View Full Version : Lies, Zionist lies and PR

09-16-2001, 12:38 PM
SammyB somewhere below invited me to "get used" to Israel! I'm used to having Israel in the neighborhood, Sammy, but I sure don't appreciate your distortion of facts! And I'm not talking about arcane stuff, either...

SammyB wrote "In 1947 the jews took by force the area we used to know as palestine."

Thanks for admitting that the Zionists had started the take-over b e f o r e the UN proclamation. This is indeed correct. The Zionists never were and never will be supporters of an Arab/Jewish cohabitation of the land. And didn't you just admit that this was Palestine?

SammyB wrote "You think the Palestinians have only hated the Jews for about 100 years? Who have been fighting the jews since the time of Abraham?"

The people who call themselves Palestinians are descendants of the ancient occupiers of those lands only in name. And so are the Jews. Unless you believe in some biological continuation & purity of blood, along with the theory that stronger race blood overcomes the weaker one. Tell me, it would be intriguing!

SammyB wrote "[The Jews] had been ejected from every country in the world except for France and the US."

WRONG. They were "ejected" from France, too. Read your history, man.

SammyB wrote "They [Israel] were granted political life by the UN in 1948."

WRONG. Contrary to what you want us to believe, it was not the United Nations that gave birth to Israel in some peaceful & idyllic manner. Zionist armed bands led by Ben-Gurion proclaimed unilaterally the birth of Israel on May 14, 1948, right after the British vacated Palestine, ignoring pleas by the "civilised worlds" for continued talks with the Arabs who had rejected the idea of a strictly Jewish state. The Arabs of course promptly attacked - and yes, they lost. (And don't think that Israel was "weak and helpless" either. We know better. It was Goliath defeating David to be exact. Arabs fell for it wholesale.)

See http://domino.un.org/UNISPAl.NSF?OpenDatabase

The United Nations accepted Israel as a member in 1949 - with the strongest support coming from the Soviet Union.

SammyB wrote "In 1956 they [Israelis] were attacked."

WRONG. It was the Israelis who attacked in 1956.

The Israelis invaded Sinai, along with the French and the British, advanced to the canal, and captured the Gaza Strip. A cease-fire was arranged, because the United States opposed the invasion and strong-armed its allies and Israel to stop it. In early in 1957 the invaders' troops were replaced by the UN Emergency Force. I guess, you could say that "they won", yes.

See http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0796/9607083.htm

(Side note: The Israelis tried to undermine Nasser's efforts whereby the British colinists would vacate Egypt. They staged sabotages of British and American facilities, including BOMBS PLANTED IN AMERICAN LIBRARIES, that were to be pinned on Egypt. To the Israelis' embarassment the whole thing blew in their faces. Read about the Lavon affair as detailed by a Jew : http://www.intellex.com/~rigs/page1/lavon.htm)

SammyB wrote "In 1967 they [Israelis] were attacked"

WRONG. In 1967, the Zionists attacked again. You must assume that everyone in this forum was born after the 70s, man!

(Side note: It was in that war, that Israelis felt so cocksure that they attacked and killed lots of American servicemen onboard the U.S.S. Liberty. Israel was slapped on the wrist. See http://www.ussliberty.com )

SammyB wrote "Israel recognizes every other state's right to exist."

WRONG. Ariel Sharon and others, including Labor ministers, have often proclaimed in the past, and most prominently in the 80s, that the Kingdom of Jordan should not exist! That it was the rightful place for all those who called themselves Palestinians. King Hussein did not exactly fell in love with that view.

....Don't take my word on all this, guys, run a search on the Internet and read for yourselves. Start with http://www.mideastfacts.com/index_zion1.html. It is disgraceful that in the wake of Tuesday's barbarism, Zionist apologists have found the opportunity to try and obscure the facts about the Middle East conflict.

09-16-2001, 03:02 PM
Since someone's bound to accuse Cyrus and perhaps me of this anyway I might as well put it on the table.

At least one of the links above appears to be from some sort of anti-semitic, white-supremacist Christian-supremacist website. Although there's a lot of stuff on the web from legitimate sources detailing the predations of Israel, some of it has been predictably pasted into neo-nazi sites, so that if you search for something like the attack on the USS Liberty, you might unknowingly wind up in a page sponsored by these assholes, feigning sympathy for victims of Isreali terror in order to rationalize their own anti-Jewish racism. A few somewhat more principled anti-zionist sites have similar stuff about the "Protocals of the Elders of Zion" and other racist junk.

For the record: I renounce racism and antisemitism in all forms. Neither zionism nor opposition to zionism -- and certainly not advocacy of both Zionism and Palestinian human rights -- is necessarily racist, althought the positions and practices of many on both sides obviously are.

One of the unfortunate side effects of criticizing Israel is that you are sometimes accused of making common cause with your worst nightmare, but I guess that's something you have to put up with.

09-16-2001, 03:03 PM
So, perhaps my point of view has been swayed by the propaganda put forth by the UJA, JDL and the like. And let's say everything is as you say it is. I'll stipulate to all of it. Now what?

Israel is the Jewish Stete. Nothing you do or say, or the arabs do or say, or the UN does or says is going to change it. They're not going to fully incorporate the Palestinians. What are you going to do about it. More terrorism? Big deal. They've had their share and now they're giving back double.

Israel is either here to stay or they will take the whole region with them. Never again is the slogan. Even if it's the whole world against them then so be it. No argument, no treaty, no peace plan will make one Israeli soldier lay down his weapon. So, what's the answer?

Maybe, let the palestinians make a homeland somewhere else. Take it or leave it. That's the way it's going to be. Not because I say it. that's just the way it's going to be. The pro-arabs, the arabs and the rest of the world should see it by now. After all I'm pretty sure it comes as no surprise to find out the Israelis can be an arrogant, stubborn lot.

09-16-2001, 04:03 PM
Ialsm is a great religion that preaches love and a beautiful afterlife. It is only crazed lying clerics who distort this true values of Islam. The manaics like Muslim frings groups exist in all relogions. They are the minority and do not express the thinking of 99.999% of the Arab world. We too want them caught and punished. They kill all of us too who do not support their pranoid beliefs.

09-16-2001, 04:53 PM

You know better. Research is certainly not about finding a few links which support your point of view. After a very brief search, I can locate sources which will contradict all of the points you make, but am I to accept those sources uncritically? Of course not. Although the Internet does provide a quick and easy research tool, it comes, as Chris Alger points out, loaded with landmines.

Most of us do not have the time or inclination to begin historical inquiry, but I will suggest two texts as a beginning: Edward Said's Orientalism and Hayden White's Metahistory . Any good research effort begins with the general and concludes with the specific--not the other way around.


09-16-2001, 05:06 PM
I didn't check out some the sources you mentioned below, but I was curious about the "electronicintifada" one. Who puts that one out? I would like to know if I get the time and inclination to look at it.

09-16-2001, 05:16 PM
This is a very good point. Finding a few sites that say what you want them to say is a very dangerous aspect of the Internet, especially in these dangerous times. Perhaps someone who is willing to do the work could post a few links to some sites that are not only more reliable but which present a different point of view.

09-16-2001, 05:26 PM

09-16-2001, 05:32 PM
John, thanks for all the pointers.

Yes, I do know better. The links I liberally sprinkled my text with, were found after no more than a minute's search on the Web. (And yes, the usual, obscene anti-semitic website might have slipped in, as Chris Alger warned. My sincere apologies. I should have sprinkled conservatively!) Take out the links and read the text. It stands on its own. How could it not? SammyB posted a whole bunch of falsehoods. And his post above is the standard arrogant "So what? Whacha gonna do about it?". Plus ça change, ...

But you're talking about a wholly different medium : books. (I happen to have read one of the 2 titles you recommend and endorse your endorsement.) This is the Net! One must start with the specific on the Net and lead on to the general. It's the ol' hook at work. The audience is committed to listening much less on the Net, to the point of always being "one click away", as the cliché goes, from switching to something entirely different.

The idea is that after some hours in front of the glare, one might be intrigued enough, as a citizen, to open a book, about the background of the problem, about its general rather than its specific aspects, especially since the United States seems hell bent on rushing headlong into it. Hopefully, a book beyond what's recommended by Reader's Digest.

Take care.


09-16-2001, 05:53 PM
Cyrus wrote:

ˇ§WRONG. In 1967, the Zionists attacked again. You must assume that everyone in this forum was born after the 70s, man! ˇ§

This is an alternative historical description.

On the 6 Day War in 1967


Excerpt from the Answer



Was Israel the agressor in 1967? Did Israel attack peacefull Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq on June 5, 1967 and wrestle the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the "West Bank" from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria?


„h THE 1967 WAR

In May 1967, Egypt and Syria took a number of steps which led Israel to believe that an Arab attack was imminent. On May 16, Nasser ordered a withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Forces (UNEF) stationed on the Egyptian-Israeli border, thus removing the international buffer between Egypt and Israel which had existed since 1957. On May 22, Egypt announced a blockade of all goods bound to and from Israel through the Straits of Tiran. Israel had held since 1957 that another Egyptian blockade of the Tiran Straits would justify Israeli military action to maintain free access to the port of Eilat. Syria increased border clashes with Israel along the Golan Heights and mobilized its troops.

The U.S. feared a major Arab-Israeli and superpower confrontation and asked Israel to delay military action pending a diplomatic resolution of the crisis. On May 23, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson publicly reaffirmed that the Gulf of Aqaba was an international waterway and declared that a blockade of Israeli shipping was illegal. In accordance with U.S. wishes, the Israeli cabinet voted five days later to withhold military action.

The U.S., however, gained little support in the international community for its idea of a maritime force that would compel Egypt to open the waterway and it abandoned its diplomatic efforts in this regard. On May 30, President Nasser and King Hussein signed a mutual defense pact, followed on June 4 by a defense pact between Cairo and Baghdad. Also that week, Arab states began mobilizing their troops. Against this backdrop, Nasser and other Egyptian leaders intensified their anti-Israel rhetoric and repeatedly called for a war of total destruction against Israel.

Arab mobilization compelled Israel to mobilize its troops, 80 percent of which were reserve civilians. Israel feared slow economic strangulation because long-term mobilization of such a majority of the society meant that the Israeli economy and polity would be brought to a virtual standstill. Militarily, Israeli leaders feared the consequences of absorbing an Arab first strike against its civilian population, many of whom lived only miles from Arab-controlled territory. Incendiary Arab rhetoric threatening Israel's annihilation terrified Israeli society and contributed to the pressures to go to war.

Against this background, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against Egypt on June 5, 1967 and captured the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. Despite an Israeli appeal to Jordan to stay out of the conflict, Jordan attacked Israel and lost control of the West Bank and the eastern sector of Jerusalem. Israel went on to capture the Golan Heights from Syria. The war ended on June 10.

- Anti-Defamation League

09-16-2001, 05:58 PM
I couldn't agree with you more when you say that "opposition to zionism is not racism". But I couldn't disagree with you more when you say that "neither is zionism". Zionism is absolutely a form of racism. In fact, on November 10, 1975, the U.N. General Assembly adopted resolution 3379 (XXX) determining that Zionism is a form of racism.


09-16-2001, 06:05 PM
Your post, quoting from B'nai B'rith, confirms that the state of Israel commenced hostilities. In other words, that THEY attacked. SammyB claimed that "Israel was attacked". He claimed the same thing about the war of 1956!..

The rest of the text contains no "alternative history" either. It's just the standard excuses for Israel being the aggressor once more (they called it "pre-emptive strike") despite the American mediation efforts that your text quotes. Israel had an excuse for every aggressive, blatantly illegal act it has committed, including the invasion of Lebanon. Nonetheless, it's nice to have at least been spared the standard denials about the sinking of the U.S.S. Liberty. Thanks, Tom.

09-16-2001, 06:27 PM
Right and I'm sure if you read an account from an anti Israeli source the account would be much different than the account given at the site that I provided a link for. There really is no clear cut answer as to whether it was a "pre-emptive" strike or a "Zionist attack."

09-16-2001, 06:30 PM
I believe the historical perspectice you give regarding the Zionists and Palestenians was for the most part accurate.

09-16-2001, 06:36 PM
I'm afraid I don't know the definition of "Zionism", or even, for that matter, the word "racism", although I have a pretty good idea what "racism" means. I have virtually no idea what "Zionism" means.

In our enlightened wisdom we easily feel that prejudicial standards are bad things, and in many ways, they are. However there can be very practical reasons for certain things, for instance, such as many citizens of Israel perhaps not wanting to live in a very mixed society. The most obvious reason is that many of their neighbors hate their guts, and who want to have fellows like that living next door and down the street.

At the risk of offending those who prefer the Mike Styvick outlook over the Archie Bunker mentality (and BTW I'm somewhere in the middle), it is also true that lower socioeconomic groups have higher crime rates. I'm all for judging each individual on his/her own merits, but when discussing groups, we must also discuss averages. I don't think I would be as safe if I lived in many ethnic neighborhoods in the U.S., and not just because I'm a white guy. Likewise, in the Middle East, the situation is far more pronounced. Archie Bunker's visions of falling property values would probably be minor compared to the effects of having all the Palestinians sharing all of Israel with the Israelis. I'm not judging right or wrong here, and again, I'm not even sure what Zionism is. I'm just saying that if Zionism is the Israels wanting to live primarily with other Israelis (whom they know will be on average quite well-educated, professional, and hard-working), that is not racism per se, that is being practical, and being practical in a very dangerous part of the world.

09-16-2001, 06:47 PM
Isn't attacking those who are openly committed to your destruction a form of defense? If the Islamic world had just always LEFT ISRAEL ALONE I will bet dollars to donuts that Israel would never have attacked on several occasions.

When the U.S. goes to attack the terrorists who just committed those acts against us, in my view, that is DEFENSE even though it is an aggressive action. I mean c'mon. The Islamic states call for a war to destroy Israel, then when Israel strikes back it is considered an aggressive action? A guy with a knife says he is going to kill you after he robs you in a dark alley somewhere, and you, Cyrus, get in the first punch while he is still talking and get the knife away from him? That is offense? Did you have an "excuse" for this aggressive action?

09-16-2001, 07:20 PM
If the U.S., instead of Israel, were surrounded by much larger neighbors openly sworn to destroy her, and they were making preparations to do so, we probably would have nuked ALL of them. Perhaps Israel should be commended for restraint.

09-16-2001, 08:38 PM
The historians who wrote from a pro-Israel perspective, both in Israel and in the west, immediately after the founding of Israel, wrote from a triumphalist perspective: everything Isreal did was sanctified, and everything it's opponents did was, by definition, evil. Likewise, the Arab and Palestinian writers of the same period took exactly the opposite perspective, their writings replete with virulent antisemitism.

This is a natural thing. Reading early American historians' views of the founding of our country, or Theodore Roosevelt's Winning of the West is embarrassing today. As time passes, more records become available and a more even-handed perspective becomes possible.

In Israel today, a group of "new" Israeli historians, led by Benny Morris, Ilan Pappe and Avi Shlaim, are challenging the triumphalist sense of history that was previously unchallenged there. I have found the following books the most persuasive in explaining the history of the Zionist enterprise before 1948, the Palestinian and Arab response, and the history of the state of Israel since 1948. Some may be hard to find:

Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, The Transformation of Palestine

Meron Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape

Boas Evron, Jewish State or Israeli Nation?

David J. Goldberg, To the Promised Land

Ian Lustick, Arabs in the Jewish State

Benny Morris, 1949 and After

Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palenstinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949

Ilan Pappe, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-1951

Ilan Pappe, The Isreal/Palestine Question

Maxime Rodinson, Israel: A Colonial-Settler State?

Rogan and Shlaim, The War for Palestine

Edward W. Said, The Question of Palestine

Anita Shapira, Land and Power

Avi Shlaim, The Politics of Partition

Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall

Shabtai Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs

Baylis Thomas, How Israel Was Won

09-16-2001, 09:55 PM
Thanks for this list of resources - I often read this Forum just to find good books to read. Unfortunately, I'm nearly a fast enough reader to Get through this whole list. Do you mind narrowing it to 3-5 'must reads'?

Thanks much,


09-16-2001, 10:03 PM
I've been following this discussion and I'd like to add my perspective.

I agree that unbiased history paints a pretty dim picture from either side of the Palestine issue, but there is a point SammyB made that I think should be considered instead of dismissed as being arrogant, i/e Whatcha goin to do about it.

The way Israel conducts itself is a reality. It isn't going to change. I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying it's real. Trying to persuade or force or terrorize Israel into being neighborly or even fair to the Palestinians will probably not succeed. Sort of a NIMBY attitude. If there is going to be peace in the region another kind of accommodtion must be found.

This certainly doesn't work.

09-16-2001, 11:51 PM
Maxime Rodinson, Israel: A Colonial-Settler State?:

-Written at least, I believe, 20 years ago, by a Marxist, but the best presentation of the Arab case against Israel; clearly written and, I believe, a convincing case.

David J. Goldberg, To the Promised Land:

-Good chapters on the seminal Zionist thinkers and leaders.

Meron Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape:

-Recent book about how the Israelis have transformed the Palestinian landscape by a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem.

Boas Evron, Jewish State or Israeli Nation?

-Not easy reading, but, as the title indicates, discusses the difficulties of a Jewish State.

These would be my top four.

09-17-2001, 12:00 AM
It should also be pointed out that Israel, especially in 1967, is a very small country in terms of land area, only 6 miles wide in some places -- pre 1967 borders. Thus it would be much more difficult for it to survive a first attack and would thus have to view a preemptive action as defensive.

This idea is clearly supported by the action that occured in the 1973 war. Here Israel was caught by surprise and almost didn't survive.

Another point which our friend Cyrus seemed not to mention is that at the end of the 1973 war the Israeli army had gotten a tank brigade on the other side of the Suez and behind the Egyptian Army. (I believe if I remember correctly that this force was led by General Ariel Sharon.) At our request, this brigade stoped and the war ended. If they didn't stop, Cairo could have been destroyed.

This of course brings up an obvious question. If the Egyptians or Syrians had their tanks heading essentialy unopposed towards a big Israeli city such as Tel Aviv would they have stopped.

Fortunately, many things changed since then beginning with the Sadat trip to Jerusalem, and for a while it appeared that we were very close to a real and lasting peace. But the last remaining gap was not closed and hostilities began again.

By the way, since I'm getting old, I remember watching CBS News with Walter Chronkite interviewing Andwar Sadat where he stated that he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Of course no one could believe what Sadat had said and since English was a second language to him it was assumed that he had somehow misunderstood the question and couldn't mean what he said.

But this led to a peace treaty, and Israel returned the Sinai, and both sides have honored this treaty all these years. Another point is that the Gaza Strip which was originally part of Egypt did not get returned.I believe that the Egyptians didn't want it back. Perhaps if they had, there wouldn't be as many problems as there are today.

09-17-2001, 12:33 AM
Excellent post. In my despair over the last week's events and what our future might hold, it helps to think of Sadat and Begin.

Sadat was widely viewed as a light-weight when he took over in Egypt after Nasser. He turned out to be anything but that. And Begin started out as a guerilla fighter who was not averse to using terroristic methods against the British. His book, The Revolt, was widely used as a guiding handbook by many guerilla organizations, including those of the Palestinians. Yet, he turned out to be dedicated to democratic principles when the state of Israel was formed and, although his politics were far too far to the right for my tastes, it was indeed he who signed the longlasting peace treaty with Egypt. We forget that Egypt had traditionally been Israel's most obstreperous and militaristic Arab enemy in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s.

09-17-2001, 12:49 AM

09-17-2001, 01:01 AM
But wasn't the General Assembly at that time dominated by countries like the Soviet Block that were enemies of Israel? And wouldn't these countries go to great length to pass a resolution like you cite whether it was true or not?

09-17-2001, 03:01 AM
Mason Malmuth wrote: ""Wasn't the [United Nations] General Assembly at that time dominated by countries like the Soviet Block that were enemies of Israel? And wouldn't these countries go to great length to pass a resolution like you cite whether it was true or not?""

Another great myth of the Cold War! Which apparently isn't going to be laid to rest anytime soon.

There WAS indeed a Soviet bloc and it was specifically comprised of the following countries : USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Cuba, Mongolia and Vietnam. Did I forget anyone?

China and Albania were routinely at odds with the Soviets, for supposedly ideology differences. Other communists countries such as Yugoslavia and Rumania were unreliable. They preferred to cast their vote with the Non-Aligned bloc.

At the time, remember, there was no marxist Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Angola or Somalia. Cambodge was safely pro-American while for every "soviet-influenced" country from the above list, the U.S. could field a steadfast ally of their own: the United Kingdom, West Germany, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Australia, Canada, etc.

Beyond the two superpowers' satelite orbits, were many semi-"maverick" countries such as Sweden, etc. They were definitely not abiding by the Soviet bloc's wishes. France thought she was still a superpower, for instance.

...Which leaves us with the greatest part of the votes, the Non-Aligned nations. Which comprised African countries such as Tanzania, etc. Even the Arab Middle East countries that were voting routinely against Israel had a stake in the affair. What is always omitted from the analysis was that most of these counties were run by rabidly anti-communist leaders. Nasser had members of the Egypt CP executed sporadically. So did Qaddafi (sp?) with his own "atheists", Assad, and, of course, King Hussein of Jordan.

The "great Soviet bloc of votes in the U.N." is bunk.

09-17-2001, 03:04 AM
Tom, I'm sorry but the argument was not whether Israel's actions in the 6-day War constituted a "pre-emptive strike" or a "Zionist attack". The argument was about which country started that war. And anyway you want to label it, it was Israel which ..opened hostilities. Is that neutral enough as terms go?

A lot of people it seems, as SammyB's claims showed, still want to cling on to the belief that Israel was always been attacked, etc etc. This is just not so.

And it is not a matter of "taking sides" or "different analysis" here. This is the historical record. Israel was the aggressor (sorry! they "opened hostilities") in 1967.


09-17-2001, 03:17 AM
""Another point ... is that at the end of the 1973 war the Israeli army had gotten a tank brigade on the other side of the Suez and behind the Egyptian Army. (I believe if I remember correctly that this force was led by General Ariel Sharon.) At our request, this brigade stoped and the war ended. If they didn't stop, Cairo could have been destroyed.""

The Yom-Kippur was was started by the Arabs. They were the aggressors that time. This is a historical fact. (Aside to Tom Haley, there.)

And the Arabs could have made things really nasty for the Israeli side if it wasn't for the massive American aid that immediately started and turned the tide, along with full intelligence assistance. There was no respective Soviet aid to the attacking Arabs or from anyone else for that matter. In retrospect, if it was the Arabs that would have been stopped before winning, and Israel's wings had been clipped a bit, the chances for a lasting peace would have been subsequently greater.

This little aspect of the story is routinely and conveniently left out when retelling the Yom Kippur war - instead, we focus on the "military genius" of people like Sharon. I have seen his "genius" at work inside Shabra & Shatila. (No, these are not porn stars, fellow consumers.)

09-17-2001, 03:28 AM
"In retrospect, if it was the Arabs that would have been stopped before winning, and Israel's wings had been clipped a bit, the chances for a lasting peace would have been subsequently greater."

That's an interesting statement. How do you know that? Weren't Syria and Egypt sworn to the complete destruction of Israel at that time?

09-17-2001, 03:38 AM
I would go for his "Politics of Dispossession" as a primer, if I wanted the view of a moderate, Palestinian, Christian professor of Columbia.

09-17-2001, 03:47 AM
Firing the first shot and being the aggressor are not necessarily the same thing, and I would think that you would know that.

Here's a different example. Who was the aggressor at Fort Sumtner in Charleston Harbor where the first shots of the Civil War were fired? Was it the North for refusing to vacte the fort, or was it the South for shooting first after they had ordered the Northern soildiers to vacate?

The way I understand the beginning of the six day war was that Israel as a country felt terribly threatened. Now perhaps you might argue that they shouldn't have felt so threatened, and that the actions of the Egyptians weren't that big a deal. I would have no problem with that argument even though I don't agree. But given that they felt threatened striking first can certainly be viewed as a defensive action.

Another example is who started the Mexican-American War. That is still being argued to this day. My view is that the Texans started it and they did it by joing the United States and not staying an independent country. You see when they were an independent country the Mexicans didn't have to recognize it and could make incursions into the poorly defined Mexican-Texan border area. But once it became part of the United States these issues had to be addressed. So here is a war that was started by a country that didn't exist.

The fact of the matter is that in 1967 the Arab countries wouldn't accept Israel as a legitimate entity and were technically always at war. The same is still true today between Israel and Syria. They may not be shooting at each other, and they may even be talking at times, but technically they are at war. So my view is that during the 50+ years of war between the Arabs and Israelis what is known as the Six Day War is just a short period of time when the shooting was much more intense than it normally is.

09-17-2001, 03:53 AM
We can only speculate, of course. But this speculation should be based on the various balances of power, both globally and locally.

The U.S. had made a cornerstone of its foreign policy the survival of the state of Israel. The USSR had made no such commitments to any side of the belligerents, neither did she have any vital strategic interest in the area. As a matter of fact, the soviets were vehemently (sp?) opposed ideologically by most of their "friendly" countries there; they were all fanatically anti-communist!..

This leads me to claim that the U.S. had more at stake to stop the Arabs from getting a total victory (i.e. "destroying Israel"), than the Soviets had to stop the Arabs. And the Soviets DID have a part in forcing the U.S. to force the Israelis to stop! To me, this shows that a timely intervention by the Americans save Israel would've been inevitable. (I don't have a percentage ready for you, Mason.)

The second fact is, again, historical, combined with elementary negotiating principles. Throughout the recent history of the Middle East conflict, the Israelis have held the high ground - all of it! This never augurs (sp?) well for any kind of a negotiation. Whether in labor disputes or geopolitics. So, if we really wanted peace in the area, it should be obvious that to bring about a more balanced relation of power among the opponents, it would have to be Israel that should have her "wings clipped", as I wrote so eloquently. Since we don't want moral reasons, I gave you strictly operational ones: The mediator brings the two sides on a somewhat more equal (not totally equal!) footing before getting down to business.

As it is, Israelis have no interest in a lasting peace which includes a truly autonomous Palestinian state. The demographics are against them - another arithmetical fact.

...Those were my reasons, briefly, for wanting the Arabs to have scored a "victory" in 1973. What do you think?

09-17-2001, 04:08 AM
My only comment, and then I hope to leave this issue, is that I agree the US and the USSR did not want to get into a direct confrontation and were willing to scale back when events were leading this way.

As an example, you can cite our wartime strategy in Vietnam. If there was no Soviet Union to worry about, might we had invaded North Vietnam and prosecuted the war much more aggressively?

So in this sense you may be correct in that the USSR would have put the pressure on to stop the Arabs if it appeared that America would enter the conflict to save Israel since they wouldn't want to come in on the Arab side and risk an exchange of nuclear weapons.

One final flaw in some of your arguments is that Israel does have treaties with two of its Arab neighbors. Obviously for that to happen some sort of agreement must have been reached that was acceptable to both sides. It seems to me that the way you tell it, Israel would never make such an agreement since they essentially hold all the cards (and high land).

09-17-2001, 04:46 AM
The blockade of Aqaba was the first act of war in this conflict. Or was Israeli also the agressor at Entebbe?

09-17-2001, 04:46 AM
I suppose there's an argument that zionism in actual practice is inherently racist, but it seems to me that the point of the argument is disparagement for it's own sake. Most nation states have grown or benefitted from exclusionary and racist institutions; one can easily argue that the creation of the United States was a racist endeavor (in fact I don't see how it could be refuted). But so what? Should we endeavor to turn back the clock and dismantle America because of it's past crimes? Is that something that's even worth thinking about?

Regardless of the crimes the founders of Israel committed against the indigenous people of the middle east, and I'm sure there are many, present and future generations of Israelis deserve to live in peace within secure borders.

09-17-2001, 04:50 AM
From the site: "The Electronic Intifada project is a focused network of pro-Palestinian activists with a history of Internet and media activism. The project aims to focus on just one aspect of the struggle, the war in the media for a representation of the Palestinian point of view."

It's not a neonazi site.

09-17-2001, 05:05 AM
I haven't read everything or even most books on this list, but anyone that wants to read a great short introduction to the Palestinian issue would find Edward Said's "A Question of Palestine" very rewarding.

His "Orientalism" is excellent too, as John Cole points out.

09-17-2001, 09:44 AM
The Islamic nations all around Israel held (and hold) far more land and far greater riches in the form of oil. I don't see why it should be Israel which should be reduced in order to bring balance to the region.

Perhaps, though, if Israel stopped working and studying so hard, future generations of Israelis would see more of a balance (of sorts;-)) with their neighbors.

09-17-2001, 07:53 PM
The Question of Palestine was on my original list. I would probably disagree with your characterization of him as a moderate, but his writing is brilliant and impassioned.

By the way, his writing on classical music is top notch as well.

09-17-2001, 09:22 PM
""One final flaw in some of your arguments is that Israel does have treaties with two of its Arab neighbors. Obviously for that to happen some sort of agreement must have been reached that was acceptable to both sides. It seems to me that the way you tell it, Israel would never make such an agreement since they essentially hold all the cards (and high land).""

No flaw. Israel does not intend to occupy neither Cairo nor Amman. (At least, not until its demographics change so much, that lebensraum is sought! If you can't get the joke ask Sharon about where the Palestinians should be disposessed exactly.) Israel is of course keen on having treaties with its neighboring countries that (a) boost the legitimacy of its existence, (b) enhance its security, at least on paper, (c) divide the Arabs, and (d) alienate their main concern, i.e. the Palestinians. Why should it not be keen on having those treaties? And why should it not have those treaties while holding the "high ground"? Holding the "high ground" does not lead to "perfect arrogance", but, rather, to a huge advantage in achieving one's objectives. Like, say, keeping land deemed essential for the country's safety, e.g. Golan Heights.

Notice of course, understandable absence of any rush on the part of Israel to come to terms with the presence of the former inhabitants of the place, i.e. the towel-heads. Due to absence of any interest to the contrary, naturally. Notice uninterrupted aggressive acts against them, throughtout the decades, in the form of forced and provocative settlements, encouraged and subsidised by all gov'ts, and carried dout by mostly religious Jewish fanatics on whom their Muslim counterparts have nothing.

...If the Palestinians were to somehow vanish into thin air (an old Nazi doctor in Paraguay reading this would probably mutter "Or up de chimney!"), the Middle East problem would be solved! And I'll be the first to admit that the sighs of relief from any disappearance of the Palestinian nation heard in Jerusalem/Tel Aviv would be echoed in most Arab capitals - no mistake.

09-19-2001, 03:53 PM
Yeah, but your own argument confirms Mason's point, regardless of the existence of a Soviet bloc.