The value of the human rights frame

Michael Goldfarb, who was the deputy communications director for John McCain’s campaign, worked for a while in that temple of neoconservative organizing, the Project for a New American Century, and is a kind of scuzzy attack-dog for the pro-settler hard right, has now decided to come after– poor little moi.
(Yay! I made the big leagues of this guy’s ‘enemies’ list’! Oops, suppress that childish thought, Helena.)
HT to Richard Silverstein, co-rabbi of our “off-broadway” bloggers’ panel at J Street, next Monday noon-time, for having read Michael Goldfarb’s blog so the rest of us don’t have to…
Long story short, Goldfarb is attacking me because, he says, “she likes to compare Israel to Hamas.” And he picks a pretty good quote from this late December 2008 JWN post, to prove it:

    Most people in the west have been wilfully mis- or dis-informed about Hamas and believe either that it is made up of wild-eyed men of violence who perpetrate violence for its own sake, or that its main goal is the violent expulsion of all Jewish people from Israel/Palestine. These impressions are quite misleading. Yes, Hamas has used significant amounts of violence against Israelis since it was founded in 1987. But so too has Israel, against Hamas. Indeed, Israel has killed many times more Hamas supporters and leaders than Hamas has ever killed Israelis. Does that mean we understand Israelis to be only “mindless, wild-eyed men of violence”? No. For both sides, we need to try to understand what they seek to achieve with the violence they use; as well as the conditions under which they can be expected to moderate or end it.

So here’s the thing that Michael Goldfarb and people of his ilk really don’t seem to understand: For the vast majority of the people on God’s earth today, Palestinians are just as fully human as Jewish people, and just as deserving as Jewish people of our compassion and our understanding.
That, it seems to me, is the true value of the “human rights” approach to world affairs. To understand that no one bunch of people, however described– “Jewish”, or “Arab”, “American”, “Burmese”, “Georgian”, “Muslim”, or even “Quaker”– is deserving, at a deep level, of any more deep human concern than any other people. To understand that all “peoples”, as such, have made wonderful and distinctive contributions to the expression of full human flourishing, and that–even more importantly– all human persons, whichever of these groups they self-affiliate with, are equally deserving of our concern and our objective judgment regarding their actions.
And that the basis for any such judgment must be quite “culture”- and politics-neutral.
That is the true value of putting a human-rights frame on world affairs. But the Michael Goldfarbs, the Norman Podhoretz’s, the Alan Dershowitz’s, and Robert Bernsteins of this world truly don’t get this. They truly think there is something so “special” about Jewish people and their experience in the world that somehow the (and especially the allegedly “Jewish” state, Israel) deserve to be given a free pass on the application of any neutral standards of behavior, such as would be applied to anyone else.
So Michael Goldfarb can’t bear it when I write,

    Yes, Hamas has used significant amounts of violence against Israelis since it was founded in 1987. But so too has Israel, against Hamas. Indeed, Israel has killed many times more Hamas supporters and leaders than Hamas has ever killed Israelis. Does that mean we understand Israelis to be only “mindless, wild-eyed men of violence”? No. For both sides, we need to try to understand what they seek to achieve with the violence they use; as well as the conditions under which they can be expected to moderate or end it.

And more importantly, Goldfarb, Bernstein, and many other die-hard supporters of “Israel– right or wrong” truly couldn’t bear it when the distinguished Jewish (and as it happens, also Zionist) criminal investigator Judge Richard Goldstone came out with the report in which he tried to apply a single unified “human rights” standard to the behavior of the decisionmakers on both sides of the Israel-Hamas divide.
Bernstein’s case is particularly egregious. In Monday’s New York Times this guy who, ways back when, had been the founding Chair of Human Rights Watch– back when it was still “Helsinki Watch”– had an anguished op-ed piece in which he wrote that he now felt he had to break publicly with HRW because of its alleged “unfairness” in criticizing Israel.
The argument Bernstein made was revealingly disingenuous. He still seems stuck in the “Helsinki era” mindset of using the human rights issue as a weapon in Cold War rivalry. Hullo! The Cold War has been over for 20 years next month!
Also, though the frame he tried to use was the distinctly Cold War frame of “democratic” versus “undemocratic” nations, he made no reference at all to the fact that there had in fact been an election in Palestine in January 2006, that was free and fair, and which Hamas won… Or, to the tragic response the election of that leadership met with from Israel, Washington– and come to that, from Bob Bernstein, too.
This reminds me of the piercing comment that the great Jewish-American liberal Ira Glasser recently made about Norman Podhoretz: “He has not only lost the ability to feel for or identify with the persecution of others; he has lost all ability to see why anyone else would.”
… Bernstein’s piece came out Monday. Then on Tuesday, Netanyahu trotted out his ridiculous “whining baby” argument against the whole, weighty corpus of the “laws of war”, which in modern times have been assembled over the course of 150 years now.
Honestly, what a whiny baby. The last person who claimed that “things are so different now” that the laws of war all have to be upended was, of course, Alan Dershowitz, back when he was arguing that somehow in the “age of terrorism” it would be necessary and justifiable to start engaging in torture.
The bottom line on the whole furor over Goldtsone in rightwing Israeli and Likudnik American circles is, however, that the reaction of the whole of the international community– not just Judge Goldstone, but certainly including him– to the assault the israeli government launched against Gaza last winter just about ensured that no Israeli government will dare to launch any kind of similar assault any time in the near future– if ever.
I think Aluf Benn had it just about right in this recent article:

    Operation Cast Lead in Gaza was perceived in Israel as a shining victory. Rocket fire from Gaza was brought to a halt almost completely. The Israel Defense Forces emerged from its failure during the Second Lebanon War and deployed ground forces with few casualties. “The world” let the operation continue and did not impose a cease-fire. A wonderful war.
    Ten months later, it seems the victory was a Pyrrhic one. Israel did not realize that the rules have changed with Barack Obama’s election as U.S. president.
    …Even if the legal process that Goldstone initiated ends up being halted, and Israel is not put in the dock in The Hague, its hands have been tied. The world, led by Obama, will not let it initiate a Cast Lead II operation.

So now, frustrated by their inability to dream up a “Cast lead II”, Israel’s hardliners are taking out their frustrations by railing against Goldstone and “demanding deep changes in the laws of war”. Oh yes, that, and also in a fit of continuing pique, continuing to keep the 1.5 million of Gaza tightly– and quite illegally– besieged.
Beware the whiny babies when they have guns and exercise real coercive power.

39 thoughts on “The value of the human rights frame

  1. Salah

    Michael Goldfarb and others who well knew what their state doing with international law and human rights
    Bush administration had already degraded the rules of war& humans rights. we know well how the Bush administration has manipulated and fabricated news and how the corporate media has worked hand in glove with the powerful to deceive the public.
    Abu Ghraib prison was one off many cases that US had degraded severely the rules of humans rights. we know that Bush administration’s violation severely of international law by protecting US intelligence agents from war crimes prosecutions.
    As for pro Israelis or Israel they took all support and confidence from what set of dual standards with international law and human rights.

    The United States government has consistently opposed an international court that could hold US military and political leaders to a uniform global standard of justice. The Clinton administration participated actively in negotiations towards the International Criminal Court treaty, seeking Security Council screening of cases. If adopted, this would have enabled the US to veto any dockets it opposed. When other countries refused to agree to such an unequal standard of justice, the US campaigned to weaken and undermine the court. The Bush administration, coming into office in 2001 as the Court neared implementation, adopted an extremely active opposition. Washington began to negotiate bilateral agreements with other countries, insuring immunity of US nationals from prosecution by the Court. As leverage, Washington threatened termination of economic aid, withdrawal of military assistance, and other painful measures. These exclusionary steps clearly endanger the fledgling Court and may seriously weaken its credibility and effectiveness.

  2. Joachim Martillo

    There is some sort of weird Jewish psychological issue that needs to addressed in addition to human rights, and it would probably be worthwhile to look at the evolution of Jewish education since the 1830s when there was a major push to reform Eastern European Jewish education.
    My wife Karin Friedemann looks at social relations and psychology much more than I do, but the videoclip in The Inner (Screeching) Jew Incarnated may help elucidate the behavior of Goldfarb and his ilk.

  3. traducteur

    Zionism is not in the least like Hamas, I don’t see any point of comparison. Zionism is pure evil, an ideology of mass theft and genocide. History affords no example of anything like it.

  4. Howard

    Goldstone came out with the report in which he tried to apply a single unified “human rights” standard to the behavior of the decisionmakers on both sides of the Israel-Hamas divide.
    Actually, Goldstone tried to do no such thing. There is not a single accusation against Hamas in the report, despite the explicit statements of their leaders that they launch rockets against Israeli civilians, that they used human shields, etc. See my earlier comments.
    Bernstein is basically saying that a human rights group that excuses terrorists and condemns Israel far more often than it condemns any other country in a region full of dictatorships, has lost its way.
    And YOUR claim about the 2006 election is absolutely misleading because it makes no reference to the fact that Hamas invalidated all democratic legitimacy when it subsequently carried out a violent coup, expelling its coalition partner. Since that coup, Gaza has been a Hamas dictatorship, in which anyone who dares to rally in support of opposition parties risks being shot.
    If you are going to claim that other people are leaving out key facts, Helena, you need to be scrupulous about not leaving out key facts on your side too.

  5. brian

    Unless americans can do something to prevent men like Goldfarb from meddling in politics, i dont see US escaping from its selfdestructive course.
    Interesting how ‘democracy’ usually ends up in the hands of think tanks and sociopaths than real people.
    As for hamas violence…ironcally Israels govt backed and funded hamas for 20 years as a counter to the PLO….just as Israel now backs PA….you can tell a country by who it funds.

  6. brian

    hmm howard…Hamas has also observed cdeasde fires..each time, these were broken by israel…in 2006 and 2008.
    Israel has launched severalm wars, broken international and US law killed thousands, yet you see it as an innocent….u must be a zionist.

  7. Donald

    Bernstein is slandering his former self. He used to be part of Americas Watch, which did a good job dismantling Reagan Administration lies about human rights in Central America. And they were attacked for it in almost exactly the same terms Bernstein now uses against HRW. Here’s a link describing what Bernstein was like when he had a sense of decency–
    link
    Apparently the fact that Israel is being criticized drove him out of his mind.

  8. mr justice

    hamas has every legal and moral right to use any and every means against israel and israel’s supporters.
    israel has no rights. israel has no right to exist.

  9. Joachim Martillo

    Dear Howard,
    I hate to defend the Goldstone Report, which has serious flaws from an international legal standpoint, but the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict was not tasked with making accusations.
    I don’t for a moment believe
    1. that an obvious masbir like you cares about such details or
    2. that you have actually read the Goldstone Report.
    Here is finding with regard to Gaza Authorities:

    1955. The Mission finds that security services under the control of the Gaza authorities carried out extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, detentions and ill-treatment of people, in particular political opponents, which constitute serious violations of the human rights to life, to liberty and security of the person, to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, to be protected against arbitrary arrest and detention, to a fair and impartial legal proceeding; and to freedom of opinion and expression, including freedom to hold opinions without interference.

    Here is a (flawed) recommendation of the Goldstone Report.

    1973. To Palestinian armed groups,

    (a) The Mission recommends that Palestinian armed groups should undertake forthwith to respect international humanitarian law, in particular by renouncing attacks on Israeli civilians and civilian objects, and take all feasible precautionary measures to avoid harm to Palestinian civilians during hostilities;

    [Resistance groups operate under Nuremberg Tribunal Law and not under the International Humanitarian Law of States. The proper International Humanitarian Legalese would have been “protected noncombatant” and not “civilian.”]

    (b) The Mission recommends that Palestinian armed groups who hold Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in detention should release him on humanitarian grounds. Pending such release they should recognize his status as prisoner of war, treat him as such, and allow him ICRC visits.

    The Goldstone Report would only have been acceptable to a masbir if it found that Palestinians were an undifferentiated mass of genocidal anti-Semites.

  10. David

    Helena,
    Your comment “So now, frustrated by their inability to dream up a ‘Cast lead II’, Israel’s hardliners are taking out their frustrations…” seems to imply that these hardliners just want to bomb, main and kill Arabs and are just looking for an excuse to do so. That events, such as the rocket attacks are unconnected.
    Is this really what you think? Or am I understanding you incorrectly?

  11. Joachim Martillo

    Dear David,
    I have no idea what Helena thinks, but after working on and off in Israel and the Occupied Territories during the Oslo Process, I reevaluated my understanding of modern E. European in light of the vicious hatred, racism, and fanaticism that I saw among Israeli Jews.
    Short Summary
    The policies of Czar Nicholas I shattered the social controls within the Russian (Ashkenazi) Jewish community. By the time he died, there was tremendous anger, criminality, and an incipient radical revolutionary movement in the Yiddish world.
    The criminality took the form of kidnapping, white-slaving, smuggling, and financial crime.
    The incipient radical revolutionary movement only grew and specialized in sabotage, bombings, and targeted assassinations.
    Jewish behavior in turn provoked violent reactions, and a cycle of violence developed that fed murderous and genocidal tendencies in both ethnic Ashkenazi Communism and ethnic Ashkenazi Zionism.
    Discussion of this history is for the most part suppressed in the USA, and in truth, if one does not read German, Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, and Polish, it is hard to obtain a good understanding of the developing historical process among Jews from 1850-1950, but to make a long story short, “[Zionist] hardliners [in the USA and in Israel] just want to bomb, main and kill Arabs and are just looking for an excuse to do so.”
    I have collected my current thoughts on the topic in Jewish Peril: 1939 versus 2009.
    The State of Jewish Studies
    The title is meant to shock. Now that scholars have more access to Soviet archives, there has been growing awareness that pre-WW2 European conservatives were more right than wrong about the Jewish-Bolshevik Peril and that there really was a great deal of Jewish Communist subversion during the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
    In addition, scholars have learned that Soviet Ashkenazim were often the planners and perpetrators of Soviet mass murder, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.
    Connection to Today
    Now I know some is going to call me an anti-Semite and start feverishly typing about Stalin’s purges.
    There is actually an analogy between Stalin’s purges and the Wall Street purges of the past year or so.
    In both case the purges were a violent storm that metaphorically or actually destroyed a lot of people, but it turns out that Jewish social networks were so strong in both the Soviet Union and on Wall Street, where I have worked, that after the dust settled in the Soviet Union and on Wall Street, the Soviet government was actually more Jewish not left just as the surviving mega-Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs are more Jewish-Zionist not less.
    Conclusion: The Problem of Zionism and American Politics
    In the case of Wall Street, the qualifier Jewish-Zionist is very important because the Jewish Zionist social networks in the financial industry enforce Zionist political correctness.
    It is a matter that should be discussed openly, and it is part of the poisoning of the American political process by the Israel Lobby that far too many people are afraid to touch the topic.

  12. Salah

    The Irony, Israel and United Stats of America are the strongest believers in The Ten Commandments. Both Christians and Jews support displaying the Ten Commandments in public. Ten Commandments were commonly been displayed in public places throughout U.S can be traced all the way back to over 50 years ago.

    * You shall not murder.


    * You shall not commit adultery.


    * You shall not steal.

    * You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    One of the most unambiguous commandments says “Thou shalt not kill.”
    original Hebrew, lo tirtsah, should be “kill” or “murder.” Because the outcome of the interpretation–whether God forbids killing of any kind, or wanton murders of specific sorts–may lend moral weight to their beliefs.
    Does Israel’s bellicose actions show that they are God’s chosen people or does their cruelty and belligerent defiance of God’s Law better define them as disciples of Satan the devil?
    Hasn’t Israel again chosen to ignore God’s Laws?
    Wasn’t this the reason the true Israel lost the land God had promised Abrahim (عليه السلام)?
    Doesn’t the Ten Commandments say to love thy neighbours as thy self, not to steal (which includes real estate), and not to kill? Repent Now!
    ًWith US, invasion of Afghanistan & Iraq War they displaying of the Ten Commandments in public buildings also displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools.
    U.S. Defence Department reports on the Iraq war in 2003 between Iraq and a combined force of troops largely from the U.S. and Great Britain; and a subsequent U.S. sent to the White House in 2003 were frequently graced with biblical quotations.
    GQ magazine reported that the daily briefings, called “Worldwide Intelligence Update,” had covers that included photographs of soldiers praying or in action in Iraq. These photos were accompanied by Bible verses.
    One cover sheet showed a photo of a large Baghdad monument of two crossed swords, with a tank beneath it. The quote above the image, from Isaiah 26:2, is: “Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.”
    Another cover depicted images of soldiers fighting with the quote from Joshua
    1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified

    In the end with Goldstone Report our wishful that to hold Israelis accountable to there crimes under International Humanitarian Law it’s very distant unless the international community take there responsibility to bring US undeniable crimes against human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Otherwise people like Helena or Michael Goldfarb who seen the other side crimes but they don’t see their nations crimes, will keep their argument live without hope that human rights benefits much from that.

  13. brian

    one sided analysis? Maybe if the Palestinians were monolithic and would agree to peace this would all end. I think a peace agreement would be forced on the Israel settlers including giving up land that we’re talking about. Right now its simply a way to keep the gov. coalition from falling apart. Maybe if the Arab countries agreed to work with Israel like Egypt and Jordan. Maybe if the Arab countries would give real money support to the Palestinians. Maybe if the Arab govs. really cared, instead of using this as a facade to keep their citizenry mollified. Their citizenry in poor human rights, poor economics. Israel is an huge market cap, tech based economy that non Jews particpate it. Also voices through democracy and free press that are for immediate peace ceded land etc. are heard. How about in other Arab countries? Lets just criticize Israel. The Arab countries have had incentive for this Palestinian problem to fester. Very sad. Generational hatred is taught. Watch videos on youtube. Israel kill kids. Lets be clear since Israel founding I believe 25,000 total people have been killed. Very, very sad on both sides and clearly the issue needs to be resolved immediately by brave men and woman. This is through how many wars? You’ve heard at the same time millions in Africa. Thats such a human disaster. Now I agree displaced people more than a million is a big issue and I want it resolved. Lets not forget a million (I believe) Jews were kicked out of Arab countries when Israel was founded. Will they get their homes back? How do Jews treat Muslims versus Muslims treat Jews? I am generally rather liberal but I am fearful here. I also find that when it comes to Israel there is a knee jerk liberal negative reaction. Like stop us govt funding of the middle east. Lets be clear Israel receives 4 billion and Egypt and Jordan not too much less. This was to support Carters peace agreement. So around 12 billion. Alternatively we spend 1 trillion in Iraq and sadly kids lifes. 12 billion is nothing to keep the peace without troops.

  14. JohnH

    Joachim Martillo posits a provocative and plausible scenario. Oppression and industrialization were certainly a lethal mix in many societies during the 19th century. It’s easy to imagine militant resistance arising among a group as a defense against serving as a scape goat for social problems experienced by the larger society. Eventually this could have emerged as the well known, unified nationalism promoted by Theodor Herzl. A well documented history would be a fascinating read.
    What’s even more intriguing is that the militant ethos has persisted to this day. Usually when a group achieves its goals, it mellows. But this does not seem to have happened in the case of Zionism. Instead, the world is faced with a defiant, militant group that frames its world in confrontational terms and constantly seeks out confrontation. If the society’s very identity is rooted in militancy and confrontation, and its leaders pursue that as an existential goal, how do you ever achieve peace?
    All of this has been described as justifiable paranoia, due to centuries of experience culminating in the holocaust. I do not find that rationalization to be satisfying, because of the common mellowing of younger generations and typical experience of historical memory becoming less vivid over time. Here we seem to have an instance where the leadership seems committed to constantly conjuring up the historical plight and reenacting it on a regular basis as a way to keep past wrongs alive. Threats (Lebanon 2006, Gaza 2009, Iran) are conflated into existential threats as a way to perpetuate the militant defiance that represents a pillar of its society. Without it, the society’s identity would be in jeopardy.
    So the question becomes, how can you change the identity of such a society? Outside attempts at change only reinforce the ethos. Inside attempts are countered by the leaders’ constant discovery, exaggeration and exploitation of new existential threats, which the leaders depend upon for their survival.

  15. kassandra

    Joachim Martillo makes some good points. Howard seems to be a good example of someone who suffers from what psychologists term as “cognitive dissonance”: somewhere in their subconscious they know that they are wrong, but try to stifle the feeling by ever more vehmently adhering to their originial viewpoint, trying to convince themselves of their righteousness.
    I can’t say much about Jewish history in Russia, but they were indeed in the forefront of the Bolshevik overthrow of Kerensky. They bought into the revolution perhaps more than any other group, which means that their “Jewishness” was forgotten. When the opporunity to emigrate to Israel arose, and only one grandparent had to be Jewish, amazing how many “Jews” came out of the woodwork. Hard to tell where their Jewishness began and their Russianness ended. As so many Jews consider themselves to be a “chosen people”, so do the Russians have this “specialness” concept. Since the fall of Byzantium, the Russian Orthodox church considers itself to have a special mission to fulfill in the world, that it became a sort of Third Rome, with a mission to save Christianity. Add this to the mix.
    Although the USSR was supposed to be a happy family of equals, it was the Russians who were the first among equals, again “special”. There was and is very much open predjudice against people of Islamic faith from the Caucasus. It is not hidden; even tour guides go into rants about the “wild” people from the Caucasus. Racially motivated murders and attacks, if/when reported, are on the rise. The government encourages it by encouraging reporting on people with no residence permits, no peddler’s licenses.
    Russian Jews now make up 22% of Israel’s population. Many of them live in colonies and work in the Border Police, well known for their murderousness. They came to Israel with their prejudices against “blacks” (as they term people from the Caucasus) intact and easily transferable to the Palestinians.
    The country where I live, Estonia, lost about 20% of its population during WWII. Many were deported to the outer reaches of Siberia, never to return. The person in charge of deportations was Idel Jakobson. His daugher, Alla Jakobson heads the mostly Russian Jewish community here. She visits schools to teach Estonians about the Jewish holocaust. Not a peep about daddy.
    (The new synagogue here and the rabbi’s apartments in one of the fancier apartment buildings were paid for by Lev Leviev. The biggest yacht this harbor had ever seen was at anchor, and it later ensued that Lev had come by to visit his holdings.)

  16. David

    Wow, ask a simple question get an almost incomprehensible answer. I wasn’t asking about Jews in Czarist times so let me try to rephrase. Was Operation Cast Lead just an excuse to bomb, main and kill Palestinians by bloodthirsty Jews or was it a reaction, however misguided or wrong to events such as rocket attacks?

  17. Salah

    however misguided or wrong to events such as rocket attacks?
    David ,if intruder come occupied your land/house with his 2500 years old dream, what you do David?
    Give him a Kiss?

  18. Shirin

    Was Operation Cast Lead just an excuse to bomb, main and kill Palestinians by bloodthirsty Jews or was it a reaction, however misguided or wrong to events such as rocket attacks?
    Neither.

  19. Joe in Australia

    … the Michael Goldfarbs, the Norman Podhoretz’s, the Alan Dershowitz’s, and Robert Bernsteins of this world truly don’t get this. They truly think there is something so “special” about Jewish people …
    Helena, I’m sure you are opposed to particularism generally, but it makes me very uncomfortable when I see someone doing it via an attack on Jews specifically. Some of the people commenting here have taken your post as an excuse for what are frankly antisemitic statements, and I can’t help thinking that they consider your blog to be a safe zone for their views:
    “There is some sort of weird Jewish psychological issue … The Inner (Screeching) Jew Incarnated may help elucidate the behavior of Goldfarb and his ilk.”
    “Zionism is pure evil, an ideology of mass theft and genocide. History affords no example of anything like it.”
    “the Jewish Zionist social networks in the financial industry enforce Zionist political correctness.”
    “Does Israel’s bellicose actions show that they are God’s chosen people or does their cruelty and belligerent defiance of God’s Law better define them as disciples of Satan the devil?”

  20. Joachim Martillo

    The rocket justification is the corollary of a very specific sort of Zionist logic that is present in the Goldstein Report.
    In Zionism in Goldstone Report, I write

    Because the section XXVII. PROCEEDINGS BY PALESTINIAN AUTHORITIES: A. Proceedings related to actions in the Gaza Strip maintains the dangerous fiction of power equality between

    1. an established albeit odious state with an extremely powerful military and

    2. a resistance organization with some local authority in a situation that is legally an occupation made dire by siege conditions,

    the Goldstone Report very effectively supports the atrocious and criminal Zionist logic

    1. of responding to stones with tanks and automatic weapony or

    2. of responding to toy mortars with heavy bombardment.

  21. Joachim Martillo

    Dear JohnH,
    To understand increasing extremism and bloodthirstiness among a very large segment of Jews, you must look at Jewish education since the 1830s.
    The book Zionist Culture and West European Jewry Before the First World War by Michael Berkowitz is perhaps a good place to start because it makes clear how important education already was in the minds of Zionists even in the period of pre-WW1 Congress Zionism.
    I have many blog entries on the subject, but one of the shorter and more cogent is Hate-Filled Curriculum of Radical Yeshivas.

  22. Joachim Martillo

    I did in fact give a simple answer to David’s question:

    [Zionist] hardliners [in the USA and in Israel] just want to bomb, maim and kill Arabs and are just looking for an excuse to do so.

    Because I have taken a David Project Israel Advocacy course, I provided historical context in order to make a preemptive strike against the usual Jewish and Zionist anti-Semitism accusations that always follow when one states a fact that some subset of Jews does not like to hear or read.
    David’s original question is quite complex.
    Let me reword it to apply to an earlier historical period.
    Was Operation Barbarossa just an excuse to enslave, shoot, or murder Jews by bloodthirsty Germans or was it a reaction, however misguided or wrong
    (1) to the inability satisfactorily to conclude the conflict that started on Sept 1 1939 and
    (2) to the ongoing anti-German incitement disseminated predominantly by Jewish journalists and by Jewish-owned media?
    One could argue that Christopher Browning’s 615 page book entitled The Origins of the Final Solution, The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942 is an attempt to answer that question. I consider the analysis definitely important, but it is also incomplete and probably needs at least another 600 pages.
    Yet the book can provide insight on Operation Cast Lead.
    Even if the Israeli government never gave explicit orders that IDF soldiers should commit the atrocities described in the Goldstone Report, Zionist leaders throughout Israel society have been setting the direction of IDF behavior for decades, and aggressive innovators in uniform naturally took the initiative.
    Chapter 7 of Browning’s book, “Operation Barbarossa and the Onset of the Holocaust, June – December 1941,” by Jürgen Matthäus describes similar innovation among the German soldiers and officials in the months preceding the decision to implement the Final Solution.
    In general Zionist historical developments parallel those of Nazi Germany but in slow motion with occasional bursts of German Nazi speed.
    Claudia Koonz’s The Nazi Conscience is particularly helpful for describing and explaining the mind set of Zionist colonizers and American Jewish Zionists.
    The whole Zionist enterprise since the 1880s (and in many regards back to Moses Hess or even back to 1819 with the earliest conceptualization of the Jewish People in the Wissenschaft des Judentums) provides the perfect laboratory for the study and understanding of genocide.
    Only in the above analysis framework, can one make sense of Zionist behavior and thinking.

  23. Fartillo

    My what an interesting collection of anti-semites you have assembled at this talkback. Helena, do you also collect Nazi memorabilia? Perhaps Garlaskkko was unfairly persecuted by the Elders of Zion

  24. annie

    helena is at the conference and likely not checking her comments.
    others may be taking advantage of her absence knowing what a star she is and how much extra attention her blog has been getting now that certain characters are out to sully her reputation.

  25. Salah

    Beware the whiny babies
    humm …like this spoiled baby

    Tony Blair has won the key backing of the Foreign Secretary David MilibandThe EU needs a new president like Tony Blair, a big name whose arrival in a foreign capital would “stop the traffic”, the Foreign Secretary said yesterday.

    A war criminal, a lair, promoted for 2nd big job

  26. Helena

    It’s true, I haven’t checked the comments here till now– but the reason is I was in NYC at my grandbaby’s first birthday party.
    Yes, we do have some anti-Israeli statements here that are stronger than usual. We also have some sock-puppetry. It’ll take more time and energy to sort through carefully than I have on hand right now. But I remind readers to stick to the guidelines re courtesy and length, and once again please not to engage in sock-puppeting.

  27. Salah

    European Jewish group calls on EU to form new independent human rights organization
    Let see “ For the vast majority of the people on God’s earth today“, our human rights frame groups, or “the true value of the “human rights” approach to world affairs.“, what they can deliver against a small group of The European Jewish Congress, or a small group of Americans Jewish Congress.
    for SIXTY years the “the vast majority of the people on God’s earth” were blinds and deaf of the suffering of Palestinians in fact they helped these Jewish Group by letting them using their tax money to strengthen to break “human rights” for so long.
    Show Palestinians people your faith, your genuine believe of human rights frame, at lest once for the last 60 years, show us your strong voices nad works to stop them in this one which I doubted you win.
    Also I call you all “For the vast majority of the people on God’s earth today” and other gropes show your work to the Iraqis and Afghanis who suffering daily from the occupation and humiliation with aggressive war criminals who don’t believe in human rights frame.
    Let wait and see who is the winner?

  28. Salah

    Charles Zentai, who is accused of beating a Jewish teenager to death during World War II,

    Zentai is accused of murdering 18-year-old Peter Balazs in 1944 in Budapest while serving as a soldier in the army of his native Hungary,

    Charles Zentai killed ONE Jew in WWII, he is a war criminal, he is in his way to pay for his crim!!!
    So the Jews/Israelis so passionate about justices with war crimes so were are they from their war crimes documented by Goldstone Report?

  29. omop

    The grand “dame” representing Israel in the US Congress Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen as a Republican from Florida has introduced a resolution damning the “antisemitic” UN sponsored report by Gladstone as a violation of israeli human rights.
    And its rights to keep men, women and children living in tunnels within the gulag of Gaza. Guess the $15 million a day that Israeli Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen and her friends in the US Congress give on a daily basis is put to good use in protecting Israels human rights

  30. COLINDALE London

    OPEN LETTER TO THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT
    Did you order the killing of the 900 civilians, in Gaza, in January, in self-defense or did you kill them to save others?
    Did you kill these non-combatants in order to terrorize the civilian population?
    Were you aware that to kill civilians, except in self-defense, is a war crime?
    Did your troops use banned white phosphorus as a chemical weapon to injure and kill?
    If your soldiers are alleged by an independent enquiry to be guilty of war crimes,will they be handed over voluntarily to the ICC for trial?
    In which event, will Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, the ministers directly responsible, be voluntarily be handed over to the authorities in The Hague, or will it be left to other governments to arrest them ?

  31. Howard

    @kassandra, I’ve responded to your comments, but the response is awaiting Helena’s moderation.

  32. David

    OPEN LETTER TO THE HAMAS GOVERNMENT
    Did you order the firing of thousands of rockets into Israel over the past few years in self-defense or did you fire them to kill innocent civilians?
    Did you fire these rockets at non-combatants in order to terrorize the civilian population?
    Were you aware that to kill civilians, except in self-defense, is a war crime?
    Would your troops, if it was available to them, use banned white phosphorus as a chemical weapon to injure and kill?
    If your soldiers are alleged by an independent enquiry to be guilty of war crimes, will they be handed over voluntarily to the ICC for trial?
    In which event, will (insert names of Hamas leaders), the ministers directly responsible, be voluntarily be handed over to the authorities in The Hague, or will it be left to other governments to arrest them ?

  33. Arch Stanton

    Israel is an “allegedly Jewish state”? Wow!
    You truly have a deep loathing for Israel and
    the Jewish people, don’t you Helena?

  34. omop

    Another example of Israel’s right to “defend itself “:against a defenseless people within its borders.
    “Israeli soldiers demolish two Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem Al-Quds, while illegal settlers destroy olive groves as part of efforts to Judaize the city.
    Israeli authorities claim that the houses were built without permits, but the Palestinians complain that the Israeli municipality does not issue any permits.
    They also accuse Tel Aviv of using demolition tactics to tighten its hold on the occupied territory, and again with the aim of destroying the Islamic identity of Jerusalem Al-Quds.
    Residents said that Israel, “which is a racist entity”, is ignoring the international concerns over the practice.
    The bulldozers used to demolish the two Palestinian homes, one in Shufat and the other in Sur Bahir on the outskirts of Jerusalem Al-Quds, “were occupation’s (the Israeli regime’s) and not the municipality’s”, they added.
    Israel razed 14 other Palestinian homes on Tuesday and Wednesday.
    Earlier this year, The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, called for a halt to home demolition in East Jerusalem Al-Quds.
    According to UN statistics published in May, 1,500 demolition orders issued by the Jerusalem Al-Quds’ municipality were pending for Palestinian dwellings. If the orders were implemented, about 9,000 more Palestinians would be displaced, the report said.
    Meanwhile, in the West Bank village of Qaryout, Palestinians found their olive groves destroyed. They said settlers from adjacent settlements destroyed the trees.
    A resident of that village said that Jewish settlers attacked them and prevented them from saving their olive trees.
    AFP.

  35. Eurosabra

    Actually the “whiny babies” know that “The World” (which has never been too kind to the Jews) is trying to bring massive coercive power to bear to end Israel as a polity, which will have the effect of harming its Jewish population, as the Jewish populations of Iraq, Tunisia, Algeria, etc. were harmed when subjected to the direct coercive rule of their “post-colonial” Arab brethren. The “whining” is because of the marginality of Jewish life vis-a-vis the entire world against it, which does not have the luxury of being lived in a marginal non-contested free-to-be-powerless state non-Jewish state populated by non-Jews like Norway, Denmark, or Finland.
    Give us 30-odd years of civil peace to bring back the joint social institutions like the Palestine Railway Union and you can have one-state, but anything before that is cant, Handjar and Exile. Palestinian nationalism is going to have to get a lot more civil before it gets to govern Israel.

  36. bb

    Strange but I can’t remember the jews ever suicide bombing anybody in Europe in 1930/45? Can anybody here refresh me?
    Always thought the watch towers were facing inwards towards the jews to ensure they couldn’t flee their turn at the oven?
    In contrast, were not the wall/seurity fence and the watch towers in Israel constructed to keep the suicide bombers out? Er, so that they could not kill jewish persons?
    And also … I didn’t see anything childish about Helena’s lengthy posts on the harvesting of Palestinian organs. On the contrary, there was a very adult mind at work there, and it wasn’t a very nice one. Not Helena’s best blogging moment.

  37. Shirin

    Strange but I can’t remember the jews ever suicide bombing anybody in Europe in 1930/45?
    I guess you find it preferable that some six million or so of them went, more or less quietly, to their deaths.

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