Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gaza: "the globe's largest sink-estate"

At the risk of bringing down another shitstorm, I'll admit that I have a slight tendency to back the Israelis generally. Partially it's because I admire the fact that they have managed to take a shitty bit of nothing-much desert and build a decent economy and standard of life, as well as resisting three attempted invasions by nominally superior forces (and no, that doesn't mean that I unthinkingly back everything that they do, OK?).

The rest of the reasons for my bias are admirably espoused by Counting Cats, particularly this one.
  1. Israel is a civilised first world country. Gaza is a dark-age nightmare. I think Ayn Rand had something to say on always backing civilisation against whatever and Gaza is most definitely whatever. I can easily imagine holidaying in Israel and I bet you can too. Honestly can you see anyone in anything resembling their right mind booking a fortnight in the Gaza Hilton? I’d rather spend a fortnight in Paris Hilton.

Yes, it may be slightly facetious (and that last line made me laugh out loud) but I think that it does address where some of my bias comes from.

And the rest of the post is pretty spot-on too (at least from my point of view) and I recommend that you read it in full...

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I’d rather spend a fortnight in Paris Hilton

TBH I would pay good money for that.

On the Gaza issue, I view both sides with disdain, so it comes down to this - would I rather drop my nads into a bowl of freezing water or boiling water? I'll take the freezing, thanks, and back the Izzies, because they are more like us than the Gazzas.

Chalcedon said...

After 2 months of repeated rocket attacks what would any country do? Defend itself. the Israelis always hit back hard. At least they are using precision weapons not indiscriminate simplistic rockets. The Arabs know what Israel does. I think it's more likely to stir up a shitstorm of negative PR which may dissuade Israel from hitting Iran.

Quiet_Man said...

I posted this elsewhere, however....



I am definitely not arguing that Israel is not guilty in any shape or form, however simply looking at it from the perspective of realism. A Palestinian state in the territories they currently hold, and with the attitude towards Israel they currently have is thoroughly untenable. Additionally, the Arabs started every war against Israel in the past 60 years, which in itself more or less points out as to who the culprit was - in every war, it is usually the losing side (or the instigator, which in this case is the same) who is to make reparations. Finally, I think the key difference between the two is that Israel has the ability to attend to their part of any peace agreement, while the Palestinians are sorely lacking in ability or desire to do so.

Ultimately, if the Palestinians were able to exercise control and enforce a peace from their end, my opinion to this would have been vastly different. Unfortunately, this is not the case - with Israel, I can at least be reasonably sure that they can and will enforce peace from their end, which brings up a point as to which side can and which side cannot be reasoned with, as an organized entity. Needless to say, if Palestinians were capable or willing to enforce some kind of peace from their side, much of the current problem would simply not exist - in this case, a Palestinian state would be potentially viable, politically independent, but economically sufficiently integrated with Israel and its neighbors to stand on its own two feet. As it is not the case, and I do see the Palestinians and their Arab backers as being the “more guilty” of the two sides (note that I did not say that Israel is not guilty, just a tad less than their enemies), I think their actions should not be rewarded, and the PA should be made to face the consequences of its actions, and once and for all recognized as being chief wrongdoers.

Damo Mackerel said...

The problem is that Israel has no choice but to hit back hard. It's down to arab/muslim mindset. If Israel doesn't respond to their rocket attacks, rather then see this as a show of strength not to be goaded into a fight, the arabs see it as a sign of weakness and increase their attacks. Israel is damned either way. Poor bastards.

John B said...

I imagine the Cape Town Hilton in 1980 would've been a pleasant place (for a white chap) to holiday, and a putative Soweto Hilton would've been pretty unpleasant...

Thud said...

It's just another front in a world wide war fought both hot and cold, socialy and militarily....The IDF fights for all of us....so god bless them...the beeb etc hating Israel is just a bonus.

Old Holborn said...

"I admire the fact that they have managed to take a shitty bit of nothing-much desert and build a decent economy and standard of life"

Recipe.

1. Take somebody's desert and throw them all in a prison camp. Forever

2. Recieve BILLIONS every year from other people to build a decent economy and standard of life. Mostly dumb yanks but hey, banking, insurance, media, blood diamonds, namibian gold, whatever....

3. Have a full suite of WMD, including nukes, chemicals, bios, subs etc., using other peoples money, of course. Not your own. Oh, and don't sign ANY weapons treaties. But demand everyone else does. Or else. Uncle Sam will protect you

I ain't finished with you yet DK

Devil's Kitchen said...

OH,

"1. Take somebody's desert and throw them all in a prison camp. Forever"

Oh do piss off and have a look at the history of the place, will you?

The Jews did not "take somebody's desert": the British and American did with the initial agreement of the surrounding Arab countries who weren't too fussed because there was fuck all there.

Apart from anything else, the Jordanians had invaded the place long before the Israelis ever did.

"2. Recieve BILLIONS every year from other people to build a decent economy and standard of life. Mostly dumb yanks but hey, banking, insurance, media, blood diamonds, namibian gold, whatever...."

Which, of course, we don't and have never done, eh?

And because the Americans (and the British) guaranteed Israel's security, that is hardly the Israelis fault.

Sure, they ain't going to refuse billions of dollars worth of aid; but then neither have the Palestinians.

The difference is that the Israelis have used that money to build something sustainable, whereas the Palestinians have not.

"3. Have a full suite of WMD, including nukes, chemicals, bios, subs etc., using other peoples money, of course. Not your own. Oh, and don't sign ANY weapons treaties. But demand everyone else does. Or else. Uncle Sam will protect you"

Which, of course, bears no resemblance to the British position throughout the Cold War, eh?

Fucking hell, how can one man combine such an ignorance, a bigotry and a weak grasp on reality?

"I ain't finished with you yet DK"

Well, in that case, you might like to go and learn some history and some arguing skills. In the meantime, I am really, really not scared.

You see, OH, you have to be able to argue your case, not just threaten people and then throw your toys (or membership cards) out of the pram when your piss-weak points are kicked into touch.

DK

Devil's Kitchen said...

P.S. I ain't gonna do it, OH, so I'll let Cynical Dragon lay an epithet at your door.

DK

Old Holborn said...

Threaten?

when? how?

My case is that the Palestinians were perfectly happy until Israel decided to force them off their land, steal everything they ever had and then throw them in prison, forever.

I have resigned from the Libertarian Party because you are on the Board yet couldn't give a toss about people thrown off their land, pillaged and then thrown into prison. Forever.

If that's your version of Libertarianism, thank fuck I'm out of it. If you agree so much with Iain Dale ( the monarchy, Israel, free Opera tickets at Glyndebourne) then I suggest you finally join him and your Eton chums in Blue Labour. A Libertarian you most certainly ain't.

Old Holborn said...

DK,

Round up as many "mates" as you can find, it won't change my opinion.

Israel is a racist nation, founded on a racist religion and is a thief, a bully and a murderer.

As a true Libertarian, I won't stand for ANY state supporting that.

Stuff that in your i-pod and smoke it

Devil's Kitchen said...

OH,

"I ain't finished with you yet DK"

Sounds like a threat to me, OH. Or is it just a challenge?

"My case is that the Palestinians were perfectly happy until Israel decided to force them off their land, steal everything they ever had and then throw them in prison, forever."

And your case is utterly wrong. The Palestinians were oppressed by the other Arab powers, who rode roughshod over them, long before Israel was formed. That ws partly why the area was a protectorate in the first place.

The Jordanians invaded the West Bank and forced the Palestinians out when the first attempt was made to invade Israel.

The Israelis have encroached on land that was not theirs, yes. Stolen it, if you like. However, when you apply the principles of real politik, one can understand why they held it after the wars.

"... forever."

No, not forever. That is why Israel withdrew (including the Israeli settlers) from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.

The response, within days, was rockets launch from those territories.

"I have resigned from the Libertarian Party because you are on the Board yet couldn't give a toss about people thrown off their land, pillaged and then thrown into prison. Forever."

It's a pity that you feel that way (although you could have stood for a place on the NCC: you chose not to). But I've no time for idiots with no grasp on reality, no grasp of history and no grasp of how to form an argument.

"If that's your version of Libertarianism, thank fuck I'm out of it."

I am a Consequentialist, OH. Many of my colleagues are not. That is why our manifesto is a rough compromise between the two camps (with input, through the forums, from our members).

"If you agree so much with Iain Dale ( the monarchy, Israel, free Opera tickets at Glyndebourne) then I suggest you finally join him and your Eton chums in Blue Labour."

Ah, well... We have seen your racial and religious bigotry: nice to see that you complete the set with a little bit of class bigotry too.

"A Libertarian you most certainly ain't."

Well, you can believe that if you like. But then, I have always been interested in making libertarianism work in a practical setting; if one is going to ignore utterly the history of this conflict, then one will never make it work.

You are a bigot and a fool, OH.

Believe me, from a personal point of view, the joy at your leaving of LPUK is mutual.

DK

John B said...

French connection me, I agree with OH. Smelling salts anyone?

DK, d'you want to address:
My case is that the Palestinians were perfectly happy until Israel decided to force them off their land, steal everything they ever had and then throw them in prison, forever.

Cos it's the fairest summary of the situation that's come-up-able-with.

John B said...

"The Palestinians were oppressed by the other Arab powers, who rode roughshod over them, long before Israel was formed. That ws partly why the area was a protectorate in the first place."

DK - seriously, WTF? That's absolute gibbery nonsense.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"Cos it's the fairest summary of the situation that's come-up-able-with."

The posts crossed, John: see above.

OH,

"As a true Libertarian, I won't stand for ANY state supporting that."

Oh lordy, it's the "I'm considerably more libertarian than yeeow" argument.

"Israel is a racist nation, founded on a racist religion and is a thief, a bully and a murderer."

It may well be, OH: it may well be.

But as "a true libertarian", of course, you will agree that our position is, in any case, to do nothing since it's none of our business, eh?

Although, if you wish to go and stand in front of some bulldozers, don't let me stop you.

DK

Devil's Kitchen said...

John B,

Apologies, need to refresh my memory.

How's this for some of the (recent) history?

"Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and neighboring Arab states eliminated Palestine as a distinct territory. With the establishment of Israel, the remaining lands were divided amongst Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The Arab governments at this point refused to set up a State of Palestine.
The region as of today: Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights

In addition to the UN-partitioned area it was allotted, Israel captured 26% of the Mandate territory west of the Jordan river. Jordan captured and annexed about 21% of the Mandate territory, known today as the West Bank. Jerusalem was divided, with Jordan taking the eastern parts, including the Old City, and Israel taking the western parts. The Gaza Strip was captured by Egypt.

For a description of the massive population movements, Arab and Jewish, at the time of the 1948 war and over the following decades, see Palestinian exodus and Jewish exodus from Arab lands."


Any problem with that so far? Will you or OH be condemning Egypt or Jordan? Or does your outrage only extend so far back?

If this last is the case, would you mind telling me how far back your outrage goes, and then we can start a sensible discussion...?

DK

Old Holborn said...

"Although, if you wish to go and stand in front of some bulldozers, don't let me stop you."

One day, those same bulldozers will be here. And true Libertarians will be the first ones standing in front of them. You may not be there, of course. I will.

Never mind DK. I'm just "a twat, an idiot, a fool".

I can live with that. All the best.

John B said...

If we were in 1966, then I'd accept your point that most of historical Palestine had been annexed by various ropey Arab regimes who were way dodgier than Israel.

The fact that we, err, aren't, is perhaps an indicator that 1947-1967 boundaries are kinda irrelevant, no? The West Bank *now* and Gaza *now* are under Israeli, not other-Arab-places, occupation.

Martin said...

"I think Ayn Rand had something to say on always backing civilisation against whatever and Gaza is most definitely whatever."

No, Gaza is not 'whatever'. Ayn Rand is 'whatever'. That's what we forgot.

Jules said...

well i totally agree with the first comment. plus, raking back over who did what to whom, when and why to find the slightest bit of leverage as to who's right and who's wrong is just pants.

i don't care anymore. leave them to it. natural selection. our meddling just muddies the water because the extremes on both sides can never be made to meet. let the natural course of events take over. let there be one big almighty middle eastern scrap that clears house. the arab/jew argument will never, ever be resolved without a severe letting of blood - all we've done is try and prevent the inevitable, prolonging a festering, gangrenous stand-off that is underpinned by a level of mutual hatred that we neither appreciate nor understand.

left to their own devices and with the gloves off, the israelis can more than look after themselves. and after all the persecution, hatred, genocide the jews have experienced, frankly they can fill their boots with as much payback as they like. they'll be doing the whole planet a favour by planting arab & persia street - such as it is - in its rightful place. and that's in the ground.

Old Holborn said...

Jules

Do you think Hitler was right to ethnically cleanse Europe?

Anonymous said...

THERE ARE NO PALESTINIANS. They are Jordanians, Syrians, assorted desert arabs, but not Palestinians. Even the PLO said that. It's like calling arsenal supporters a nation. They CHOOSE to be "Palestinian" in order to destroy Israel, which they regard as a religious duty.

El Draque said...

It's an oddity of history that the Gaza Strip exists because Ben-Gurion wanted it there. The Palestinian state, he believed, needed a sea port on the Med to be viable.
He remained to the end of his life convinced that Israel had to withdraw from the territories because only a two-state solution west of the Jordan could allow both nations to survive.
Great man, that.
To Anonymous: they are Palestinians, they live in a place called for 1500 years Palestine. A team by that name played in World Cup qualifiers in the 1930s. (Knocked out by Egypt, I believe, and the players were mostly Jewish. How's that for irony?)
Yes, funny remark about Paris Hilton. Gaza actually has great beaches, could be good for holidays if the local culture allowed bathing suits.

Jules said...

Dear Old Holborn,

a) No.
b) That was a rather clumsy attempt at smearing on your part. Lebensraum and the Wannsee Final Solution have little to do with the Middle East (insofar as certain Arab/Persian theocracies and totalitarian states would like to complete the work Hitler nearly finished).

My point is simply this: the minutiae of who did what to whom and when is now irrelevant. It has all become rather a bore. So let them fight it out and, for the time being, put an end to the matter. And for the time being, it is Israel that holds the military upper-hand.

I see little to commend about the regimes in Syria, Iran, Saudi et al. The entire region is pretty much a sink estate. I would not shed a tear to see these deeply odious regimes take a beating at (democratic) Israeli hands if the end result is a detante, fragile or otherwise. And with a grandstanding, swivel-eyed loon like Ahmadinejad in Teheran, a fierce and bloody locking of horns is more likely now than anytime since Yom Kippur in 1973. And as for Hamas? well it's a small beer issue in the wider scheme of what may happen in the next 18 months.

You don't have to agree.

Aeneas said...

ISRAEL DEFENDER KIT

Donate your Facebook Status to update the world about Qassams hitting Israel: http://apps.facebook.com/qassamcount/

Inform people about the legal issues relating to the Gaza War: http://www.jcpa.org/text/puzzle1.pdf

Do voluntary work in Israel: http://www.vfi-usa.org/about.html


Write to UK telecommunications company FreedomCall http://www.freedomcall.co.uk/contact.html to complain about their decision to pull
out of Israel due to Israel’s willingness to defend itself. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3648346,00.html


Help ensure Israeli soldiers in Gaza are well fed: http://pizzaidf.org/

Show the bias of the Mainstream Media by showing the other side. The following video shows the Israelis saving the live of a Palestinian child, I very much doubt that Hamas would do the same for Israelis: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=wjqm5tzIwIQ&eurl= Also encourage people to visit the IDF YouTube channel: http://uk.youtube.com/profile?user=idfnadesk

Inform people about the Nazi roots of Palestinian Nationalism and Islamic Jihad: http://media0.terrorismawareness.org/files/NaziRoots.pdf


Join pro Israel Facebook Groups:

The Jewish Internet Defense Force: http://www.facebook.com/wall.php?id=121494405656#/group.php?gid=22194342477