Friday, March 13, 2009

Tom ‘hopes’ Israel committed war crimes

At the height of Israel’s recent war in Gaza, Thomas L Friedman wrote:

I have only one question about Israel’s military operation in Gaza: What is the goal? Is it the education of Hamas or the eradication of Hamas? I hope that it’s the education of Hamas.

Well, go on... ask! — you know he wants you to...

Ahem. So then, Tom, what do you mean by “the education of Hamas”?

Well, in the course of Tom’s exposition it emerges that, by ‘education’, he means that the Israel Defence Force will teach Hamas the error of its ways “by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population.”

What Tom is essentially driving at here is that “inflicting heavy pain” on a civilian population, in order to achieve military and geopolitical objectives, is just dandy. While such collective punishment may be in flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, it is apparently de rigeur in the kind of world Tom would have us live in.

And yet, despite his worldly wisdom and wiles, Tom volunteered that he “still can’t tell” whether Israel was trying to eradicate or educate Hamas.

One would think that, as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with both hands around the throat of the Zeitgeist, Tom would surely have seen reports last October that Israel “plans to use disproportionate force” in its next war, citing the authority of senior IDF people; for example:

“We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective, these are military bases,” he [GOC Northern Command Gadi Eisenkot] said. “This isn’t a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorized.”

Where has Tom been lately? Or is he being falsely modest?

Because, such as it is, the Friedman vision-thing is already a working reality!!



Blogger Caz said...

Eradicate or educate, either way, they did neither.

I read that the inhabitants of Gaza are proud as (non-alcoholic) punch, seeing as how they "won" the recent war an' all.

Educational outcomes? Aarrh, not so much.

14/3/09 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

Well, certain factions of the inhabitants like to claim victory. No one's really fooled but it annoys the crap out of the inhabitants-in-waiting.

15/3/09 10:38 AM  
Blogger Father Park said...

And now, to add to the hopelessness, we have the return of Benjamin Netanyahu in concert with Avigdor Lieberman – who will be foreign minister. An “ultra-nationalist” foreign minister and a Prime Minister who does not, on exposed form, believe in the “two state” solution. That he courts parties such National Union in his search for a coalition government whilst refusing compromise with Kadima utterly confirms this form line. Kadima, of course, supports the “two state” solution; Benny does not.

It is thoroughly evident, therefore, that Benny’s Boycott-Lawry coalition intends to occupy and continue to occupy.

17/3/09 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

It's getting increasingly difficult to find anyone seriously advocating a two state solution in any form, of course. For certain people, therefore, everything's working out just fine.

So, an ultra-nationalist Russian immigrant ex-bouncer becomes enabler for a Prime Minister who's on record as an apologist for political terror.

The joint's looking more like a tin-pot republic by the day.

17/3/09 3:57 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

I need to note this somewhere significant: I'm whole heartedly agreeing with Hitchens.

"Shame on Benjamin Netanyahu if he makes even a temporary alliance with Lieberman. As questionable as the "right to return" may already be, it certainly cannot confer the right to expel."

I wish I'd written that.

"Now we have to watch the rise of a thug and a demagogue..."

That too.

And Benny, ever desirous of power, would allow this contagion into government so as he can attain it.

I'll have to ditch the Boycot-Lawry meme; Benny's coalition will be more like the rugs that used to "find their way into" indiginous American communities and Lieberman the smallpox.

17/3/09 4:47 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Be careful about tossing the rug meme around Father, the Ward Churchill trial is underway as we speak, in which he is suing Columbia University for sacking him over academic misconduct - Chutch is the key perpetrator of the Indians/blankets/smallpox/deliberate .. fabrication.

17/3/09 6:15 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

Yes I know. It was too good to resist after I'd ditched the original description as not "family friendly". I did alter the "sold to indiginous Americans" to "find their way" before clicking publish.

Still, you're correct.

Perhaps I should revert to my original idea of Benny crawling from the sewer into government with the sewer rat Lieberman comfortably up his arse...

17/3/09 8:34 PM  
Blogger Caz said...


So much for the concept of a 'family blog' Father!

Your colourful description just reminded me: The Princess has two dogs, one still puppy stage, due to be desexed tomorrow. This afternoon the pup not only attempted to mount the other dog's rump, he later attempted to mount his head.

Ah, little does he know that he has had his first and last woefully incompetent urges.

17/3/09 8:40 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Now how's this for provocative:

"A study conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has cast doubt over Israel's survival beyond the next 20 years.

The CIA report predicts "an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region."

The study, which has been made available only to a certain number of individuals, further forecasts the return of all Palestinian refugees to the occupied territories, and the exodus of two million Israeli - who would move to the US in the next fifteen years.

"There is over 500,000 Israelis with American passports and more than 300,000 living in the area of just California," International lawyer Franklin Lamb said in an interview with Press TV on Friday, adding that those who do not have American or western passport, have already applied for them.

"So I think the handwriting at least among the public in Israel is on the wall...[which] suggests history will reject the colonial enterprise sooner or later," Lamb stressed."

17/3/09 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

That IS fascinating, Caz.

Relatedly there was this a while ago:

"In Israel, the number of emigrants exceeded the number of immigrants for the first time in 20 years... Almost half of the country's young people were thinking of leaving the country, the report said. Their reasons included dissatisfaction with the government, the education system, a lack of confidence in the political ruling class and concern over the security situation."

Was wondering if that trend had continued.

Oh and your mention of dogs reminds me, my cousin and his wife recently acquired a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I looked it up on wikipedia and was appalled to read how many genetic defects those poor little inbred throwbacks are prone to. Check it out...

17/3/09 9:38 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Was rather wondering ... if half a million have US passports already ... well, where are the other 4.5 million going to go? (Population is only 5 mill or so, isn't it?)

Must admit I tire of the continual cry about Israel's security, how they cannot be allowed to live in a constant state of threat. I mean, really, WTF? Who's bright eyed idea was it to stick a tiny population of them smack bang in the middle of hundreds of million of Arabs, believing it would all be honky-dory

Truly, it's not quantum physics is it?

Cavalier King Charles are adorable dots, and I've longed to own one, but yes, they have been bred to be defective, as have so many other "show" breeds. There was a recent article about the show rules in Britain recently (in The Age?), how, finally, they have radically changed some rules that had contributed to revolting breeding practices and utterly cruel outcomes. Gave the example of one dog, a particular breed, who had to be sat on a huge ice block to collect its winning prize - dog couldn't keep itself cool, that mechanism had been lost in the breeding process. There were other more sickening examples.

If I ever get another dog, I'll stick with Welsh Springer Spaniel. Beautiful beasts.

17/3/09 10:19 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

The testicular lack will not stop the "mounting" Caz.

"There is over 500,000 Israelis with American passports ..."

Trust a lawyer - an American one - to copulate the language. The are over 500,000 dear sir, there are. Hurrumph!

I agree with Jacob: most fascinating. What will Geoff make of it? Oh, that’s right, it’s sourced via al Jazzera.

…based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid…

How neatly encapsulated. We might, along with the lazy “specter” for spectre, dispense with “looming”. It loomed some time back and is now fully woven into the Israeli state. This will only be further entrenched with the arrival of this repulsive Russian émigré and his suitor Benny.

Ahh Benny: you lie down with filthy, bigoted pigs like Lieberman and you smell like the power hungry racist you are. Is it worth that much? Evidently.

Benny's pursuit of power is about to give Israel's body politic a cancerous colon.

And so we have Hammas in "Palestine" and a nationalist, non believer in the "peace process" flanked by a festering, racist thug in Israel.

I'm certain the region has more to worry about than the "Great Recession" (oops...sorry...Turnbull has already christened it the "Rudd Recession" - what a parochial fool).

17/3/09 10:20 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

If I ever get another dog, I'll stick with Welsh Springer Spaniel. Beautiful beasts.

In my case I'll just do like last time: take the animal that followed older brother and I home from the pub...

Bit lke Benny's selection process actually...

17/3/09 10:24 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

I suppose it's not stealing if it follows you home.

As I understand it, the new Israeli leadership have quite a yen for bombing Iran.

Should make for interesting international politics.

Obama has yet to show his colors in this, but let his nominee for something-or-other be hounded out of contention, roundly accused as being an anti-Semite.

17/3/09 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

"Who's bright eyed idea was it to stick a tiny population..." etc.

Well, there'd been a "tiny population" of a particular native ethnic group living there for many centuries more or less peacably with the other native groups.

One interpretation is that it all began to change in late C19 with the advent of the Zionist political movement, as advanced notably by Theodor Herzl, who'd imported the European model of colonisation with his unabashed plans to take over Palestine as a Jewish state by way of a program of intensive immigration, and ultimately conquest and what's now known as ethnic cleansing. Other native groups took exception to such plans and the region quickly became hopelessly polarised. The Brits couldn't stand the heat and left them to it.

It'd be nice to say "end of story" but, no, it just goes on and on and on. There was a war. Then another war. Then another. Then...

While I'm not a dog-person, the missus certainly is. BUT she'll be appalled when I tell her that stuff about the ice block dog.

"it's not stealing if it follows you home."

Hahaha!! And if it's able to follow you home without expiring from some ghastly genetic condition, then you're on a winner.

17/3/09 11:24 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

I have read about Herzl's beaut idea, but in truth, if it had not been him someone else would have been the public initiator. Seems to have been a festering idea long before WWII.

by way of a program of intensive immigration

OMG - is that what he called it, how darling!

I don't really mind them grabbing a country, but to complain about being stuck in the middle of hostile Arabs kinda pisses me off. Hey, they could have "intensively migrated" to - Canada - for example. No Arabs in Canada.

The concept of Zionism is the other fundamental difficulty that I have, since the idea of "all peoples deserve their own country" is t'riffic, except that it only applies, at least on this planet, to only one "peoples". The concept loses me at that point.

The West should have tried harder to find more creative ways to salve their conscious than creating Israel, or at least in the way it was created, and everything that has followed since.

How is it that this isn't seem as a failure? Got me beat. All the yip, yip, yaahhing about the 50th (?) anniversary not so long ago, and yet, and yet, and yet ... if there is to be another world war, it's a certainly the origins will be in the middle east and Israel will be at the center of it in more ways than one. Not my idea of success, no matter how many nice little IT companies are chugging along in Israel.

17/3/09 11:46 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

I don't really mind them grabbing a country, but to complain about being stuck in the middle of hostile Arabs kinda pisses me off.

Bit like buying a house in Mascot and aggressivley attacking Kinsford Smith Airport over noise. Or, possibly more to the point, building apartment blocks alongside Luna park and having the chutzpah to seek its closure for being there.

18/3/09 12:00 AM  
Blogger Caz said...


Exactly that has been happening for years Bertie!

Pubs, clubs, strip joints, Luna Park, air traffic, oooh, big ROADS.

They're all so darned noisy for the people who buy places RIGHT NEXT TO THEM or UNDER THEM.

It's a funny old thing, but the people concerned never appreciate the finer points of their circumstance. Never.

18/3/09 12:12 AM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

"OMG - is that what he called it..."

Oh no, that's what I'm calling it.

I did say "one interpretation is that...", and obviously it's my own interpretation, one which ought to be qualified simply by virtue of its brevity. Theo and his fellow travellers may have had some romantic euphemism for that strategy of loading up the population with a given ethnic group, but I don't recall offhand.

The key to this topic is to do one's own research. One must be wary of any and all claims of either 'side', particularly those which appeal to some grand narrative of heroism or grievance or whatever. One loses count of the number of wikipedia entries headed "The neutrality of this article is disputed.." etc.

The neutrality or veracity of anyone making sweeping, definitive claims on this topic is, by definition, absolutely suspect.

"It's a funny old thing, but the people concerned never appreciate the finer points of their circumstance"

Yeah, they forget the cardinal rule of realty: Location, Location, Location!!!

18/3/09 12:17 AM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

"The neutrality or veracity of anyone making sweeping, definitive claims on this topic etc. etc. etc..."

Having said that, I reckon I've got a handle on this shit.

18/3/09 12:40 AM  
Blogger Caz said...

Well, you were so authoritative and scholarly that you had me suckered Jacob. :-)

"The neutrality or veracity of anyone making sweeping, definitive claims on this topic etc. etc. etc..."

The money shot is always "anti-Semantic" or "Jew hater" etc, etc. Which sometimes is quite accurate. The problem is that people like me - atheist, no ethnic identity - have no baggage about Jews, therefore, are bemused and flummoxed by the whole thing. I don't even laugh at Jewish jokes, as I have no preconceived notions or stereotypes of Jews in my head, my personal framework - US comedy shows don't count.

There's a little collection of mid to young generations who are and will be much of the same mindset, for one reason or another, whether their own atheistic upbringing or lack of knowledge of Middle Eastern history or WWII.

The resonance of the Israeli / Jewish situation for a whole swathe of the Western population is fading fast.

It's not even a little bit difficult for many of us to be disinterested parties, which definitely doesn't logically lead to veracity of opinion, but neutrality is easy to be had.

Twenty years is looking like a reasonably prediction.

18/3/09 2:45 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

Nice to know I'm not the only "typo-master" Caz.


"...looking like a reasonably prediction."

Sudenly I don't fell so alone....

18/3/09 4:07 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

I was trying to make you feel good and my evil plan worked Bertie. ;-o

Come on, you've gotta love "anti-semantic", the world has been screaming out for that term!

As for "reasonably": weird thing is, I have a habit of typing "y" instead of "e" for a lot of words (which, alas, still make for a correctly spelt word in most instances), even adding it to words like "unit", for example. This is really stupid, seeing as the "y" key is the right hand and pointer finger, while the "e" key is left hand and middle finger. (Yes, I touch type.) None of which explains adding a random "y" to words that don't need or want it.

This started a few years ago and I still can't kick it.

Words like "their" and "there" have become totally interchangeable, with me knowing exactly which is correct for the context yet my fingers will type the wrong one almost every time.

I suspect it all started when we surrendered to the PC entirely, with not a backward glance at pen and paper. Remember back in the day when composing on screen was a silly notion, one still wrote out notes then typed them up? Well I do, and I never had a problem.

Now, we think, type (touch type, in my case) and look at / read the screen, three separate activities performed at once, which unfortunately the human brain isn't very good at.

It's the same reason why PowerPoint slides make presentations meaningless, because humans are very bad at listening and looking / reading at the same time, our brains can only do one at a time. See, small tip for the day: if you have anything even a little bit important to say and need people to genuinely pay attention never ever use slides, or at least turn them off when you get to the important bits, otherwise no one will really be paying any attention to your words.

So there ya go, some of my funny typing foibles laid bare. It's why I try to take the time to proof read, even with blog comments, but not always, and not thoroughly ... obviously.

18/3/09 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

Damn Caz, I was sure you were using dictation software.

Was it my imagination, or did you fell a mild quack / severed tremor, just before 4:30???

18/3/09 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

Nope, it wasn't my imagination.

18/3/09 4:54 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Might have fallen, but didn't quack a thing Jacob.

Didn't feel the last one either.

We don't "do" earthquakes in South Yarra.

Some excellent software out there these days, including multilingual, but dictation is quite a skill, and I'm rather hopeless at it.

I need to "feel and see" the words on the screen and play around with them. Mostly I write for a living (believe it or not), at least the outputs are documents, so writing is core, and I'm hopeless until I see words on a page and can arrange my thoughts.

For blogging I quite deliberately take an informal "talking" tone, mostly because I think it suits the medium better than a formal approach, so I probably try to write on blogs in a way not dissimilar to how I would speak to someone - albeit, without the typos.

18/3/09 5:15 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Father - of timely interest (well, almost timely): smallpox and blankets, amongst other theories, were given a work out with Yellow Bird in the witness box at Chutch's trial today ...

18/3/09 8:58 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

One smells an academic career coming to an end.

Sources, sources. Checked, re-checked and utilised correctly: that is history. The latest thingy I've finished must have a near couple of hundred words of citations out of 4,500 (references not quotes).

I didn't bother with 'em in the snippets...

18/3/09 10:58 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

My handwriting skills are fading - they were never good; I trained as a teacher...

Yes I still do notes and then write, sorry, type on a computer. I too couldn't dictate: I well know that messing with the word on screen. Actually it is trying to get the right word out of the head that is often the nub of matters.

18/3/09 11:02 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Possible - that's another one that I throw a "y" onto the end instead of an "e" and have to go back and edit!

Did you notice that the former president of Iran is visiting Melbourne next month, which has already creating a sand storm from the expected quarters. I expect we'll hear much more as his visit unfolds.

18/3/09 11:50 PM  

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