What are you talking about?

This is a guest post by Margie in Tel Aviv
There were two conversations going on in Carlo Strenger’s recent thread last week. The real conversation is that agreed by custom between the bigots’ brigade and the CiF staff. The sub-title is written by the staff and that is what the brigade picks up on and replies to, particularly if the article is balanced and middle of the road politically. The more outrageous comments are left to lie and rot until reported as abuse to the moderators, after which they are deleted reluctantly. The second conversation, neglected by the brigade unless forced on their attention by a pro-Israeli commentator, is a discussion of the actual material presented.
Carlo Strenger’s evaluation of what Israel has to fear from a Palestinian state is typical of the Israeli gentle left in that it begins with a realistic appreciation of the Palestinians’ predicament and suggestions for a solution. It is only after several paragraphs of reasoned discussion that he begins even presenting Israel’s concerns about what might happen if…
He might as well not have bothered with his introduction or his reasoned discussion since it was the sub-title of the article, “A return to 1967 borders would put most Israelis in rocket range” that generated the responses, and not the author’s words, as we see from this gem which appeared to set the stage for the feast of unreason which is the typical CiF reaction to articles written with even minimal concern for Israel’s interests.


2 Dec 2009, 10:03AM

A return to 1967 borders would put most Israelis in rocket range.

so if the arms makers keep increasing the range of their rockets the Palestinians could end up in China.

This found favour with 143 people who presumably didn’t bother to think further than their noses.
And with that we were off to the races to see which antisemitic comment could be the most outrageous. We can start off with the whining Jew comments – Matzpen and Indigenous had a little dialogue about “Haolam kulo negedeinu” (Hebrew for “the whole world is against us”)  which both understood but batted back and forth to give it a good airing.
Here are more of the same stamp:


2 Dec 2009, 10:16AM
Always the victims..
Ever though that what you need is a ONE STATE solution?


2 Dec 2009, 11:01AM
Instead of moaning all the time why don’t most Israelis go back to the land of their birth?
[recreated from Logic101’s 2 Dec 2009, 11.09am comment]


2 Dec 2009, 7:12PM
Notice how the author talks about “Palestinians extremists committed to the destruction of Israel”, but the Jewish extremists “dream of a greater Israel”. Not like they are committed to the destruction of Palestine and the Palestinian people and their culture, they are “dreamers”! The rest of the article carries on in the same way, the narrative of Israeli trauma and victimhood, with barely a thought for the far worse position of the average Palestinian. I think Carlo Strenger and most Israelis just don{t really see the Palestinians as people at all, with comparable emotions, feelings and responses to themselves. There is a horrible element of chauvinism to Israeli society (common to most settler – colonial societies) that really disgusts me. Israel seems sick to the soul. The Palestinians might well be better served abandoning their claim for statehood and demanding equal rights to Israeli citizens (I suspect this keeps top Israeli military and politicians awake at night more than rockets do). But this is perhaps an impossible move vis a vis Palestinian domestic politics.


2 Dec 2009, 2:38PM

“A return to 1967 borders would put most Israelis in rocket range. The EU needs to see that a two-state solution is complex”
The sense of entitlement by zionists is truly breathtaking. As is the COMPLETE lack of self-awareness, ethics, and conscience.
SO LET’S GET THIS STRAIGHT: the poor poor benighted Israelis’ fears of handmade rockets is the PRIORITY concern – since, as we all know, Palestinian Arab concerns are and always should be TOTALLY insignificant, seeing as how they are the inherently inferior subhuman group in this conflict.
Whereas the concerns of the Palestinian Arabs (Christians and Muslims, not to mention the Greeks and Brits and others who’d lived in Palestine for centuries until the zionists expelled them) about being ethnically cleansed from their homeland for the past 60 years, their concerns about being under total military subjugation under apartheid rule, their concerns about daily racist brutality and mass murder from settlers and the IDF, NONE of those concerns should be the priority of the EU.
It is remarkable how every single argument put forth by zionists and their apologists is blatantly racist, utterly hypocritical and morally bankrupt — but what’s more remarkable is how totally BLIND they are to all of it.


2 Dec 2009, 1:57PM
Mr Strenger, Israel is illegally holding onto Palestinian land. Either you return it or Israel will never know peace and will perish by its own hand.
May I recommend that Israel rather than continuing it’s fruitless oppression of the Palestinians, offer them citizenship as equals in a single democratic state that embraces everyone no matter their religion, beliefs or ethnicity. It is ultimately Israel’s only and best hope for the future. If you do so I suspect that you might find that they will be amongst the staunchest defenders of the state of Israel

Then we get the revisionists’ history of Israel:


2 Dec 2009, 10:39AM
Any two state resolution is certain to fail Carlo if thereby, Israel seeks to continue to exclude Palestinian communities exiled from their home territories.

As for Israel’s fear, this is of her own making. Her UN Membership was and remains conditional on her recognition that native Palestinians are indeed native.


2 Dec 2009, 11:08AM

The reason for the conflict would end if Israel withdrew from occupied territory, security for the most powerful country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons is a just peace. Lets not forget who has done most of the aggression here, invasions of Lebanon, blockading Gaza, the construction of apartheid style separation in West Bank as it seizes more territory etc.


2 Dec 2009, 12:06PM

You know, myself and a whole generation of muslims have grown up watching the palestinians being evicted, persecuted and butchered in their ancestral lands (and yes i know the israelis say they were there 2,000 years ago, but that’s another story fr another day…)

Anyway, I actually think peace will finally happen now. Not because Israel has turned ‘good’ – but because we all know that a combination of terrorist atrocities (9/11 anyone?) and Iran’s sabre rattling are starting to have an effect. The US is not going to be continuously sending it’s troops to die in middle eastern countries that make Israel edgy (Iraq anyone?). So, if there’s peace in Israel – then the rug for extremist’s of all denominations will have been pulled beneath their feet and maybe we can all live in peace. It all starts and ends with Israel.

And then there’s the ‘’good Jew’’ theme with J Street in the starring role.


2 Dec 2009, 12:04PM
First things first; lets not tar ALL jews with the same brush.
For instance take a look a JStreet, a jewish lobby in the USA trying to do the right thing; additionally there are UK jewish people who DO NOT support Israel and their racism.

To summarise these comments, 95% of people think that this article is bias towards Israel and their racist policies, and 5% of people agree.
This is a true reflection on European views – eg not many (non financial funded non-policticians) support Israel anymore. [read as the pro-israel lobby].
Terrorism? Lets talk about the british soldiers that were killed by the Zionists, please do some reseach before lying in your article.
I personally think it is a discrace that ‘we’ can see yes you are terrorists because you blow yourselves up (which is true, but then look at the IRA?) but then when they use rockets that get the same treatment?
what is going to happend when they can target their rockets against miltary targets? what will ‘we’ call them then?
The israels (and Jews) have a self-fulfulling propecy (study psychology) in as much as they EXPECT armageddon at their doorstep. The same way that believe (Israelies) that ‘god’ gave them this land.
Indeed if you read the Torrah is says that God said they could kill whoever was their and drive them out – which proves it was ‘owned’ by others before this happend.


2 Dec 2009, 12:23PM
2 Dec 2009, 12:04PM
First things first; lets not tar ALL jews with the same brush.

For instance take a look a JStreet, a jewish lobby in the USA trying to do the right thing; additionally there are UK jewish people who DO NOT support Israel and their racism.

And in the US, too. And not wishy-washy reformists, either.
And they are not afraid of or hostile to Islam, either.

The particular themes are endless and varied but the hatred is identical. How about those that offer Israel advice on how to remain or to become, religious and who see Judaism as the cause of the Palestinians’ suffering?


2 Dec 2009, 12:25PM
Zionism was a flawed ideology right from the start. It also breaks one basic tenet of Judaism, which is that justice and shalom (peace) are inviolable.


2 Dec 2009, 2:39PM

Well actually it’s more of a wall than a fence, the worst part is that it’s separating family members, farmers and their lands etc…..
Here’s a pic if u still see it as a fence

As for the article I have few remarks:The West should stop counting on arab countries to give citizenship to any of the palestinian refugees Why? here are a couple of reasons:
1-600000 palestinians are present in refugee camps in Lebanon, a country of 4million and where the power is divided between christians and muslims based on demographic studies (president is christian and the PM is muslim, the parlement has 64 christians and 64 muslims …) so no christian nor shiite or druze muslim will accept changing that fragile balance by naturalising 600000 sunnite muslim.
2-Who said that a palestinian that’s been living in misery for 60 years will accept now to give up his country to european invaders, even after 100 years liebermann will always sound european so will livny and all of those immigrants who claim that their ancestors were burried here. David was semit so was the Christ, syrians lebanese palestinians etc…semitism ain’t no religion but somehow a race which include pheonicians, canaanites etc…
I am from phoenician origins, my ancestors built carthage(tunisia) cadish(spain) and many other mediteranean cities and they populated these cities….hey wait a minute, most of the mediteranean coast should be annexed by me then! It is my HISTORICAL right.

As for a solution, there are none until the world stop labelling people by sympathy, Israel=victim and arab=terrorist, it feels like the crusaders era again where vulgar racist men massacred oriental christians,jews and muslims and considered them as low creatures eventhough they were 100 years ahead in science and litterature.
The UN that all our hopes rely on since ww2 recognise :
racist (ex:if u’re jew from zimbabwe u are allowed citizenship while palestinians are living in shitty camps),
discriminating ( liebermann, minister in israel and other parties consider taking israeli citizenship from arab israeli cuz in few years they will start weighing in votes and polls)
criminal: if taking someones land, then massacring his grandsons isnt a crime what is? How many international law did israel break in 2006 or 2009? lets start with phosphore, tungestene bombs and finish with assassination of UNIFIL soldiers or UNICEF workers. They were all accidents, but in any place in the world if accidents are redondant we take em for serious!

So no solution until the world stop backing and making excuses for racist countries. Arabs had nothing to do with WW2, unless someone would like to tell me that Hitler was arab….before the invading colons established israel jews, christians and muslims lived peacefully. So they did before crusadors took jerusalem 😉
I hope I dont vexe anyone here when I say that jews were once victims of a so called superior race, so they should be the first to acknowledge that judaism aint superior to any religion and it is not by killing in the name of God, or abba or alla or whatever you want to call it that you will gain sympathy or the war. Cuz today israel’s future is uncertain and it is not until peace is signed that can an israeli sleep knowing that next morning or the morning in 10 years his house will be there and his flag on it.
I would like to highlight one last thing: hamas, fatah etc…. are all considered as islamic terrorist group…but what is not said in the media is that the palestinian resistance was founded/organised by a christian and 40percent of palestinians were christians before the establishment of Israel…..where did they disappear?


2 Dec 2009, 12:28PM


“If you want peace the Zionist state, not just its wall, must fall.
Zionism or peace – it’s your choice.”

Although we stand face-to-face, I agree – Zionism must go and when it does, Yisra’el will emerge – the Yisra’el of Melech Davi’id!


2 Dec 2009, 11:50AM
Logic101, living where you are born is fine and unarmed emigration is fine too but it cannot be done using guns AT THE EXPENSE OF THE INDIGENOUS. The most vocal Zionists are the European and American ones. Given that they were born in countries where they are not persecuted they have no need to dispossess Palestinians, as an aside there is also fact the majority of Palestinian Jews did not support the Zionist project as they saw it as taking care of “god’s work”, however no matter how zealous they(Zionists) are in their religion it does not give them title over another person’s land and it never should.

Strenger’s observation during the thread shows how he despairs of the readership:


2 Dec 2009, 5:48PM
3 brief thoughts on some comments:
1) it’s fascinating for me to see how much of the discussion goes back to who is ultimately good or evil in this conflict. my whole point is to give realistic assessment of what might be feasible.
2) one comment asked me to condemn settlement building first. i’ve done so innumerable times before, and mention it in this piece, too. but it seems difficult to keep in mind that when you try think realpolitik, moralizing won’t get you far.
3) here’s a funny thing: right-wing websites in the US and israel keep categorizing me as a leftist extremist, whereas some of the comments here present me as some type of right-wing apologist of israel. by the way: i have no doubt that the right-wingers will see this piece as another instance of my leftist extremism, because i’m in favor of jerusalem as palestinian capital.
i guess that’s what happens when you argue for sanity.
by the way: i’m not complaining, just (a)musing.

Next time, Carlo Strenger, write a sub-heading for the usual crowd of hecklers and you can fill your article with the internet’s default medieval Latin. They won’t notice.

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