeli proteges have never committed terrorism ? Do read Pappé, his recent book about the Ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Zionists launched terrorism in the region.
Do you know about the respective prayers of Jews and Muslims ?
Thank you God for not making me a goy and
Thank you God for making me a muslim

February 4th, 2008, 1:13 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Of course the Arabs won’t listen to Wafa Sultan. They won’t listen to anybody unless you tell them lies to make them feel better. Criticism is just not the in thing. There is a catch-22. Either the source is in the West and then “not trusted” so you shouldn’t listen to it, or it is in jail in the Arab countries and then you can’t listen to it. How convenient.

Yes, there is one kind of criticism. Saudis criticize the Syrian regime and Syrians criticze the Wahabis instead of each taking care of his own government. This kind of criticism is truly amusing.

And then there is the Qunfuz method. Palestinian suicide bombing? No big deal, it is Israel’s fault. Sultan is not saying Jews did not resort to terror. She is saying that a society that dispenses candy when two of its children committ suicide in order to kill an Israeli woman (like today in Dimona) is a society of animals.

And no one in Israel will forget that Asad is the one funding and sheltering Hamas and thus is the supporter of these suicide killings. When the Syrian people pay the price for it, they will know who to blame.

February 4th, 2008, 1:22 pm

 

offended said:

MSK, What Sy Hersh Lebanon fiasco are you talking about?

February 4th, 2008, 1:22 pm

 

offended said:

On a side note, it’s really impressive that Sy gets to travel to the antagonized capitals and meets with informed high ranking officers from both of them. The man is as resourceful as a CIA head of station (or maybe even more!)

February 4th, 2008, 1:24 pm

 

MSK said:

Offended,

I meant the article he wrote last year about Islamists in Lebanon etc., which was a fiasco and earned him a lot of ridicule. We’d discussed it here @ SyriaComment.

–MSK*

February 4th, 2008, 1:29 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nowhere does Hersh say that he is sure the facility hit was not nuclear. He constantly hedges his bets. He wasn’t able to get anything definite either from Israeli sources or Syrian sources. And given the fact that every Syrian says something different, it is amazing that he even tries to reach any conclusion. The story of the Syrian general that Israel lighted the area before bombing is a clear give away that he is lying. Hersh does not pick this up.

All in all, he has contributed nothing new to the debate. Of course, Syrians will be disappointed that people are not convinced. But there is a simple solution for that. Let the Syrians explain why they razed the plant. Until they do, the totality of the evidence points to a nuclear facility.

February 4th, 2008, 1:35 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

though my knowledge of Arabic is limited I believe the translation was correct

Annie –

And here all along, I thought you were Arab. So you said :

memri is not reliable Don’t ask me to give you five reasons why memri is not reliable; just google “memri lies”. You’ll get more than five.

Now you say “the translation was correct”. Please make up your mind.

Why would MEMRI want to ruin their reputation by not translating correctly? It seems to me you arr suffering from a complete lack of objectivity. But you aren’t the only one. You’re in good company.

Do you know about the respective prayers of Jews and Muslims?

Please don’t teach me about Jewish prayers, and I’ll promise not to teach you about your religion. There is no prayer “Thank you God for [not?] making me a muslim”. If you want to comment on religion, you may want to refer to Wafa Sultan’s comments to the interlocutor she was debating regarding Islam. She was born a Muslim, and so I respect her observations. This woman has earned my humble respect…big time!

Zionists launched terrorism in the region.

Winning a war of survival (that Israel was prepared to thwart by accepting Partition) is not terrorism. And blowing one’s self up in a crowed market place is “resistance”. Go figure. We do speak different languages.

I meant the article he wrote last year about Islamists in Lebanon etc., which was a fiasco and earned him a lot of ridicule.

MSK –

And his article about the US getting ready to bomb Iran turned out to be BS. Sy Hersh is an unobjective yellow-journalist with an agenda. He hates conservatives, he’s a die-hard liberal, and there is nothing the Arabs and the Islamofascists can do that will bother him. He’s seeking to make the US government look bad. He’s trolling the bottom of the ocean for waste products and hoping to find the “big story”. His sources are all disaffected state department and CIA wannabees.

February 4th, 2008, 1:46 pm

 

offended said:

MSK, was it the one about his claims (findings) that Sa’d Al Hariri was the financer and the backer of Fath Al Islam?

Yes, I do have vague memory of discussing the article (interview?)here, but I don’t recall that we’ve concluded for sure that the man is mistaken.

February 4th, 2008, 1:55 pm

 
 

MSK said:

Offended,

We’d discussed it and there was overwhelming consensus that on the question of Lebanon he was out of his depth. That’s not surprising as his main source, organizer, etc. in Lebanon was Michel Samaha …

–MSK*

February 4th, 2008, 2:55 pm

 

idaf said:

This is really funny. MSK (and other Lebanese bashing Sy Hersh) remind me of M14ers’ reaction about Fairuz singing in Damascus. According to them “you are either with us or against us” regardless of how credible or established you are. So Hersh is “out of his depth” only on Lebanon (while the world thinks that he is one of the most brilliant investigative journalists). Fairuz according to those Lebanese is “a traitor” as long as she sings to Syrians, regardless if she has spent her life singing for Lebanon and bringing people in Lebanon together (and Syrians and Lebanese together for that matter).

A reminder to the Lebanese Fairuz bashers, for the record, Fairuz has almost as much songs about Syria as about Lebanon. And more interestingly, her songs about Damascus are more numerous than those about Beirut. My Lebanese friends tell me that when they visit Syria they think that Syrians love Fairuz as an one of their icons much more than the Lebanese do. I subscribe to this theory.

MSK,

“We’d discussed it” BUT there was mostly only you (and someone called Gibran) insisting that on the question of Lebanon “he was out of his depth”. Of course, your argument was than Tony Badran or Michael Young said so (as if they are the most objective investigative journalists on Lebanon)!

Your last comment was anything but honest! I know you’re an avid M14 supporter, but please try to be more objective when you talk about others here.. just so we take you seriously.

Just a couple of comments on Sy Hersh’s article from what you describe as “overwhelming consensus” with you:
T_Desco said:
http://joshualandis.com/blog/?p=551
Regarding the funding of Fatah al-Islam (as reported by Seymour Hersh), I believe that it is possible that some prominent Saudis (not necessarily Hariri) gave money for the creation of militias in Lebanon and that some of that money (or some of the weapons) ended up in the hands of Fatah al-Islam because these groups had friendly ties with each other. That is the version proposed by General Clark (as I understood it). Something similar seems to have happened in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Alex said:
http://joshualandis.com/blog/?p=178
But there is something disturbing that Hersh outlined in this article … frustrations of the Bush administration are leading them to try to adopt more and more desperate tactics … they realized that their opponents in the Middle East are better armed (Hizbollah and Hamas) than their local allies (Seniora and Abbas). To the Americans (and Prince Bandar) it is about bullies and the bullies who should bully them back.

MSK, there was anything but “overwhelming consensus” with your “Hersh’s Lebanon glitch” theory you’re repeatedly trying to shove down our throats based on “opinions” of “objective experts” such as Tony Badran and Michael Young!

Please.

February 4th, 2008, 3:40 pm

 

offended said:

IDAF,

Where have you been bro?

Thank you for refreshing our memories, I couldn’t have said it any better!

February 4th, 2008, 4:20 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Qunfuz;
Zainab, who supposedly burried there, is not the daughter of the prophet MOHAMMAD,his daughter Zainab died while he was alive,in Medinah, Zainab who is burried in Syria, was the daughter of Ali,Ruqiyyah was a daughter of Hussain,who was the son of Ali.

February 4th, 2008, 4:41 pm

 

Alex said:

AIG,

Suicide bombing is criminal. The second intifada was full of criminal tactics. I fully sympathized with the first intifada … not the second one.

But your soldiers are the biggest criminals… because they kill many more people than the suicide bombers… or your hated “despicable” Syrian regime of Bashar Assad. Amnesty accused him of putting many of his critics in jail … and accused your Israel of war crimes in Lebanon.

While you continue to reminds us that the Israeli people will never forgive Assad for hosting Mashal whose Hamas caused the death of a few Israelis this year, … Syrians and Arabs will need to work really hard on trying to forgive Israel who pushed its much more deadly friend (the United States) to start the Iraq war … Israel and its friends (he neocons: Daniel Pipes, Eliot Abrams etc) were among those who tipped the scale in favor of the Iraq war …if you insist that Assad is responsible for the Hamas initiated violence against Israelis (which led to a few dead) … then take responsibility for a million dead Iraqis.

And still today, many of Israel’s friends are pushing Washington to start a war on Iran.

Your criminals are much more deadly than the other criminals… the numbers don’t lie.

Here is another one … Israel is apparently one of the world’s main money laundering centers. Just like Israel did not sign on nuclear non proliferation agreements, Israel did not sign on any thing that prevents it from engaging in large scale money laundering…. billion of dollars in this story alone .. imagine how many other billions were laundered in the civilized democracy, Israel.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=41606&sectionid=351020603

Societe Generale is facing more trouble as a trial begins in Paris over a huge money laundering scam between France and Israel.

Four banks, including Societe Generale, and 138 people, including the bank’s chairman Daniel Bouton, will go on trial on Monday over the multi-billion dollar scam that allegedly began in the late 1990s, according to TODAY.online.

The other banks include Societe Marseillaise de Credit, Barclays France and the National Bank of Pakistan.

This is while Societe Generale had just revealed late last month, that it had lost an amazing $7.1 billion in the biggest rogue trading scandal in history and is currently facing a takeover bid.

Claims of a money laundering network stretching between France and Israel first surfaced during an investigation into a separate fraud involving companies in the Sentier garment-making district of Paris.

Checks trafficked from France were allegedly cleared in money exchange offices or banks in Israel, where a third party can clear a check by paying a cash sum, therefore making it difficult to trace the origin of the funds. The sums were then sent back to French banks.

Among those charged in the France-Israel scam include six rabbis, a former French prosecutor and 57-year-old Bouton, along with other banking managers.

All four banks are charged with contributing to money laundering and profiting from the deals. All deny the charges.

February 4th, 2008, 5:16 pm

 

Alex said:

MSK,

Which of the following two authors cause you to activate the skepticism faculties of your mind more intensely:

Seymour Hersh writing about Lebanon.
Michael young writing about Syria.

And why?

February 4th, 2008, 5:28 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
Yes, when you win a war and kill more enemies you are called a “criminal”. Fine with me. Israel has the best record of any Western army in avoiding collateral damadge whether you keep lying to yourself or not.

The “number” game is pathetic. Of course Israel kills more. That is because it wins. I would not like it to be the other way around.

As for Iraq, even your friend Hersh says it was Chenney and Bush and not Israel, so why do you keep lying about this?

As for the societe general scandal, this is old news. Already in 2004, 85 people were convicted in this affair. In fact, Israel helped in the arrest and prosecution. Israel has since made many changes in its laws and its efforts to stop laundering and is certainly not the leading place for laundering money as you claim.

Do you want to examine which country is more corrupt, Syria or Israel? Is that your point? Since it is clear that Syria is about 100 times more corrupt than Israel, I don’t really understand what you are trying to prove.

You embody the typical Arab way of dealing with criticism. First, point a finger at someone else and then do nothing to make your own society better. I hope this works for you.

February 4th, 2008, 6:14 pm

 

Alex said:

1) “first” in my comment above I “pointed the finger” to our side first, not yours.

2) Israel “wins”? … you killed 1400 Lebanese (Amnesty called you war criminals) and you lost!

You always kill … win or lose.

3) I have it from a good source that Israel continues to be one of the world’s leading money laundering centers .. you know why? because you want to make it easy for Jews from Russia and everywhere to send billions to Israel… no questions asked.

4) for your info … The suicide operation today was claimed by the Aqsa brigades … Fatah’s, not Hamas.

February 4th, 2008, 6:24 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
1) Sure, only to turn around quickly in order to make the two wrongs make a right argument of yours. You seem to think it works.

2) If you call killing one third of Hizballah’s fighting force “losing” and if you call having the UN in South Lebanon as well as the Lebanese Army in the south “losing” than so be it. Israel “lost” so badly that Hizballah do not dare do anything on the Lebanese-Israeli border and it has never been more quiet. Amnesty are just wrong. Israel had no intention of killing any civillians and their deaths were collateral damadge.

3) Yes, you have anonymous sources. Well your source is just wrong. I have a good source that assures me that what Israel attacked was a nuclear site.

4) Who cares? It was Hamas that were giving out the candy because they let the killers into Sinai. This illustrates your wrapped thinking. The problem is that Palestinians and many Arabs support these killings, not the fact that one obscure militant group or other claimed responisbility for it.

And yes, Asad and Syria will pay a heavy price for supporting Hamas. I am sure Mesh’al was giving candy out also in Damascus. This is what you represent Alex. Learn to live with it.

February 4th, 2008, 6:44 pm

 

Alex said:

Listen … first you complain that I should first point the finger to my side … when I show you that I did and you, as usual, decided to be blind when it suits you, then you are now disappointed that I dared to point to your much larger number of killing of innocent human beings… which basically says that you are coming to our Syria comment blog to tell us that

1) We are not allowed to criticize Israel without first pointing the finger at our side (which I did)

2) We are not allowed to criticize Israel anyway … because that would be “using the two wrongs make a right argument”

And … seymour Hersh is just wrong … and Amnesty is just wrong … whereas Murdoch owned media are just right in all the anti Syria stories they have been working hard on the past few years.

Congratulations for your happiness with the great victory in Lebanon last year … I just have a feeling that you were expecting a bit more from that operation.

February 4th, 2008, 7:29 pm

 

Nour said:

AIG,

Your posts are always overflowing with hypocracy and outright lies. First, to claim that Israel kills more people because it wins is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard. In essence you are justifying killing innocent civilians so long as you can win the war. Therefore, Nazi Germany was initially killing so many people because it was winning, right? Do you even read what you write before posting it?

Second, to claim that a third of Hizballah’s fighting force was destroyed is laughable. Hizballah, even according to Israeli intelligence estimates, is stronger and more formidable now than it has ever been. In addition, the mere fact that the UN is in the South today does not mean that Hizballah has no presence there, as it clearly does, albeit silently. The fact remains that Israel does not dare invade Lebanon now exactly because of its experience in the July, 2006 war.

Third, Israel has repeatedly and consistently targeted civilians deliberately. Israel has bombed homes, schools, religious places, hospitals, ambulances, civilian vehicles, UN shelters, etc. without any regard for human life. In addition, Israel dropped over one million cluster bombs, an act which has no strategic military sense whatsoever solely for the purpose of killing and terrorizing civilians. To this day innocent civilians continue to die from these bombs.

February 4th, 2008, 7:31 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,
What can be more simple? The side that wins the war, ususally kills more people. Let’s take the six day war. There were about 800 Israelis killed and 21,000 Arabs most if not all soldiers. A ratio of 26 to 1.

I am not justifying killing civillians but as wars go, the countries that lose the wars have more of their civillians killed because of collateral damdge. When you fight the war in your enemy’s country it is only natural that more of his civillians die. And you get to fight the war in your enemy’s country by winning. This is quite obvious. When the Syrian army fought in Lebanon, Lebanese civillains died and not Syrian ones.

It is a fact that at least a third of Hizballah’s fighting force was killed, even if you don’t want to believe. The Israeli army identified them. And yes, thanks to Syria, since the war Hizballah has received more rockets. Don’t worry, the people responsible will pay. And why would Israel invade Lebanon? Israel left Lebanon in 2000 hoping never to return. Hizballah are not armed and sitting on the border anymore. Of course there are Shia in South Lebanon. But all the Hizballah bunkers are abandoned. As usual, you will never learn. Go ahead, believe what you want. We will see who is right when the second round of fighting happens.

Israel has NEVER intentionally or deliberately attacked only civillian targets. If they were used for war, they are fair game. Israel thought that the cluster bombs would be effective against the katyoshas. Apparently they weren’t. They were not meant to terrorize anybody.

February 4th, 2008, 8:01 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
What is the use of pointing the finger to your side if you also support Syria financing and arming Hamas and letting Mesh’al work from Syria? It is nothing but a farce. You are not really pointing at anything.

You use the method of criticizing Israel in a poor attempt to lessen criticism of Syria. That is the two wrongs make a right argument. How for example is a 4 year old financial scandal relevant to a discussion about Syria? It is relevant because your only way to answer criticism about Syria is to point to presumed faults of Israel. Classical two wrongs make a right.

February 4th, 2008, 8:07 pm

 

annie said:

One last comment about Memri taken from Norman Finkelstein’s web site :

How MEMRI presents itself

[From the MEMRI website:]

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) explores the Middle East through the region’s media. MEMRI bridges the language gap which exists between the West and the Middle East, providing timely translations of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends in the Middle East. Founded in February 1998 to inform the debate over U.S. policy in the Middle East, MEMRI is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501 (c)3 organization.
The truth about MEMRI

MEMRI is a main arm of Israeli propaganda. Although widely used in the mainstream media as a source of information on the Arab world, it is as trustworthy as Julius Streicher’s Der Sturmer was on the Jewish world.

The evidence

MEMRI recently posted what it alleged was an interview I did with Lebanese television on the Nazi holocaust. The MEMRI posting was designed to prove that I was a Holocaust denier. Below I juxtapose the MEMRI version of my interview (both the actual broadcast version as well as the transcript it prepared) against what I actually said in the interview.

February 4th, 2008, 9:35 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Annie,
Where is the evidence? Give us the link.

February 4th, 2008, 9:48 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Annie –

Denial isn’t just a river in Eygpt.

It is interesting that it is impossible to find a study showing a “bad” translation from MEMRI.

All those translations referring to “monkeys & pigs” must be “kings and queens”;)

Alex –

Here’s some info that may help you. I doubt it. Israel consistently kills a higher ratio of combatants than the “resistance fighters” you support. Keep in mind, Israeli soldiers do night fight in residential areas like your resistance fighter heroes.

Point being, your freedom fighters specifically target civilians.

http://212.150.54.123/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=439

February 4th, 2008, 9:50 pm

 

Nour said:

AIG,

I am not trying to convince you of anything here; but the idea that Hizballah no longer has any presence in the south is nonsense, and you know it. Israel attempted to invade Lebanon during the last war and it failed miserably, that is a fact. You know very well that Israel’s stated goal was to invade Lebanon up to the Litani, but couldn’t even get past Maroun el-Rass. We were here, watching and following up on the events of that war. If you want to believe that Israel won that war, go ahead and do so, I don’t really think it matters what you think, but the bottom line is that Israel will not dare invade Lebanon again as long as the resistance is there to defend the land.

As for Israel targeting civilians, no matter how much you repeatedly try to fool others, Israel has a policy of targetting civilians and it has always done so in the most brutal and disgusting manner. Israel has even gone to the extent of bombing hospitals and other medical facilities in order to prevent injured civilians from being treated. It has even forced doctors out of hospitals at gunpoint for the same objective. I know it’s true, and you know it’s true, your attempts at misleading the public for fear of damaging Israel’s reputation and exposing it for what it really is notwithstanding.

As for paying a price for what you call support of “terrorism” our people have been paying for merely living on a land desired by Jews. The fact that they are fighting the aggressors and occupiers of their land merely shows that they will continue to struggle and remain steadfast in the face of your brutal onslaught. They will never accept to live under your brutal occupation in humiliation, but will continue to fight you until they are totally liberated. And of course here I am talking of true liberation, not the kind that the US brought to Iraq.

In any case, continue to post your propaganda, and we will continue to expose the ugly side of your cancerous entity.

February 4th, 2008, 10:23 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,
The winograd report pointed out that the problem with the war was exactly that Israel did not want to invade and thought it could win form the air. That was the mistake. Only in the last 3 days of the war a half hearted land operation started.

If Hizbollah will launch missiles into Israel it is clear that the change will have to be that Israel will launch a large scale ground operation in the first few days. Israel will invade Lebanon if Hizballah provokes it. This is exactly what the Israeli army is practicing for now.

Israel has no policy of targeting civillians. You can repeat your lies as much as you want but it does not make them true. Most Israelis have been in the army and we know what the policies are. If it were a policy, it could not have been kept quiet. Israel NEVER targets civillians on purpose. It is not moral and also it does not help. So why do it?

“the ugly side of your cancerous entity” is exposed for anyone to see. Israel has a free press and freedom of speech. All you do in your “expositions” is quote Israeli sources. It is really quite amusing.

February 4th, 2008, 10:44 pm

 

Nour said:

AIG,

Israel did attempt to invade Lebanon after its air campaign proved fruitless. The Israeli army was sent into Lebanese territory, but was very ill-prepared for what they encountered inside. Israel got thoroughly manhandled on the ground and you know it; otherwise, why did they not succeed in controlling a single Lebanese village, and why did they agree to a ceasefire when they hadn’t completed their task? Your arguments are quite amusing in that you are trying to distort the events of that war when we were all watching and following up with what was happening during the war. But at least this time you didn’t contend that Hizballah no longer has any presence in the south.

As for the latter part of your post, it is quite a pathetic argument. First, Israel DOES target innocent civilians and we all know that, as many of our family members experienced first hand Israel’s terror campaigns. Israel does play the PR game really well, but the facts on the ground paint a different picture than that Israel likes to present to the world. When a UN investigative team concludes that Israel deliberately targeted a UN shelter filled with civilians, you merely brush aside the report and criticize the UN. When Amnesty International reports on Israel’s brutal torture of civilians in its prisons and detention camps, you merel claim that those reports are exaggerated. When witnesses state that Israeli soldiers consistently target the heads of Palestinians while shooting at them, you claim those witnesses are biased. When ambulances are bombed, it is because they could have been transporting weapons. When homes are destroyed, it is because they may have been hiding rockets. When civilian cars are strafed, it is because they didn’t obey Israeli orders. You always have an excuse for everything, and that’s how you always attempt to deflect criticisms for the policy of your racist entity.

However, it’s all fine so long as you have a “free” press. It’s ok for you to kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure, as long as from time to time a report is written about it. This is the central point of your silly arguments. Israel is a “democracy” and therefore everything it does is excused. If we present evidence that Israel targets civilians, you immediately change the subject to one involving “democracy” and “freedom”. It is a classic tactic employed by people like yourself, in order to avoid the real issues. We are not allowed to criticize Israeli brutality because at least reporters are allowed to cover Israeli criminal actions from time to time. We are not allowed to object to the killing and maiming of innocent civilians because Israelis have “free” elections. These are all effective tactics in turning people’s attention away from the facts on the ground, but in the end, we know what Israel has done and what it continues to do. And the fact that elections are held in Israel has no bearing on the main issues at hand.

February 4th, 2008, 11:06 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

February 4th, 2008, 11:22 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

February 4th, 2008, 11:24 pm

 

Nour said:

AIG,

Again, this is deflecting. You keep asking for concrete evidence but when you are provided with it, you just make up an excuse. I gave you examples. Remember that a UN investigative committee concluded that Israel deliberately bombed the Qana UN shelter in 1996. But you won’t accept the findings of this committee just because it’s Israel.

As for the rest, it’s nonsense. People that are under occupation and that are suppressed are always more likely to vent their frustration. However, MANY Israelis celebrate when our civilians die. To claim a moral superiority on your part is ridiculous. You saw the pictures of Israeli children writing letters on missiles that were about to be dropped on Lebanese civilians. We heard an israeli Rabbi claiming that the death of “a millin arabs is not worth one Jewish fingernail”. A friend of my sister’s, who is American, jumped for joy when learning of the death of innocent Lebanese civilians in Qana in 1996. You yourself are happy when Israel is bombarding Lebanon, and you take deep joy in seeing the US obliterate Iraq. The difference between us is that we didn’t leave our land looking to take someone else’s land and to create a state exclusively for us on their land, while you did and are doing exactly that. You are the aggressors, not those people who were merely living on their land when you decided it should now belong to you. To turn around now and make your victims look like the bad guys takes a lot of nerve, but I guess if you don’t care about killing civilians and destroying whole countries, then why should you care about that.

February 4th, 2008, 11:52 pm

 

Alex said:

AIG,

I think we all had enough of your “the difference between us is that you give out candy to celebrate when hamas kills an innocent Israeli”

Go back to your mirror and practice more Netanyahu debating tricks… go watch his VHS training tapes … but stop bombarding everyone here with your insults.

Nour … I know it is difficult. But we need to ignore him after a couple of rounds. He wants to hijack and destroy this blog.

February 4th, 2008, 11:55 pm

 

abraham said:

MSK said:

(5) Sy Hersh’s Lebanon fiasco may have been only a glitch in his otherwise damn good track record.

What do you mean by that? What “Lebanon fiasco”?

If you read his articles then research the background on the nuances you will find he was pretty right on. I still don’t think we’ve found out who let the Fath al Islam guys into the Palestinian camps, have we? The Palestinians said they didn’t know and they didn’t want them there, and they couldn’t get them to leave. According to Hersh, the “redirection” (as he called it) was to fund radical Salafist groups in the region in the hopes that they would go after the Shia dominated interests that the idiot Americans let loose when they invaded Iraq and overthrew Hussein. It makes perfect sense, because it totally is within the characteristics of the Bush administration, which goes from one crisis to the next by panicking and trying to undo their previous fuck-up by committing an even greater fuck-up.

As far as his articles about the US wanting to bomb Iran, Hersh was not reporting anything new to anyone who actually had the background and was reading the leaks that were coming out of the administration for months leading up to Hersh’s article. There was–and still is–a high level (i.e. Cheney) policy of belligerance towards Iran. The reason the US backed off on its ever increasing militaristic rhetoric (“all options are on the table”) was because the US military brass basically told the administration that they would sooner mutiny than follow orders to attack Iran, which they saw as just plain psychotic. Hence, there was no attack on Iran, the rhetoric has died down, and the voices advocating for war with Iran have been muted. But to those who aren’t paying attention, those details never made it into their brain and thus their impression is that Hersh is nothing more than a Cassandra.

Again, if you were paying attention to the nuance then there is nothing new in what Hersh reports. He just ties all the loose ends together and presents the larger picture. If you are so smart that you don’t have to read then your impression of Hersh will be that he’s a wild prognosticator. For those people there is DEBKAfile and whatever other founts of zionist propaganda that they rely on for their “news”.

Some people connect the dots and come out with a different picture, because they connected them in the wrong order and perhaps miss some of them. When Sy Hersh connects the dots, I believe the picture he describes because he actually has contact with people who know what the dots mean, whereas the lounge chair analysts here at SC have whatever information they come across on the internet.

Advantage: Sy Hersh.

February 4th, 2008, 11:55 pm

 

alle said:

I just read above that comments are being moderated. If that’s the case, couldn’t we please have a little bit stricter moderation? Some extremely interesting things are written in SyriaComment’s comment fields, but right now, they’re being buried in posts by people who mostly seem to be here to abuse each other.

February 5th, 2008, 12:43 am

 

Alex said:

Alle,

Unfortunately, it is not easy to come up with clear guidelines for what is acceptable and what is not.

Most commentators here (including Shai, an Israeli moderate) wanted me to ban AIG. But he represents hard line Israelis and he often makes good points.

Instead of banning him, I told him that I will remove three types of his comments

1) Those where he turns any and all arguments into his famous “yeah, but you don’t have democracy in Syria”

2) Those which do not add any value to any debate but are instead good for hooking someone here (often me) into one of his irrelevant and repetitive arguments.

3) Insults to others.

As for others, no insults or threats.

Thats as far as I will go. It is not precise but it is better than nothing.

February 5th, 2008, 1:24 am

 

Qifa Nabki said:

Akbar Palace:

Why do you think the Israelis are willing to consider a strike on Iran, when they know that any sabre rattling just plays into the hands of Ahmedinejad?

Nasrallah emerged as the hero of the Middle East two years ago because he managed to … not die.

Never mind that we lost 1400 people, millions of dollars in infrastructure, environmental damage, etc. Hizbullah survived, and that’s what counted, according to this logic.

So why bother with Iran? Surely the Iranians are not a military threat to Israel. If you really want to weaken them, why not kill them with kindness?

February 5th, 2008, 1:27 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

It is always interesting to read the AIG’s and Akbar’s comments how Israel is building peace and trust with Palestinians / Arabs / Muslims. And how in their opinion this great Jewish “democracy” in Israel is the victim.

Here is one tiny news about the concrete actions by Israel how to build trust between different groups.

Jerusalem – Ma’an – The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein has condemned a decision by Israeli authorities to demolish the Al-Omari mosque in the village of Umm Tuba near Jerusalem under the pretext that the building had been built without a license on Sunday.
Sheikh Hussein told Ma’an that the mosque was built more than 700 years go, and it was last restored in 1963. It is the only mosque in Umm Tuba.

The Mufti claimed that Israeli authorities have been attempting to wipe out historic Islamic sites in Palestine which is violation of all religious values and international treaties.

He warned of the repercussions and called on the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which is charged with protecting human cultural heritage around the world, and other international organizations to prevent the demolition of the mosque.

It would interesting to know how this kind of behaviour is possible in a country which claims to be democratic. How is it possible AIG, you great supporter of democracy? Not even Saddam used equal byrocratic methods. What if our town council in Helsinki would decide that the Synagogue here has no valid licence? I suppose most synagogues, churches and mosques around the world, which were build hundreds years ago, lack a clear licence from the ruling “establishment”, especially in countries which were founded less than 60 years ago. AIG have the old Christian churches and Al Aqsa around Ersatz Israel a valid “licence” from your “secular and democratic” government and local authorities? Or will we read in future more news of such of such cultural vandalism?

There are plenty of equal news about the ethnic and cultural cleansing around Israel, so I would prefer that you Israel guys would not so loudly recommend “democracy”. Heaven help us all if Israeli style of religious democracy spreads.

February 5th, 2008, 1:32 am

 

Alex said:

Yes AP,

They are a 100 times the size of Hizbollah (easily) … Why not kill them with kindness??

Did you try? … in the 70’s you were so kind to the Shah of Iran who was “a dictator”

Obama says he will talk t Iran and Syria. If he is elected, what would you like Israel to do about Iran in that case?

February 5th, 2008, 1:37 am

 

Qifa Nabki said:

By the way, Wafa Sultan may be out of her depth and unqualified to speak about Islam, and she may have shot herself in the foot with her overblown criticisms (like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji, Ibn Warraq, etc.) but this does not mean that MEMRI is unreliable.

MEMRI’s goal is to allow the Middle East to speak for itself. True, they select negative material, but this is their angle, namely to show the more hateful and backward aspects of contemporary Arab political culture. What are we going to say? That our political culture is not backward and hateful at times? This is patently false.

They do also present clips under their “reform” heading, which are considerably less virulent than Dr. Sultan. I think it would be far more profitable to debate the contributions of such figures, like Adonis, Iyad Jamal al-Din, Ahmad al-Ruba’i, etc.

I understand why MEMRI irks people; the feeling it often gives me is: “Yes, but there are plenty of backward and hateful things about U.S. and Israeli political culture.” Fine. Then why don’t people systematically seek them out? All you’d have to do is record the O’Reilly Factor each night, Glen Beck, Ann Coulter, and a million others, and you’d have more than enough material to present a counter-MEMRI.

But, even this, in my opinion, is not productive. More productive would be to make use of this resource to actually address and debate these issues. I’d like to remind my fellow critics on SC that as hard as we can be on the U.S., we are not nearly as hard on it as some of its own citizens. Take, for example, Sy Hersh.

We should learn to emulate the critical skills, not the conservative ones.

February 5th, 2008, 1:56 am

 

abraham said:

The “number” game is pathetic. Of course Israel kills more. That is because it wins. I would not like it to be the other way around.

Interesting “logic”. I fail to understand how that explains Hizballah’s rout of the IDF in Summer 2006. Hmm, perhaps when the vast majority of your kills are civilians then you lose?

Anyway, I’m arguing with children again. I told myself I wouldn’t do that anymore.

February 5th, 2008, 2:08 am

 

abraham said:

One more thing: as long as we’re invoking “collateral damage” then the one death from today’s suicide bombing was “collateral damage”.

Arguing semantics is so silly, no?

February 5th, 2008, 2:10 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Qifa Nabki asks:

Why do you think the Israelis are willing to consider a strike on Iran, when they know that any sabre rattling just plays into the hands of Ahmedinejad?

I think the Israelis are willing to consider a strike on Iran for the same reason the US and their allies considered a strike on Iraq: because you can’t take a chance with a madman.

If you really want to weaken them, why not kill them with kindness?

The best way to kill Saddam was to bring him to court and then let his people hang him. With “I’m in Need of Jihad”, the best way to kill him is to take away his toys.

SimoHurtta said:

Not even Saddam used equal byrocratic methods.

Really? Since when is destroying a building worse than gassing the town of Halabja? You sure have a weird value system.

There are hundreds of mosques in Israel which have been built and expanded legally.

http://history1900s.about.com/od/saddamhussein/a/husseincrimes.htm

Qifa Nabki said:

MEMRI’s goal is to allow the Middle East to speak for itself. True, they select negative material, but this is their angle, namely to show the more hateful and backward aspects of contemporary Arab political culture. What are we going to say? That our political culture is not backward and hateful at times? This is patently false.

I agree. There is no doubt MEMRI has an angle. The most important angle is to show the world that the Arabs may talk peace to the international audience and then talk jihad and intolerance to their own regional audience. It also shows what the government is thinking since almost all quotes are from government controlled media sources.

MEMRI also translates articles from Arab reformers and moderates that the government allow to speak from time-to-time.

IMHO, most Arabs simply don’t care, and don’t want to make a stand. They are either too afraid to air their opinion, or they are in total agreement with the jihadist/rejectionists, or they just can’t read.

And then when some Arab despot starts a war, everyone is wondering why Israel is behaving so badly. You can call it the “Cycle of Violence”, I call it “The Cycle of Apathy”.

February 5th, 2008, 2:20 am

 

Qifa Nabki said:

Akbar Palace said:

I think the Israelis are willing to consider a strike on Iran for the same reason the US and their allies considered a strike on Iraq: because you can’t take a chance with a madman.

AP, this is my point.

Look how beautifully the Iraq war has gone for America. It has been a disaster. Even the Republicans are trying to find ways to walk away. There have been hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, the Islamic world is in flames, the U.S. national debt has jumped 60% since Bush took office, and there’s no end in sight… all to be able to say that a “madman” has been killed.

It’s simply not good politics, to say nothing of ethics.

February 5th, 2008, 2:39 am

 

abraham said:

I’ve asked this before (I think): does anyone know of a forum similar to Syria Comment but which has a pro-Israel bent where the discussion is as vibrant as it is here? Can anyone point to even one pro-Israel website where the pro-Arab side has as much freedom to comment as the pro-Israel side does here on SC?

I will say upfront I seriously doubt it.

February 5th, 2008, 2:43 am

 

Qifa Nabki said:

Abraham,

The comment pages on Haaretz, for starters.

February 5th, 2008, 2:50 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Abraham,
You portray the depth of thinking in the Arab world. When you try to kill a militant and kill also a civillian, that is the case of collateral damdge.

When you go to Dimona and blow up yourself next to a 73 year old woman, she is not collateral damage because you intended to kill her, not some soldier near by as there were no soldiers near by. She is just a victim of murder. Yes, I know the Israeli army is full of grandmothers and she is a reservist.

Sim,
The Lutherans which you are one of, burned down plenty of synagogoues with the Jews inside. Unfortunately for you, there are still Jews left around. Israel is a law abiding country. You cannot build anything be it a mosque or a synagogue without a permit. If they built without a permit, the mosque should come down.

February 5th, 2008, 2:57 am

 

abraham said:

NOUR said:

Israel does play the PR game really well, but the facts on the ground paint a different picture than that Israel likes to present to the world. When a UN investigative team concludes that Israel deliberately targeted a UN shelter filled with civilians, you merely brush aside the report and criticize the UN. When Amnesty International reports on Israel’s brutal torture of civilians in its prisons and detention camps, you merel claim that those reports are exaggerated. When witnesses state that Israeli soldiers consistently target the heads of Palestinians while shooting at them, you claim those witnesses are biased. When ambulances are bombed, it is because they could have been transporting weapons. When homes are destroyed, it is because they may have been hiding rockets. When civilian cars are strafed, it is because they didn’t obey Israeli orders. You always have an excuse for everything, and that’s how you always attempt to deflect criticisms for the policy of your racist entity.

Hi Nour.

That is the relevant point, and I hope any neutral observers who might be visiting this thread read that and absorb it. If they take away nothing else from the conversation, that should be the one thing.

If Israel is to be commended on at least one thing, it is their public relations. They are masters of image control, and the Madison Avenue advertising executives and PR gurus are mere neophytes compared to them.

As I’ve said before, Israel will lie about everything they do, even if it’s not in their interest to do so. When they are accused of anything, at the same time they deny it they are also accusing the other side of initiating it. They will often come up with multiple evolving reasons to explain their terrorism and murder.

Nothing is ever resolved. Cases of Palestinian civilians who are murdered by IDF terrorists never get any resolution because the IDF always finds some way to justify or eat least explain away the crime.

Always.

Israeli action is always termed as “retaliation”, where as Palestinian self-defense is labeled “terrorism”. Israel always paints itself as the victim. An unwelcome, occupying power is the victim! They’re so good at what they do that they got even an entire Western press to report based on these terms.

Meanwhile, the fact that the Palestinians are an occupied people and under international law have every right to use any means necessary to resist is somehow lost in the noise. Let’s clear the air here: the Palestinians are not an army. They are a people under occupation. If they use suicide bombings as a tactic, that is their moral imperative. The mistake and the logical fallacy that most observers of this conflict make is assuming the Palestinians are on equal standing with the Israelis. Nonsense. The Palestinians are the victim and have all the moral capital here, and no tactic they use in their struggle can take away from the morality of their cause. None.

As long as Israel is willing to sustain their occupation of Palestine, they should always be willing to sustain suicide bombings on a regular basis. They deserve no less. You reap what you sow.

February 5th, 2008, 3:32 am

 

Syrian said:

However,

You can build all the illegal settlements without permits that you would like. Since they are not built inside Israel proper they do not violate any law? Right??

February 5th, 2008, 3:38 am

 

jo6pac said:

Thanks to most of you for the comments, I always learn something here.
jo6pac
I wish others from the US would visit sites like this

February 5th, 2008, 3:50 am

 

abraham said:

More productive would be to make use of this resource to actually address and debate these issues. I’d like to remind my fellow critics on SC that as hard as we can be on the U.S., we are not nearly as hard on it as some of its own citizens. Take, for example, Sy Hersh.

We should learn to emulate the critical skills, not the conservative ones.

Um, we do engage in self-criticism. I see it all the time here on SC. I have done so myself on numerous occasions.

But I am not here to defend myself from the negative aspects of our culture and society. Why should we alone have to do that? Nonsense.

I’m here to defend Arab rights and specifically the Palestinians. I am here to continually remind everyone that the Palestinians are the victim; they are the occupied.

If you want self-criticism, go read As’ad Abukhalil’s blog (highly recommended by the way).

February 5th, 2008, 3:54 am

 

abraham said:

The comment pages on Haaretz, for starters.

I was thinking more along the lines of an academic blog but yes, that is certainly one.

Though if we go along with the typical pro-Israel response whenever Ha’aretz is mentioned, it’s a totally liberal paper, so it doesn’t count.

February 5th, 2008, 4:26 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Luckily, most observers understand that when a people start using suicide bombing it means that they are morally bankrupt.

The Palestinians are not victims. They are gamblers. At evey stage in the conflict they used the strategy of double or nothing and they lost. Of course, they were given bad advice by their Arab brothers also.

They rejected the UN partition resolution even though according to Landis they knew they would lose the war. They decided to gang up on Israel in 67 and lost more. They refused to talk to Israel after 67 and now Hamas still wants to eliminate Israel. Compulsive gambling is a sickness and shouldn’t be rewarded.

A note about self criticism. Self criticism without accountability is nothing. It leads nowhere. For example few posters here claim that Israeli PR is better than the Arab one. Let’s assume that is so. Well? Why hasn’t the Arab PR changed over last 60 years? If it is such a failure and you know it is, why aren’t you improving it?The answer is simple. It is because there is no real self criticism and accountability. There is just complaining and doing nothing.

February 5th, 2008, 4:50 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

And yes Alex, Hamas took responsibility for the suicide bombing:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/951141.html

Do you still support letting Mesh’al work from Damascus?

February 5th, 2008, 5:13 am

 

abraham said:

I will respond to you just this one time.

First of all, as a zionist, as an occupier, as an aggressor, don’t you sit there and make any claims regarding the status of the Palestinians. Not only are they victims, they are YOUR victim. Morally bankrupt does not even begin to describe your line of reasoning. It is doubly shameful of you as a Jew for violating the core tenets of your faith.

Second, perhaps Arabs haven’t improved their PR because they have something much better: righteousness. The Palestinian cause is a righteous one. That so many people, with their own eyes, can observe what is happening and see cleary that the Palestinians are being victimized yet allow themselves to be swayed by Israeli PR, is not a failure of Palestinian PR but a failure of morals among men who allow themselves to be fooled, whether willfully or unwittingly, by cheap talk.

Fie.

February 5th, 2008, 7:33 am

 

MSK said:

IDAF,

I didn’t know that I am an “avid M14 supporter” – thanks for telling me what my political stance is.

I always said that Sy Hersh is a brilliant investigative journalist but that his Lebanon article was a glitch in his otherwise damn good record. It happens. I was initially puzzled but once I learned that Michel Samaha was Hersh’s go-to guy in Lebanon, gave him the contacts in Syria etc. a lot of things made sense. Btw, I didn’t bash Hersh – I just pointed out that he fell for the spin of a political group in Lebanon & that he was out of his depth. His expertise is on the US and his current article is, interestingly, much more nuanced than the one where he wanted to find out the details of Fatah al-Islam etc.

I would never cite Tony Badran on anything – he’s an ideological extremist. Michael Young … I believe I cited on Sy Hersh as his argumentation was solid. I still read MY with care but his analysis on internal Lebanese issues can be quite good.

Now to your quotes:

T-Desco said that Hersh’s assertion that the Hariris instigated and paid for Fatah al-Islam could’ve just been Saudis trying to fund/organize Sunni groups and then money going to FI. Hersh asserted that M14 organized FI. T-Desco did not see it that way.

Alex … is hardly impartial when it comes to things Syrian/Lebanese. I wouldn’t cite him as “evidence”.

If you want some “objective” take on Hersh’s article, ask Nick Blanford or Chris Albritton or Nir Rosen or any other international journalist in the country.

And why you have to drag Fairouz into this is beyond me. Did I ever say anything about Fairouz’ concert in Damascus?

Alex,

After Hersh’s article from earlier last year, both in equal amounts.

–MSK*

February 5th, 2008, 8:24 am

 

why-discuss said:

No nobody mentions the origin of the weapons used in today’s african conflicts, in Kenya and Chad? Russian made, US or peace loving Israel? Is Israel economy and arms industry booming with the blood of africans?

February 5th, 2008, 8:43 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

I would never cite Tony Badran on anything – he’s an ideological extremist.

MSK –

And Sy Hersh isn’t?? Please.

Can anyone point to even one pro-Israel website where the pro-Arab side has as much freedom to comment as the pro-Israel side does here on SC?

Abraham,

Sure. There are lots of them. Here is a website where the pro-Arab side has as much freedom to comment as the pro-Israel side.

Enjoy.

http://www.salam-shalom.net/salam-shalom/salamforum1.html

February 5th, 2008, 11:55 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Even the Republicans are trying to find ways to walk away.

All leading Republican candidates are for staying in Iraq until the Iraqi government can protect their people adequately. That includes McCain and Romney.

There have been hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, the Islamic world is in flames, the U.S. national debt has jumped 60% since Bush took office, and there’s no end in sight… all to be able to say that a “madman” has been killed.

The Arab world was in flames before the Americans came, but because it was Arab against Arab and Muslim against Muslim, you and the “Arab street” didn’t really care. Remember, the rule is that dead Arabs and Muslims are fine as long as it is us killing ourselves. Just like in Homs, just like in Algeria, just like in Lebanon, just like in Iraq, and just like in Palestine.

BTW – Iraq Body Count (no pro-Bush website) estimates between 65,000 to 85,000 deaths. They do not distinguish between deaths of combatants, non-combatants, those deaths caused by US and allied forces or those deaths caused by jihadists, insurgents, and other murderers.

Whatever the case may be, Saddam Hussein has killed over twice as many Iraqis.

February 5th, 2008, 12:11 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Sim,
The Lutherans which you are one of, burned down plenty of synagogoues with the Jews inside. Unfortunately for you, there are still Jews left around. Israel is a law abiding country. You cannot build anything be it a mosque or a synagogue without a permit. If they built without a permit, the mosque should come down.

It is astonishing AIG how you always blame us others using racial and religious generalizations, but you are extremely offended if somebody says “Jews did this or that” or mentions the word Jew. I have never heard that in Finland Jews were burned in synagogues by Lutherans or anybody else. If you AIG constantly blame us others for ancient happenings and crimes, so give us the same right. Jews have made their “fair” share of crimes in the world history. So have Christians and Muslims. The Jews have not been always the victims. The essential thing is that now we are speaking about present events, not about what happened hundreds years ago. Not even the events of WW2 do give the present generations the right to behave violently and murderously against people who had nothing to do with the Holocaust.

The problem with your explanation of the news I brought up is that the mosque is 700 year old. 700 years old do you understand AIG. The mosque was not build during the Israeli Jewish rule. The time when the mosque in question was build your ancestors were digging the East European fields.

February 5th, 2008, 12:12 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sim,
Your problem is that you believe that Israel would destroy a mosque that was in place 700 years. Israel is the leader in archeology in the middle east and would never do such a thing. You quote an obscure press release by ma’an and you tend to believe anything that is bad about Jews. Thank goodness the Jews have a country and do not need to count on the generosity of Europeans like you. You are a great example of why a Jewish state is neededed and why Jews could not assimilate into Europe.

February 5th, 2008, 2:05 pm

 

norman said:

AIG,

They did not come from Syria .Did they.?

February 5th, 2008, 2:19 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Who?

February 5th, 2008, 2:21 pm

 

Qifa Nabki said:

But I am not here to defend myself from the negative aspects of our culture and society. Why should we alone have to do that? Nonsense.

I’m here to defend Arab rights and specifically the Palestinians. I am here to continually remind everyone that the Palestinians are the victim; they are the occupied.

Abraham, I’ve had a look at your blog, and I can understand why you would prefer to keep on a brave face and not engage in self-criticism. It seems that you’ve had an infestation of fascists on your comment boards. Then again, if you are willing to stoop to their level and engage them with obscenities and diatribes, they will continue their campaign.

SC is different, as you’ve noticed. We are mostly Arabs here, or people sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. You don’t need to remind us that the Palestinians are the victims. This is why I suggested that we discuss reform issues, because if there were ever a “safe” place to do so, it would be on a blog such as this.

If you want self-criticism, go read As’ad Abukhalil’s blog (highly recommended by the way).

I am not fond of Angry Arab, because he is simply too negative. He hates everyone, and while such cynicism can be valuable at times, it is also counter-productive to finding true solutions.

February 5th, 2008, 3:10 pm

 

Shual said:

“You are a great example of why a Jewish state is neededed and why Jews could not assimilate into Europe.”

1991: 30 000
2003: 102 000
[Germans with jewish religion] + several 10tsds “unofficials”

Thank goodness the Jews have a country and do not need to count on the generosity of Zionists like you.

February 5th, 2008, 3:48 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Hey Fox,
You know the saying, there are lies, damn lies and statistics?

Why don’t you give the statistics over all the 20th century? How about let’s say between 1939 and 1945?

If you want to argue a point at least have the intellectual honesty to provide all the data otherwise you are just making a fool of yourself.

February 5th, 2008, 4:02 pm

 

norman said:

AIg,
The people who attacked your city.

February 5th, 2008, 4:54 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

I am not fond of Angry Arab, because he is simply too negative. He hates everyone, and while such cynicism can be valuable at times, it is also counter-productive to finding true solutions.

Qifa Nakbi,

Thank you for your objectivity and your positive tone.

February 5th, 2008, 5:03 pm

 

Shual said:

“How about let’s say between 1939 and 1945?”

The answer was written for: “You are a great example of why a Jewish state is neededed and why Jews could not assimilate into Europe.”

“is neededed” = Now, not “was needed” an you talked ABOUT a person that posted minutes before you, dear Mr. Another New Jersey Guy.

“It’s astounding, time is fleeting
Madness takes its toll
But listen closely, not for very much longer
I’ve got to keep control

I remember doing the Zionists Time Warp
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me and the void would be calling
Let’s do the Zionists time warp back to the Nazis again…
Let’s do the Zionists time warp back tio the Nazis again!

It’s just a jump to the 30ties
And then a step to the 40ties
With their minds on the Shoa
You cause in every audience quite
And it’s the emotional thrust that really drives them insane,

Let’s do the Zionists Time Warp back to the Nazis again!”

February 5th, 2008, 5:18 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Norman,
So what? Hamas took full responsibility. Mesh’al the leader of the military arm of Hamas is in Damascus as a guest of Asad. The Syrian regime supports and finances Hamas. You still think Syria is not responsible? Well guess what, most of the world sees Syria as partially responsible for these suicide bombing and that is why Syria is on the list of terror supporting countries.

I will not tell you how to fight your wars. Do what works for you. But don’t complain about how Israel fights its wars or act surprised when Syria is attacked.

February 5th, 2008, 5:21 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

So your point Mr. Fox is that a Jewish state was needed in the past and is not needed now? And is that because now you are sure that what happened in the past could never happen again? Why, I see you can predict the future. Perhaps it runs in the family? I am sure your grandparents advised the Jews to leave Germany in the early 1930’s.

Herzl saw what was coming. There is only one solution: Jews must be able to control their own destiny and that means have their own country.

I must admit that the song is funny and entertaining. I like RHPS.

February 5th, 2008, 5:36 pm

 

abraham said:

HA!!!

Considering Israel openly bombed Syrian territory a few months ago (not to mention the genocide inflicted on Lebanon in 2006), it’s pretty pathetic to be complaining about a tiny bomb that goes off in Dimona.

But then that’s zionism: they want to bomb and kill with immunity, and then they have the audacity to complain when they reap a harvest of hatred.

All I have to say is: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

February 5th, 2008, 10:37 pm

 

abraham said:

I am not fond of Angry Arab, because he is simply too negative. He hates everyone, and while such cynicism can be valuable at times, it is also counter-productive to finding true solutions.

Oh, I’m sorry, I assumed you valued honesty.

And to what solutions do you refer? Giving up and walking away and letting zionists take over all of the Middle East? Where will the Palestinians go? To Germany perhaps, where they can take over the villages that Jews once inhabited?

With an Arab world ruled primarily by narcissistic despots who are in league with Western powers to subjugate their own people, I fail to understand how you consider As’ad Abukhalil to be “counter-productive”. What mythical “productivity” is he countering?

Please, be serious. I’m all for finding solutions, but first let’s agree on what the problem is.

February 5th, 2008, 10:54 pm

 

Shual said:

“So your point Mr. Fox is that a Jewish state was needed in the past and is not needed now?” [Umpf]

Dear Another New Jersey Guy, Israel is existing today not because today somebody “needs” it. We all know about the circumstances of its creation, but today it simply exists as a fxxx normal state under all other states and so it will be evaluated like any other state. NOBODY here on this website has a problem with the existence of Israel, except of YOU, because YOU seem to have absolutely no intention to see it as a normal state.

“And is that because now you are sure that what happened in the past could never happen again?” Because …… of DEMOCRACY. The system that YOU want to sell arab countries. And in DEMOCRACIES you will always find people that criticize imperialistic behaviour of countries, no matter if they are called US, France, Germany or Israel.

Well, and Mr. Joke of Zionist: “Why, I see you can predict the future. Perhaps it runs in the family? I am sure your grandparents advised the Jews to leave Germany in the early 1930’s.” Guess what, some “48er”-family-members even fougth under General Sigel in the States that people like you can trash the internet today. But what will you tell your grandchildren when they ask you what you did in the greaaaat cyberwar? “I pissed of everybody I could find, talked shit about his family, insulted him with absurd theories and tried the to give my best in offending people by calling them antisemites. And all that cowardly hiding behind an anonym name.”

They will be … very … proud … of you.

February 6th, 2008, 12:28 am

 

Qifa Nabki said:

Abraham said:

Oh, I’m sorry, I assumed you valued honesty.

I fail to understand how you consider As’ad Abukhalil to be “counter-productive”…

Please, be serious. I’m all for finding solutions, but first let’s agree on what the problem is.

Abraham,

I don’t know you and you don’t know me. You don’t know what I value, and you don’t know how “serious” I am, or whether what I think is “nonsense”. But you somehow feel the need to play the sledgehammer conversation game with me.

I understand the appeal of emoting all over a comment board; hyperbole catches people’s attention, for sure, but then it sort of just … fades.

If you would like to find a willing listener on this “vibrant” forum, then perhaps consider changing your tack a little?

Angry Arab, for my money, is too negative. I can tolerate him in spurts. I have many friends who love him, and many who despise him. As I said, he performs a valuable service, that of the professional cynic and pessimist (and there is plenty to be cynical and pessimistic about). But more often than not I find him to be almost nihilistically dour.

That’s my opinion, Abraham. You can “fail to understand” whatever you want about it.

February 6th, 2008, 12:46 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Fox,
There was democracy in Germany till 33. Then Hitler took power. Are you sure that democracy will always reign in Germany? I am not. It is a fact that Europeans are against the Turks joining the EU. Many europeans are still xenophobic.

I agree that Israel has to be judged like any other state, but you are just wrong about what most people who blog here believe. they believe that a Jewish state should not exist. So go ahead and judge Israel but compare it to how other Western states acted during war and not to some utopic standard.

I stand for democracy in the Arab world as a solution for peace. What do you stand for exactly? Do you or do you not support democratic reforms in the Arab world? Or are you just about Israel bashing?

February 6th, 2008, 1:58 am

 

abraham said:

Qifa,

That’s fine. I understand and accept that our opinions of As’ad differ.

What I am taking umbrage to with you is this idea that we (Arabs) need to turn our criticisms onto ourselves and solve our own problems. Well, there’s a time and place for that. But remember that Israel is our problem. One of them, for sure, but the biggest one. It is the 900 pound gorilla in the middle of the living room that everyone is trying to deal with. The other big problem is the despotism in the Arab world, which is aided, abetted, and perpetuated by Western powers. Our people (Arabs) have little to no control over their destiny in their homelands, so it’s a bit silly to expect us to be able to solve our problems. How? The only way I know is to get America out of Middle Eastern affairs so that we can finally overthrow our despots and replace them with democratically elected leaders.

The reason I appreciate As’ad’s approach is because he exposes the kings and “presidents” as the worthless hypocrites that they are, bought and paid for American puppets as they are, and he doesn’t bother mincing words. If we are to attempt to solve our own problems, don’t you think being honest about them is the first step?

I’m tired of people mincing words. I’m tired of worthless platitudes and diplomacy and being polite and all that junk we already tried a hundred fold over the past century. We know what the problem is. We’ve already identified them. It’s time now for action. It’s time to hold people accountable. It’s time to point a menacing finger at the aggressors and the occupiers and tell them their time is nearing its end.

I’ve lost patience and I’m fed up. That’s why As’ad appeals to me.

February 6th, 2008, 2:07 am

 

abraham said:

Let’s see, I stand for democracy in the Arab world, too. But how about a democracy in Israel? And I mean a real democracy, not this quasi-apartheid theocracy joke that passes for democracy in Israel.

The solution is so simple that it’s funny. If the Israelis would invoke a true democracy inclusive of the Palestinians both inside and outside the “Green Line”, an amazing transformation would take place. All the Arabs in the Arab world would go from despising Israel to admiring and respecting Israel. The Palestinian problem solved, Arabs would then turn to their own “leaders” and wonder why they can’t also have democracy. Since the power of Arab rulers is staked in the Arab-Israeli conflict, once that conflict is over they will become irrelevant. They will actually have to solve real problems rather than just pointing to Israel and saying, “Look, they are oppressing the Palestinians!”

Like I said, so simple. So easy. The ball is, and always has been, in Israel’s court. Israelis are just too obtuse understand this.

If you want to see the Domino Theory actually work, bring true Democracy to Israel and the rest will follow.

February 6th, 2008, 2:20 am

 

Qifa Nabki said:

Abraham,

You make valid points.

Our rulers are, for the most part, criminals and overlords. I am glad that As`ad Abukhalil is watching and pointing out all of their missteps.

But I disagree with you that Israel is our biggest problem. Our biggest problems are the following (in no particular order):

1. Economic stagnation
2. Unemployment
3. Poverty
4. Illiteracy and educational backwardness
5. Censorship and limits of free speech
6. Police states
7. Religious extremism
8. Lack of opportunities for our huge youthful populations
9. Etc.

The conflict with Israel is a massive problem and will continue to be so for at least another generation. However, in my view it is counter-productive to imagine that Israel is (or should be) the great obstacle to the advancement of our region.

After all, Israel has not used its conflict with the Arabs as a pretext to postpone its own project of democratization or economic success. Well, we like to say, Israel receives so much money from the U.S. that it can pursue its domestic goals without worrying about its antagonistic neighbors. But, as you point out, our regimes also receive plenty of aid from the West, and some Middle Eastern countries are so rich that they don’t need Western aid. Why, then, are they not democratizing and providing their citizens with education, health care, human rights, etc.?

A big part of the answer is that America enables the Middle East’s tyrants to “keep a lid on” their populations, as you say. I agree with this. This is why I believe it is our duty to begin calling them to account, as you also state. However, where we differ (I think) is in how this calling-to-account should take place. We’ve seen the results of a blank-slate approach to the problem, in Iraq. America did the Iraqis the service of removing Saddam in one fell swoop. How successful was that?

You say:

We know what the problem is. We’ve already identified them. It’s time now for action. It’s time to hold people accountable. It’s time to point a menacing finger at the aggressors and the occupiers and tell them their time is nearing its end.

My argument is that the menacing finger is not enough. We need to be more intelligent about our problems. We need to begin thinking very creatively and deeply about how to solve our region’s very complex problems. If, tomorrow, America threw its hands up in the air and said: “That’s it, bye bye. No more money for tyrants, no more aid to Israel, we’re leaving,” I don’t think that the Middle East would magically transform for the better overnight.

This is why self-criticism is so important. I believe that it must be a productive process, not a debilitating one.

February 6th, 2008, 2:36 am

 

Qifa Nabki said:

Abraham,

It is very interesting that you take the exact inverse position as AIG.

AIG says: Arab countries need to institute real democracy before the region’s problems (including the Arab-Israeli conflict) can be solved.

You say: Israel needs to achieve real democracy before the region’s problems (including the Arab-Israeli conflict) can be solved.

It is noteworthy that you are both speaking the same language. Maybe that’s progress… and maybe not.

February 6th, 2008, 2:44 am

 

AmericanGuy said:

Don’t forget that the official American intelligence agencies weren’t allowed to view any of the purported Israeli intelligence–it was withheld on Cheney’s orders by Elliot Abrams. Now the mainstream has a clearer picture why.

Funny how some people are trying to slime Sy Hersh–probably the same people who tried to slime Mohamed AlBaradei and Scott Ritter.

February 6th, 2008, 2:52 am

 

Shual said:

Another New Jersey Guy, you are asking amateurish questions.

You can not compare the “Wehrhafte Demokratie” of today with the 20ties. Germanies integration into the EU, NATO, the strict connection to the US can not be thrown over by a simple one-dimensional movement, cause germans are not one-dimensional any longer. Persons that are affected with antisemitism are not living [and voting] for antisemitc parties, cause there are more important matters. All systems are reacting very brave against defects, but you can not anticipate 100% perfection and democracy ALWAYS means different views that compete with each other. Populism is still working, but the last and several resuts of polls and discussions say that if you want to loose an election … you have to be a populist. As all countries Germany has to develop and there are ups and downs. But the direction is given from the system. NOT the SYSTEM, the DIRECTION is the core part of it. And thats the way we should look at arab countries. Jobs? Internal freedom? Culture? Education? I can not find any healthy arab that says that its good to nave no jobs, no internal freedom, etc. But [the same case with Israel] it has to develop and we belive that the DIRECTIONS can be shared. And sorry, but Qifa Naqbis “Our biggest problems”-list is the … same list in Germany. Or do you think that poor children that can not afford a decent meal in school in Germany or Israel are DIFFERENT from children in Egypt because of “democracy”? We share the same problems, but if we are only spend our time in creating virtual DIFFERENCES …

“Grandpa… my jewish friend wants to know what you as an arab did in the greaaat cyberwar….” – “Well, I was a famous differenciator.” – “What???” – “Err… forget it, child.”

February 6th, 2008, 5:24 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

Sim,
Your problem is that you believe that Israel would destroy a mosque that was in place 700 years. Israel is the leader in archeology in the middle east and would never do such a thing. You quote an obscure press release by ma’an and you tend to believe anything that is bad about Jews. Thank goodness the Jews have a country and do not need to count on the generosity of Europeans like you. You are a great example of why a Jewish state is neededed and why Jews could not assimilate into Europe.

Why AIG you are NOT yourself living in Israel? Why 30 – 40 percent of the Israeli Jewish youth want to move out of the country? It would be really interesting to know how many Israelis are in Israel and how many are de facto living permanently abroad? I have noticed that “secular Jews” like you with the most extreme opinions mostly live in USA, not in Israel. Why? It is easy “playing a lion” far from the front line. 🙂

By the way AIG in Finland are Jews and have been for a long time. Very few of them have moved to Israel. There has been no problems with them or to them for their religion. We have Jews in parliament and many other places. Most Finns do not even know their religion. Religion is no issue here. Jews like Muslims can even own land here and buy it without anybody asking the persons religion. And in ID card here we do not mention his/hers religion. Strange isn’t it AIG?

I believe the news. There are to many equal news of Israel and the occupied areas. Is it bad news for Jews? Hmmm it is bad news for the Zionist state not necessarily for Jews, if Jews in general, as I believe, do not approve such behaviour. If Jews approve destroying ancient temples of any other religion you are right AIG, it is bad news for Jews.

February 6th, 2008, 5:51 am

 

annie said:

Alex, thank you for putting a brake on AIG’s attempts to destroy this blog. In every ME pro Arab blog you have one or two infiltrated mossad helpers who will try and highjack the blog and deflect it from its course.
For instance, on Drudge Retort (drudge.com), as soon as there is a topic concerning Israel you have a guy popping out of his box and drowning the site with his comments.
And go to angryarab.blogspot.com for some really vulgar attacks.

February 6th, 2008, 6:34 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

As usual, each Arab wants democracy, but not in his own country. How hilarious is that? Ausama wants democracy but likes Asad because… Asad will bring democracy to OTHER Arab countries.
I have a solution. Why don’t the Egyptians take care of Asad and the Syrians can take care of Mubarak? That would work right?
Until each Arab is willing to take on his own dictator, this whole exercise is a farce.
In the end, the Arab world and especially Syria is caught in a paradox that it can’t get out of: It is weak because it lacks democracy, but if it goes for democracy it will be surrendering to American hegemony and it could also mean civil war.
And I see that the Syrians on this blog have a hard time dealing with these unappealing alternatives.
It is time to discuss these alternatives clearly and coherently and decide which direction to go.

February 6th, 2008, 6:44 am

 

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