Dirty seamen stain Dunkirk weekend

“It does exactly what it says on the tin.”              

So proclaims an advertising slogan for woodstain, which has entered UK popular culture to describe anything that is exactly as it appears or claims to be.              

The slogan could not apply less to the two major nautical events of this weekend: on the one hand, the ceremony marking the anniversary of a sea “evacuation”; and, on the other, the anticipated arrival of the variously named “aid”, “freedom”, “peace”, even “blockade-busting”, flotilla.               

No, don’t be fooled by “what it says on the tin”.              

It is 70 years since the Dunkirk evacuation, when 340,000 Allied soldiers were rescued from the French beaches and advancing German armies in the early stages of World War Two. While unquestionably a retreat, the bravery of the seafaring rescuers in their convoy of “little ships” – enabling Good to fight, and to triumph over Evil, another day – established the term “Dunkirk spirit” in the British lexicon.               

The Miracle of Dunkirk

A considerably less heroic convoy of seamen – a stain on this special weekend – are due to arrive in Israeli waters today, under the guise of helping the poor, besieged Gazans . . .              

The same poor, besieged Gazans who gave a party of Islamofascist terrorists – whose raison d’être is the destruction of Israel no less than Hitler’s was that of the Jews – the majority of seats in their parliament.            

The same poor, besieged Gazans whose government has been holding a kidnapped Israeli soldier for four years, in complete contravention of international law, and bombarding Israeli civilians with rockets for over double that time.            

And, yes, the same poor, besieged Gazans who fill their children’s heads with vile anti-Semitic propaganda that would make Goebbels blush.          

Gaza flotilla, bearing Turkish and Palestinian flags

Even if you are troubled by these poor, besieged Gazans not being able to get their hands on a Kit Kat (couldn’t give a f*ck myself), make no mistake: this is neither a “humanitarian” mission, nor any of the other things written “on the tin” . . . but a dirty propaganda war – at least partially sponsored by the sickeningly hypocritical Turks, among the worst human rights abusers the world over – aimed purely at delegitimising Israel.         

As for the participants, they are an ignoble collection of agitators who – unlike the heroic Dunkirk veterans – have absolutely no concept of Good and Evil, being motivated purely by hatred of Jews. How else can one explain their obsession with Israel to the exclusion of all else?

And, be in no doubt, if the boot was on the other foot, Hamas would drown every last one of them.              

Kus ima shelahem ! כוס אמא שלהם

26 responses to “Dirty seamen stain Dunkirk weekend

  1. OK, I’m an outsider. Whatever I would write will be ill-received to say the least. So please read what Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center has written in his latest email. It contains direct quotes from a rabbi representing the Rabbis for Human Rights who says that the claim that the flotilla of aid for Gaza did NOT refuse to carry a letter from Gilad Shalit’s father is a nasty rumor & from Haaretz insisting the government open (indirect) talks w/ Hamas. While Art conveys them, they are written by Israelis, not us meddling American peaceniks!

    I am copying the content of the letter below, but if Mike decides it’s too long for this blog, I invite all readers to contact me by email & I will send it to you. Please, I beg you … do so!

    Who is Under Blockade? Gaza — Within & Beyond? Or — Israel?

    One of the most exciting and interesting aspects of writing these Shalom Letters is the responses that come. Often thanks, sometime long and thoughtful critiques, sometimes short and snarly.

    In regard to yesterday’s mailing about the Gaza flotilla, among the criticisms there were two that came from several different people:

    1. Arthur, why didn’t you criticize the flotilla leaders for refusing to carry a letter from Gilad Shalit’s father to his son [a captured Israeli soldier who for years has been held prisoner of war by Hamas]?

    2. Arthur, If you were living there, you would know there is no way to and no point in making any relationship with these Hamas murderers … If you were living there, you would know there are plenty of foods, medicines, etc going to Gaza. If you lived there —

    In regard to the first, by including Rabbi Ascherman’s rebuke to the flotilla on exactly this point, I was of course criticizing the flotilla’s failure to carry a letter to Gilad.

    But this morning, this story changed a great deal. Rabbi Ascherman, director of Rabbis for Human Rights, circulated the following letter:

    RHR received the following response from the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza:

    “The group never rejected to bring a letter from Noam Shalit to Gilad Shalit, that is false rumors. The steering group were only informed of the request after media announced that they had rejected the request! The Freedom Flotilla even announced that they are willing to take the letter in a press release. See: http://networkedblogs.com/4i2y3.

    RHR hopes that, contrary to expectations, the Israeli government will allow the flotilla to reach the Gaza port after a quick but thorough inspection, and that the flotilla participants will therefore have the opportunity to deliver a letter and package to Gilad Shalit.”

    On the second set of questions and several similar ones, I think people should know that Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper most akin to the NY Times in journalistic stature and reputability and its moderately left-of-center views when compared to mass public opinion, published an editorial on May 28 entitled “A blockade on Israel.” Click here.

    “If you lived there … if you lived there … if you lived there.” Haaretz DOES.

  2. What a lot of crap Greg writes as he deftly ignores the fact that Gilad Shalit is denied basic rights such as communication and Red Cross visits whilst Arab prisoners held by Israel live off the fat of the land.

  3. Yup … as predicted … I knew that what these people, who are Israelis, have written would be rejected out of hand. And please remember, I didn’t write it. Not that it matters much — I’ll take the blame (unhappily).

    The reality is that Israel will have to make some very difficult, even unpleasant & distasteful decisions — as she has had to do many times before — decisions which are not or seem to not be “fair.” Nevertheless, an end to this madness must be created. In that there is no choice.

    Israel needs the support of the world, not it’s condemnation. A 2-state solution is the only way Israel will continue to be a Jewish state. If she keeps Arab-occupied lands, the majority of citizens will be Arabic, not Jewish. The only other choice for Israel is to go down the road of Apartheid as did South Africa. Fortunately, they came to their senes, but only just before things would have exploded.

    I believe that course is unacceptable. Many more innocent people — on both sides — will die & in the end these same compromises still will have to be made. Please tell me what sense there is in prolonging the inevitable?

    I know y’all hate & distrust the current American government, but the reality is that we are in the middle of a unique window — one that will be open only for a short time. Israel’s governmant must take the painful steps it will eventually be forced to take, so they might as well do it — as soon as possible — rather than prolonging the status quo which is only deteriorating.

    You know it’s not “right” or “fair” & I know it to be the same, as well. Neverthless, ein b’reirah.

    Go ahead … my missile defenses are intentionally down. 😉

  4. Yes, Greg, I am sure the ‘Freedom’ Flotilla were willing to bring Gilad an iphone too, and his favourite blanket. If only Mr. Shalit had sent them on time.

    You really are gullible sometimes . . . especially when it comes to “buying” everything coming from the other side.

    I think the same source must have informed you about Haaretz’s “moderately left-of-center views”.

  5. Well said in your latest blog on those pieces of shit who are so driven by anti-Semitism and blind Jew-hatred that they prefer to support misogynistic, homophobic, child slaughtering, murderous barbarians, who, should they ever (God Forbid) prevail against Israel or the West would eliminate these Guardian reading idiots faster than you could say “help Gaza”. I think the whole world of right minded thinking individuals, and there must be some, should read two books, recently published, The World Turned Upside Down by Melanie Phillips and The Strong Horse by Lee Smith.

    I believe that these two books are essential reading for anyone charged with formulating foreign policy in Europe and North America. The chances of wimps like David Cameron, William Hague and Nick Clegg reading these books is nil. I understand that Hilary Clinton has read Lee Smith’s book but does not have the courage to speak up. The trappings of power are far too alluring to risk being honest and telling the truth.

  6. Well said, Hillel. I am just waiting for the sickening hypocrisy to start flowing from Ankara.

    I was in Istanbul, ten years ago this month, when two Leeds fans – Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight RIP – were butchered to death by a bloodthirsty mob of barbarians wielding meat cleavers, in Taksim Square in the very centre of the city. The murderers still walk free: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/apr/05/leeds-kevin-speight-chris-loftus

    And that was just a football match . . . I haven’t even got to the Armenian genocide and the Turks’ appalling treatment of the Kurds.

    Hypocritical f*cking knuckle-draggers . . .

  7. Daniel Marks

    How do they separate the men from the boys in Turkey?

    With a crowbar.

  8. I know y’all will love this ;( … It’s J Street’s response to what I agree are the terrible events that took place today.

    As someone wrote early this morning, “how many more people need to die, how many more children deprived of a father or mother, before this conflict is settled and people can live in peace and security, while devoting their energy to building better lives?”

    To this I say אמן!

    “J Street is deeply shocked and saddened by reports that at least 10 civilians have been killed and dozens more wounded (including Israeli soldiers) this morning as Israel intercepted a naval convoy bringing humanitarian supplies and construction materials to the Gaza Strip.

    We express our condolences to the families of those killed and we wish the injured a full and speedy recovery. We hope that leaders on all sides will take immediate steps to ensure that this incident does not escalate into a broader round of violence – in Israel, in Gaza, or in the region.

    There will undoubtedly be calls in the coming days for a UN investigation into today’s events. A credible, independent commission appointed by the Israeli government should provide the world with a full and complete report into the causes and circumstances surrounding the day’s events and establish responsibility for the violence and bloodshed.

    This shocking outcome of an effort to bring humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza is in part a consequence of the ongoing, counterproductive Israeli blockade of Gaza. J Street has been and continues to be opposed to the blockade – believing that there are better ways to ensure Israel’s security and to prevent weapons smuggling than a complete closure of the Gaza Strip.

    We do not know yet what the impact of today’s incident will be on the just-restarted peace process, on Israel’s relations with the international community, or on the health of Arab-Jewish relations within Israel itself.

    We do know, however, that today is one more nail in the coffin for hopes of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict peacefully and diplomatically and for preserving Israel’s Jewish and democratic character. We urge President Obama and other international and regional leaders to take today’s terrible news as an opportunity to engage even more forcefully in immediate efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

  9. “Humanitarian” my arse, Greg. Israeli soldiers were about to be lynched by those “civilians”.

    Why do you keep posting such ill-thought out wank here? To prove that Rabbis for Human Rights and J Street, etc, are a bunch of sell out merchants?

    Now is not the time for “I told you sos” and political point-scoring, but for solidarity with our country and brave young soldiers.

  10. Daniel Marks

    It’s quite simple Greg. Israel is a Western Democracy which holds elections to choose its leadership.

    If J Street does not support Israeli soldiers rights to defend themselves against knife, chain and gun wielding enemies they should run a Jewish National Suicide Party for office and persuade the Israeli electorate that they know more about military matters than Ehud Barak or Gabi Ashkenazi.

    Better still, why not come over here and show us how it’s done. I know the US has considerable experience in the area of avoiding civilian casualties in your wars to protect your inalienable right to drive on cheap gasoline.

    Here’s a sample of the US showing us how it’s done. Plenty more where that came from.

  11. Mike — Just how sure can you possibly be that the soldiers were the good guys? They attacked the ships in international waters & at least so far the govenment has been able to control the horsesh*t the media are feeding you. & you’re eating it like the “shor habor” @ the fabled messianic feast.

    I’m old enough to have seen JFK get shot on live national television & we still really don’t know what happened.

    What I do know is that Bibi f***ed up — big time! He had to cancel his trip to DC & Turkey has recalled their ambassador

    I dunno, maybe he was looking for a reason to avoid having to speak w/ Obama? But if Bibi’s goal is to turn Israel into a pariah among nations, he has succeded fabulously.

    Sure Turkey is no paragon of virtue, but they were at least somewhat sympathetic toward Israel. Now … evaporated in a flash.

    Israel doen’t come into this with clean hands, either. If we had been there — on the opposite side — we would have labled the Irgun as terrorists (for example — you know there’s more).

    When it comes to nationalist confilct (war) there’s plenty of guilt to go around. But f*ck the past. The big question is what are we gonna do now?

    Frankly, I don’t have an answer — just a feeling of despair, dread & deep sadness. Someone’s gonna haave to pull a rabbit out of a hat — otherwise Israel’s a dead duck.

    &, Daniel, the editors of Haaretz ARE Israeli citizens who are able to recognize the wrong direction the country has taken.

  12. Daniel Marks

    “&, Daniel, the editors of Haaretz ARE Israeli citizens…” –

    Never was a truer word said and it is with them, not with you or JStreet that matters of life and death must be decided. That, as I have explained at nausea, is why we have what are called “elections”.

    You, on the other hand, have had your chance to be part of Jewish history, to raise your kids here, to fight with us, to celebrate with us and to cry with us. Instead, you chose to be a chazan in the US. That is a perfectly understandable decision but it means that you cease to be one of the players.

    Worry, Greg, about the US and their behavior in Iraq, worry about your children marrying Jews, worry about having a minyan of Judaically literate US Jews left to, one day, say kaddish for your generation. Worry about whatever you like, but don’t worry about us we’re doing fine.

    I will happily discuss with you matters in which we both have a vested interest like Judaism, or matters which neither of us do like the biography of Joe Louis. When, however, it comes to matters that to me are existential and regarding which, in my opinion, you have nothing original to say, no first hand knowledge and absolutely no expertise, like enforcing a naval blockade or defending yourself against ten knife-wielding Anti-semites, frankly, I care not a jot what you think.

    All that does not mean that I don’t still love you, which I, of course, do.

    BTW There’s another bloke called Gert with similar views to your own. You may wish to add family names or nicknames to avoid confusion. Regarding the latter I have several unusual ideas. 🙂

  13. Daniel, I do understand & appreciate your position. I know you feel as though we Jews who do not live in Israel do not have a legitimate stake in what goes on there, but you’re wrong. What happens in Israel has a tremendous effect on every Jew all over the world.

    We are one family, regardless of where we live. We’re not joined @ the hip — we’re joined @ the heart! What happens to any one of us happens to all of us.

    There’s a quote, reportedly from Albert Einstein, that says something to the effect that if he succeeded, each country in which he lived would claim him as their own. But if he failed, he would be blamed as a Jew. There is so much truth in that.

    Every time Israel won a war — thank God! — it wasn’t just you who won. WE won. OUR heart soared. When, for example, the most terrible disaster happened @ the Olympics, it didn’t just happen to Israel & her athletes — it happened to US. Of course you cried & mourned, but so did we. It was as if OUR hearts were ripped from our chests.

    Of course those of us who live chuts mei’arets have a different perspective. It cannot be otherwise. But maybe we can see someting from a distance that you cannot see.

    Maybe you’re too close to see this, but even IF the flotilla carried knives & pipes, they were NOT carrying guns & grenades & rocket launchers, etc. That’s a really big difference — one that the rest of world has already seized upon.

    Enforcing a blockade against ships carrying real weaponry is one thing. Violently boarding ships carrying food, medicine & building materials is quite another. Even the most flagrant propagandists are not saying those boats were carrying real instruments of war.

    No, I haven’t served in any army. In fact, during the 70s I was what was then called a Draft Counselor. I helped young men stay out of the US military during the Viet Nam war. I’m sure you won’t be surprised that my specialty in that paralegal world was helping those who sought exemptions as Conscientious Objectors. (I was quite good @ it.) These were, however, real life-&-death situations.

    My actions were fueled then, as they are now, by what I learned from our tradition — that we are commanded to be rodfei tsedek & rodfei shalom … & oh yes, ohavei yisrael. You may think it naïve — all I can say is it’s not.

    It just isn’t fair — I (& of course many others) have said so for years — that Israel should be held to a standard higher than any nation in the history of the world. It’s not fair, it’s not right, it shouldn’t be. But the truth is that that’s the way it is. It’s something we all have to live with.

    No, I cannot really feel your pain, but neither can you feel mine. All I can tell you is that from the depths of my heart, I know this is horrible. I can only hope & pray that those who are far wiser than I will find an equitable solution, not bimheira b’yameinu, rather, achshav!

  14. Daniel,
    why are you justifying gregs argument with any kind of debate?

  15. Greg, have you seen the same images – of Israeli soldiers being lynched as they landed on that boat – that we have?!

    I have defended you many times on this blog, but it seems to me now that – if you will excuse the analogy – you would sell your own mother if you heard a mere rumour that she was a whore.

  16. Daniel Marks


    1. A pig and a chicken were walking by a church where a gala charity event was taking place. Getting caught up in the spirit, the pig suggested to the chicken that they each make a contribution. “Great idea!” the chicken cried. “Let’s offer them ham and eggs?”

    “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa … Not so fast,” said the pig. “For you, that’s a contribution. For me, it’s a total commitment.”

    Maybe to you there’s a distinction between a Jewish soldier being stabbed with a knife or shot with a gun. However, that is the distinction non-Jewish of a political observer, not someone who sees that Israeli soldier, every Israeli soldier as his son.

    I’ve had two children in the army, so far, and if either are in a life endangering situation I expect them to shoot the person who is trying to kill them. Please do not second guess our children when it comes to protecting their lives.

    2. Seinfeld talks of the football fans who watch their team playing and then at the end of he game game shout, “We won!”.

    “You didn’t win, you watched and drank beer. The players won.”

    I have no objection to your vicariously celebrating our victories and achievements as if they were yours, if this helps you to feel proud of being Jewish and gives your lives some meaning. I don’t even care if in your eyes the victories are “ours” but the mistakes are “Israel’s”.

    However, celebrating our victories does not entitle you to any share in our decision-making process regarding questions of life and death – our lives and our deaths. At the risk of repeating myself, for that we hold, what we in Israel call elections.

    I pray for peace, literally not metaphorically, but I know that as long as the organizations that wish for Israel not to exist carry on encouraging our neighbors that their hopes to see the end of “the Zionist entity” are not in vain – this will not happen. In my opinion Jews who do so with the best (?) of intentions are likewise prolonging the conflict and costing lives to both sides.

    Peace will come when the sons of Ishmael finally abandon all fantasies of finishing off Hitler’s work.

    Peace will come when real Jews and real Arabs sit together face to face and agree to respect each other as human beings should. Then we can talk about anything.

    In the immortal words of Golda Meyer:

    “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

  17. Well, Mike, you’re in luck … my mother isn’t a whore so she’s not on the market … & nearing 90, I have a feeling she’d be flattered. 😉 (You don’t know my mother!)

    Gee, Daniel, maybe you are a pig?!

    That chicken’s cousin wouldn’t have gotten run over if it hadn’t tried to cross the road in the 1st place.

    That is to say that if those unfortunate soldiers, who were the victims of stupid orders, hadn’t helicoptered down onto that ship, they wouldn’t have been in any danger. I’d like to see Bibi @ the head of his attack forces. Maybe then he’d figure out what orders not to give.

    I don’t 2nd guess your brave & patriotic children. I place the blame entirely on the shoulders of the thick-headed idots you elected. I hate to say this, but it is you, not I, who has placed your own children in danger.

    & yes, we do see every Israeli soldier (& ciizen) as our flesh & blood child. As the z’mira Shomeir Yisrael says, we are a goy echad & am echad. Geography doesn’t factor into it.

    & you’re wrong about American Jewry not having a part to play in the efforts to bring peace to the region. Were it not for the largesse of the American Jewish community & for our influence, both directly & indirectly, w/ our own government, Israel would have lost each & every war.

    As an aside, it wasn’t until less than a decade ago that Israel told US Jews to keep our money here to insure the future of American Jewry — that Israel was doing well enough not to need what we could send. I rejoice in that! Of course, she still is dependant, on US military aid.

    I don’t know what media you watch/listen to/read, but the entire world is condemning Israel’s actions. To insist that Bibi’s orders were correct, especially in the face of universal condemnation, is to bury your head in the sand … which, by the way, leaves you ass open to attack.

    I know it’s foolish of me to attempt to “convert” you, so I’ll stop.

    But, Daniel, your concluding 4 paragraphs are the truest words you have written. I agree wholeheartedly. May those words fly from your keyboard to God’s ears!

    Kein y’hi ratson!

  18. David Isaacson

    This guy greg asks: “Just how sure can you possibly be that the soldiers were the good guys?” Then he goes on about how we are “one family regardless of where we live”. So there’s his answer. Any Jew who doubts that Israel’s brave young soldiers are “the good guys” is a disgrace to our “family”; any who voice that doubt, thereby supporting our many, many enemies, is essentially a traitor. Thank God for the protection given to our family by the government of Israel and our valiant soldiers. Kol Hakavod to Medinat Yisrael!

  19. Daniel Marks

    “I’d like to see Bibi @ the head of his attack forces. Maybe then he’d figure out what orders not to give.” –

    Neither did I vote for Bibi, nor am I am member of the Likud.

    However, this is disgraceful ignorance. Binyamin Netanyahu, like his two brothers, was an officer in Sayeret Matkal (our most elite of units) and took part in the 70s in operations that 4o years later can still not be discussed. Nor have any of those who served with him, mainly left-wingers then, ever cast any dispersions on his courage as a soldier.

    He was chosen by the Israeli electorate in free and democratic elections.

    May all your US presidents be as wise and capable as him.

  20. Poor Greg, another apologist, hoping the non-Jewish world will love him and respect him for his ability to see all sides of the problem.

    As my late father, a holocaust survivor, told me when I was very young – “Most gentiles will always hate us for no good reason and if an opportunity arises for them to kill us, they will do so. The more sqeamish will be happy for others to do the dirty walk, while looking on from the side”. He should know, he experienced the reality.

    Hitler made no distinction between the ‘J-Street’ type Jew or the hard-line Likkud type Jew. It is time for every one who calls him/herself a Jew to stand firm and understand the centrality of Israel in our lives. Whether we actually live there, merely mouth our attachment to Zion in our daily prayers or feel a kinship with Jews everywhere, we are duty bound to support the actions of the ONLY democracy in the Middle East. The ONLY country in the ME to respect women’s rights, give total freedom of religion to all its citizens, have a free press and an independant judiciary. The ONLY country in ME to have free and fair elections, allowing all its citizens to vote, whether they be Jews, Muslims, Christians or any other faith.

    Israel’s neighbours have no understanding for Israel’s core values but have a deep respect and fear for its strength and will, not only to survive but to prosper.

    To Greg and others who think like him, I have this simple message. Your survival is totally dependant on Israel and its brave self-sacrificing defence force. Should Israel disappear of the map, Jewish life will be in peril everywhere.

    Of course Israel is not perfect and nor is any other country on this ball of mud. However it has the guts and determination to stand up for itself in ways that the western world has not done since Winston Churchill forced the British, against their instincts, to confront the evil of Germany. I fear that neither Europe or the USA will produce another such leader in my lifetime.

    Only little Israel has the courage to face this new world evil of Islamofascism and left wing trendy liberal ani-Semitism.

    Criticise Israel for it tactical mistakes, if you must but always temper this with a deep understanding that this little country, for all its faults, is a real beacon of light and hope in an area of the world seeped in bigotry, hate and violence.

  21. Hillel — you’re both right & wrog @ the same time. (How Jewish — see “Fiddler.”)

    Yes, Hitler made no distinction — a point, I believe, I’ve made many times before.

    But no, you’re wrong: we are NOT “duty bound to accept the actions …”

    That was the majority opinion here (the US) during most of the Viet Nam war — until people finally came to their senses. This “my country/Israel right or wrong” is far more dangerous than you are seeing. While I believe we are duty bound to support Israel, we are equally duty bound to speak up when her actions the core ethical teachings of our tradition, or when they could lead to her destruction in the long run. Remeber the Macabees — they won the battle (which we celebrate during Chanukah), but they lost the war — churban II.

    Yes, Israel is the only democray in the ME & all the things that go w/ it. Yes, her neighbors respect =&= fear her. Yes, in the extreme (which I pray never happens — again), Israel would be our refuge & salvation. Yes, Israel has world-recognized guts/chutzpah & courage.

    Yes, to every word of your final paragraph. But therein lies the rub. You’ve read the often vitriolic rebukes of the criticism of those of us who are expressing our disagreement, horror &/or disgust w/ the recent events.

    Please know that the criticism of those whose voices I echo comes only from a place of love, support & concern for & dependence upon a strong but moral Israel.

    BTW I’m not at all sure this was your intent, but I thank you for your support of our criticisms.

  22. I guess, if Greg, an American Jew, has been received with such intransigence here, then me, being a Russian (of all nations), must hardly deserve a say on the matter in your eyes at all. But I’ll still say it.

    I was actually coming here to express my support for IDF’s action vis-a-vis the “aid ship” — hell, I even expected to have to argue with the peaceniks who’re now condemning Israel.
    I seriously believe that a sovereign state is fully entitled to protect its borders, and I have absolutely no doubt that the bulk of those 600 men on board were Islamists whose main intention was exactly to get intercepted and brutalized in front the news crews.

    But I must confess, after reading the comments, that I’m rather put off by the manner of discussion here.

    Ever since the Holocaust, the tragic experience of the Jews has served (at least in the West and in the Soviet Union) as the most powerful argument in favor of tolerance. There’s a Tolerance Museum in LA, there’s a Tolerance Center in NY, there’s probably at least one of the kind in every major European country. And all of them refer to the 6 mln. executed Jews — not the 20 mln. Soviets, mind you, not the countless Native Americans wiped out in the early days of the “beacon of Democracy”, not the tens of thousands of Chinese killed by the Japanese in the 1930-40s — as a terrible example of why ethnic, racial and otherwise tolerance is an absolute must for any democratic society.

    All the more dashing was it for me to find out that tolerance is the one thing totally absent from the discussion here. I realize that the Gaza blockade and other Palestine-related issues are matters of life and death for the Israelis (believe me, Chechens and other North Caucasus people hate our guts no less virulently and hopelessly, which the world just doesn’t wanna realize), but if you’re even so hard-nosed with another Jew once he disagrees with you…

    I mean, I understand your feelings very well, but where does democracy fit in all of this? And what makes you different from any other nationalist state? The free election? But the Palestinians elected Hamas to run them as well, and Germans freely voted the NSDAP into the Reichstag in 1932.

    “Our brave young soldiers” — you repeat this as a mantra, and even though I admire the IDF and wish that our corrupt, sorry-ass Putin-era army could be anything like it — I still can’t but notice that this is exactly the type of rhetoric you could come across in Der Sturmer 😦

    Which doesn’t reduce my sympathy for Israel and support for its self-defense — not one jot. But even though I’d be the first one to argue with Greg on any other occasion (I strongly believe that the do-gooders and the peaceniks actually claim human lives while looking good) when I see his opinion scrapped with so much disregard and intolerance, this just doesn’t agree even with my authoritarian Russian conscience.

  23. No other country since the end of WW2 has had to fight a continuous war for more than sixty years. Mistakes happen in peace and war. Erroneous judgements are taken in peace and war. Israel and its leaders have made bad decisions, just like the leaders of every other nation on earth.

    However, I doubt that any other nation of comparable size in population and territory has been subjected to such intense scrutiny for its actions as Israel has. There is a whole contingent of Israel bashers occupying the media, universities and governments in the West. Does any other nation on earth have such an organised group of dedicated haters? Is there any similary convened bunch of people dedicated to exposing the evil acts of any other nation on this planet?

    There are millions of starving people the worl;d over, in far worse a situation than most Gazans. Why do these well meaning flotilla organizers not do something to help them? Because if they did, not one millimetre of media coverage would follow.

    Of course this was an enormous publicity stunt and even if the Israel authorities were aware of this, could they take the chance of allowing this flotilla to reach Gaza? I think not.

    Instead they risked the lives of young Israel soldiers to board the ship and stop it reaching its destination. How would the Turks have handled the situation had they been faced with a flotilla trying to send aid to the Kurds? I have no doubt that they would have blown them out of the water.

    If all you peace loving activists genuinely want to end the war between Israel, Hamas and Fatah. All you nead to do is ask the leaders of both Hamas and Fatah to renounce violence, accept Israel as a sovereign Jewish state and teach your children love rather than hatred. If you do this, I can amost guarantee that the war will end, compromises will follow and prosperity for everyone in the area will result.

    Israel cannot afford to take any risks and from time to time a bad decision is taken. If we all truly want peace, confrontation is just not the way to achieve it.

    However if all we want is spectacular column inches and lots of TV time, this is certainly the way to do it.

  24. Hillel writes: “”If all you peace loving activists genuinely want to end the war between Israel, Hamas and Fatah. All you nead to do is ask the leaders of both Hamas and Fatah to renounce violence, accept Israel as a sovereign Jewish state and teach your children love rather than hatred. If you do this, I can amost guarantee that the war will end, compromises will follow and prosperity for everyone in the area will result.”

    That, indeed, is what Obama, Clinton & Mitchell, et al., are saying & have said all along. If only you would not refuse to see & hear that … ‘nuf said.

  25. Sorry Greg that is NOT what Obama, Clinton and Mitchell have said and are saying. They have put ALL the pressure on Israel, to give back this or stop building there and pull out of this or that settlement.

    Well Israel did pull out of Gaza and received nothing but hundreds of rockets and were forced to go to war in 2008 to try and contain the hostilities. Had Israel stayed in Gaza, there would have been no rockets and no Operation Cast Lead in 2008. Similary after Israel pulled out of Lebanon, Hizbollah filed the vacuum with thousands of rocket launching sites.

    Ever since partition between Israel and the Arabs in the 1920s, the Arabs have never accepted that the Jews were entitled to a single square millimetre of land.

    It was always the Jews who compromised. Ben Gurion over the original partition plan, Begin over Sinai and Rabin at Oslo, allowing Arafat and his thugs to return to the West Bank. I am still waiting for an Arab leader to compromise over something towards Israel.

    I repeat that the day the Arabs actually do agree to compromise, that day will see the chance of peace. Whilst the Arabs choose to glorify death and martyrdom over life and hope, there can be no peace.

  26. Oy … oznayim lahem v’lo yishma’u!

    Unfortunately it isn’t even as innocent as that. You refuse to hear.

    Obama et al. are, indeed, saying that the others share responsibility, but all you choose to hear are their demands on Israel.

    Yes, the US IS pressuring Israel, but as you so conveniently point out, it ain’t nothin’ new. See Kohelet: ein chadash tachat hashemesh.

    BUT for the 1st time in a long time, THIS US govt also are putting pressure on the Jordanian/Egyptian rejects only recently known as Palestinians.

    Oops … news flash to Kohelet … I guess it can now be said: ken chadash tachat hashemesh. (sorry — I couldn’t resist … so call me a revisionist.)

    The real truth, again, is in your last paragraph.

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