March 23, 2004


OK, time to step back for a minute. After a husband-inspired dinner of lil smokies and rum & coke and a rousing episode of Smallville, I'm ready to tackle the Arab-Israeli conflict growing on my blog.

I always thought the comments section of places like LGF or LT Smash was really fun: discussions growing on their own independent from the original post and blogger. I'm excited that my own readers are jumping into the game. But there are a few things I'd like to say.

I appreciate the fact that Joshua has been civil. He and I may disagree, but he politely asked me to re-grok, and I don't take that as a sign of trolldom. I also appreciate the fact that most of my readers seem to side with Israel, and I only encourage them to continue to be civil in their discussion.

That said, there are some other resources I'd like to point to, all taken from Charles Johnson's sidebar.

Myths & Facts Online: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Palestine Facts
Statistical Analysis of Casualties in the Palestinian - Israeli Conflict

I am the first to admit that I do not grok the entire conflict. I have read most of the information in the aforementioned articles, but I cannot say that I have completely understood everything. I am no expert. I tried to follow Joshua's advice and read the suggested works by Chomsky and Said, but they're both books, and I must honestly say that I don't feel comfortable purchasing their books. I would read an article online, but I don't particularly want to contribute money to their way of thinking.

I will say that I support the idea of the US being Israel's ally. They need all the allies they can get, and so do we. Seeing as we're both considered the biggest threats to world peace, we'd better stick together. Since we give plenty of money to craptastic countries like Egypt, I say why not give aid to a country that's a democracy and an ally?

I think Carla hit the nail on the head with the crux of this conflict though: "Palestinian leaders refused peaceable, 2-state solutions in 1917, 1937, 1948, and 2000. They do not want a right of self-determination, they want the elimination of the Jews." That's the main reason I can't support Palestine. They've been offered a compromise and have refused, opting for death over sharing. I can't support that under any circumstances.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:10 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
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1 I am very happy this discussion turned out the way it did as well. I am extermely interested in the topic yet it typically raises people's blood pressure when its brought up. All comments were civil and resourced/researched. If this type of dialogue was the way more people interacted we could probably bet the world would not be such a heap at this point. On the opinion of the two state solution, I have no idea why Palestine would reject it so many times. It bordelines on the idea "its the principle of the matter". Where as I do not agree with the occupation I find it unfortunate that both sides find bloodshed to be the answer. As far as not wishing to support their writing, I understand, if I ever come across my copies again[constant lending and moving] maybe we can arrange for them to be sent to you. Be well and keep reading, Joshua

Posted by: Joshua at March 23, 2004 06:34 PM (qLwT1)

2 Joshua, I'm glad to see you grasp there are issues which cannot be resolved by screaming. You are obviously intelligent. I would recommend some good history on the issue, and the region in general. Stay away from recent books, and find a good history book at the library published prior to 1967. Sarah always has well-considered opinions. I welcome you to come tear my site apart. I don't research as well as she does!

Posted by: Mike at March 23, 2004 09:11 PM (00IUf)

3 Joshua, the repeated rejection of the two-state solution really is the key to it. The Palestinians don't want a separate state of their own; they want Israel, but without the Israelis. And you are falling again into the trap of false moral equivalence when you say I find it unfortunate that both sides find bloodshed to be the answer. Israel wants peace and has been prepared to make substantial concessions to encourage the peace process. The Palestinians have made no such concessions. Ever. And I stand by what I said earlier about Chomsky and Said. You really, really need to double-check everything they present as fact. Even when Chomsky is talking about linguistics, his supposed field of expertise. If you like, I can dig up some articles deconstructing both of them.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 23, 2004 10:20 PM (+S1Ft)

4 Well, thanks to all for being civil, yet again. I has said that the first time prior to seeing 2[or was it more?] posts about my head being in the clouds[due to my book choice] which I will admit is a bit disheartening. You need not slap my face to turn it towards what you find to be a more suitable or factually viable truth. Mike, as far as "tearing down your site" I probably will not make it my fashion to do such. Fact of the matter is I stumbled upon Sarah's writing and had no idea she was pro-zionist. I am happy to see that all of you are creating arguments that bear a source. I have a book called Israel and the Arabs by Maxime Rodinson published in 1968 that I am yet to read. Pixy, as far as deconstructing Chomsky and Said I really find no need to do so. I take into consideration what you have said and make my best effort to second source such writings more thoroughly in the future. As far as my "political leanings" I imagine most if not all of you will feel the need to call me Lefty and we would basically butt heads on most issues. The left will always slander the right, and the right to the left. Its like a pissing contest, excuse the vulgarity. I am merely for the people, the right for all men, women, and children to food, clothes, and shelter. Working towards peace.

Posted by: Joshua at March 23, 2004 11:16 PM (qLwT1)

5 "I am merely for the people, the right for all men, women, and children to food, clothes, and shelter." But those aren't rights. People should have enough to eat - and indeed there is more than enough food in the world for everyone. Even taking into consideration the waste and overeating rife in the wealthier nations, there is still more than enough food. And the wealthy nations are quite prepared to give their surplus food to any country in need. The only reason people starve these days is because of the governments of those nations where the people are starving. The only reason. The same for clothes. And much the same for shelter. These are rights: Life - no-one is allowed to kill you out of hand, not even the President; Liberty - you are free to go where you will, providing you obey the laws of the land; the Pursuit of Happiness - note that you don't have a right to happiness itself, only a right to pursue it. What's the difference between these rights and yours? These rights are real, fundamental rights because they don't involve taking anything from anyone else - where yours do. Your "rights" are in fact not rights at all, but principles of Marxism. That good old "to each according to his needs". I agree that we should work to provide all people with these common basic needs, but it is not a right. "Working towards peace." Well, yes.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 24, 2004 12:54 AM (kOqZ6)

6 Yes, you're fortunate that Joshua is not a nasty troll. Sorry to have come on quite so strong with the language, but I had a very visceral response to the mention of Noam Chomsky and threw up verbally. What can I say? My sister once handed me one of his books from one of her masters of international relations classes. She recommended it. I tried to read it. Blecchh. Piss poor attempt to hide total left leaning position under hand selected "facts." Joshua, I know Noam Chomsky is a little tin god to every liberal on the planet, bunt you completely click off anyone who is not a robotic liberal when you mention him as your centerpoint of research. It's like a conservative saying "Go read Sean Hannity." Huh? How does it help to make a decision when you only read people who feed you pablum to support a viewpoint they espouse? I agree with one of the earlier posts - you need to read a good, balanced HISTORY book. And if you really want to make an argument to someone who reads a LOT - both sides - lose the words NOAM CHOMSKY from your vocabulary. Best wishes. (But unconvinced.)

Posted by: Oa Mae at March 24, 2004 01:57 AM (ehkN+)

7 I am not a Marxist, nor have I read his work, nor do I really ever plan on reading his work. I am not convinced a single ideology or government is right for the entire planet. Millions suffer due to a lack of food, clothes, and shelter. Without any of these your pursuits of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness cannot rightly happen. An addendum to the life/liberty/happiness should be "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without effecting those rights of another." "Best wishes.(But unconvinced)" I am not too sure what you are getting at with that. Placing it after best wishes sounds like an attempt at taking a sucker punch which is ridiculous considering I have not made a single shot at anyone in the course of our discussion. Do not let your emotions guide your words. There is no need to lash out, no matter how miniscule, because a person does not hold your viewpoint. Funny, I am the "Lefty", isn't it my "schtick" to take body shots? I am not here to convince you of what I will educate myself with. I will say that I do have it in my mind to pick up other works. Problem is, the Left skews the facts towards their cause, and the right does the same, objectivity is a lost art. I do not want to prove that any ideology is any more effect then another, I just know where I am considered standing by other peoples designations. I merely wish to educate myself so I take your suggestions to heart, understand? Remaining openmindedly yours, Joshua

Posted by: Joshua at March 24, 2004 11:04 AM (qLwT1)

8 Joshua, the point is that food, clothing and shelter aren't RIGHTS. They're necessities. Just because something is necessary doesn't mean you have a right to it. If you read the UN Declaration on Human Rights it starts off with the basics (life, liberty, and so on) and then descends into a welter of Socialist redistribution policies, all of them classed as fundamental human rights. Your addendum, though, is spot on. Now, as to skewed facts: Objectivity is not a lost art, but it is hard to find. The reason this has become such a problem in recent years lies entirely with the left, with moral relativism and post-modernism. Facts are verifiable. Verify them. The right is far, far better on this than the left. Not perfect, but still miles ahead.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 24, 2004 02:09 PM (+S1Ft)

9 By the way, I consider myself a centrist. A year or two ago, I would have been considered left-of-center by most Americans. I have been pushed hard towards the right, not by the arguments of the right, but by the arguments of the left. The sheer volume of nonsense - factual error, logical fallacy and out-and-out lies - coming from the far left in recent years has been astonishing. Worse, the moderate left has largely accepted this. More notable examples of people suffering my plight include Michael Totten, Roger Simon and Christopher Hitchens. They're also better at explaining this than me, so give them a try.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 24, 2004 02:16 PM (+S1Ft)

10 If something is necessary to remaining alive then I would have to say that you have a right to it. Maybe this is why I am considered Leftist or Socialist or some other useless designation. And I quote from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25: Everyone has the RIGHT to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including FOOD, CLOTHING, HOUSING and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in cirumstances beyond his control. So, by the very document you quote about L/L/PoHappiness you can find that F/C/Shelter are also included. It is safe to assume that all of the articles bear the same weight, and that Article 25 is of equal importance as Article 3. Article 2 goes on to say "Everyone is entitled to ALL the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration without distinction..." yours in open dialogue, Joshua

Posted by: Joshua at March 24, 2004 02:34 PM (qLwT1)

11 Forgive the CAPS but I am unaware on how to bold or italicize in this "forum".

Posted by: Joshua at March 24, 2004 02:36 PM (qLwT1)

12 And my point is this: No, you don't. You don't have a right to something just because it is necessary. Because you never have a right to take something away from someone else. The right to liberty is easy; there is never a shortage of liberty, unless someone deliberately takes it away. The right to life is really a right not to be killed out of hand; people die of natural causes, by accident, and so on, but it is only humans who can abuse this right. The right to the pursuit of happiness is inviolable. You simply and absolutely have no right to any particular standard of living, to any amount of food, clothing, shelter or medical care. All people should have access to these things, I agree. That's a Socialist notion, but I never said I disagreed entirely with Socialism. To claim that these are fundamental rights is Marxism, and it is also a fundamental abuse of other human rights. Property rights, for example. And the notion that unemployment benefits, sickness and disability pensions, widow's benefits (what about widowers?) and old-age pensions are a fundamental right is utterly absurd. A social structure along these lines can be beneficial in helping people remain (or return to) being productive members of society. But they all work by forcibly taking money from some people to give to other people. And anything that requires such action is absoultely and unequivocally not a right. Once again: I'm not saying these things are necessarily bad (though I will point out that excessive devotion to these ideas is bankrupting Europe). Just that they are social structures and not human rights. Calling them that demans the entire notion of human rights, by claiming that human rights are something only a socialist government can grant. Human rights are something we are born with, which remain with us unless they are taken away.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 24, 2004 09:21 PM (+S1Ft)

13 Well, I was merely pointing out that you quoted the UNDoHRights and tried to tell me it is not a right. If L/L/PoH are rights as deemed appropriate by the UNDoHR then, by the very standard you have created by instituting the document as proof you have refuted your own statement. Be more careful in the future. Now, if the UNDoHR is Socialistically minded then so is L/L/PoH. Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Posted by: Joshua at March 24, 2004 11:00 PM (qLwT1)

14 Well, I was merely pointing out that you quoted the UNDoHRights and tried to tell me it is not a right. No I didn't. If L/L/PoH are rights as deemed appropriate by the UNDoHR then, by the very standard you have created by instituting the document as proof you have refuted your own statement. No. What I was saying was that the UN Declaration starts well but then rapidly degenerates into a socialist manifesto. Maybe I could have made it clearer if I'd said "all of which it classes - falsely - as fundamental human rights". But I would have thought that "descends into a welter of Socialist redistribution policies" was a pretty clear indictment of the UN Declaration. Be more careful in the future. Try to follow the argument in the future. Now, if the UNDoHR is Socialistically minded then so is L/L/PoH. Completely false. Utterly wrong. Most of the UN Declaration consists of not affirming natural rights but of the redistribution of wealth. The basic rights affirmed in the US Constitution are libertarian principles; the UN Declaration is - for the most part - a socialist document. Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Pfft. Feel free to judge me any time. Just get your facts straight.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 25, 2004 02:11 AM (kOqZ6)

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