Comments: Girl Gone Wild

It's a good thing that all the violence in the world is being perpertrated by Israel, because it makes the job of progressive individuals so simple.

Imagine if other countries were repressive too-the world would be so complicated!

Fortunately every other country welcomes missiles being fired upon it-responding to overt provocation is simply un-Christian and probably Islamophobic too (cf. religion of peace). Don't these Hebrews understand that the lex talionis is so last century?

Posted by Seth at January 13, 2009 11:17 AM

Excellent point Seth! Keep it up - we need all the valiant warriors we can get fighting the War on Strawmen or soon those vast armies of Strawmen might take over the Internets!

Posted by NonyNony at January 13, 2009 11:21 AM

We love to hear from our keyboard warriors who not only crave the bloodshed but also want to see it expanded as long as they can observe from a safe distance.

Posted by namvetted at January 13, 2009 11:47 AM

Seth, the reply to that, if it deserves one, is that the US is completely in Israel's corner and supplies some of the weapons being used to kill civilians. Your reply, if you think Israel is unfairly singled out, is to admit this, admit that it deserves coverage, admit that you're being a jerk here, and then point out another country that the US supports where this kind of thing is currently going on and politely suggest some coverage of these other situations at some point. Maybe the eastern Congo, for instance--I'm not sure what our connections might be with the enormous death toll there, but there are some--we're good friends with Uganda and Rwanda.

But I'm not sure why that means we shouldn't be hearing a lot right now about the Gaza Strip.

Posted by Donald Johnson at January 13, 2009 11:48 AM

Sigh--Admit this, meaning Seth should admit that Israel is killing children with the toys we give them, not admit that Israel is being unfairly singled out. The rest is (I hope) clear.

Posted by Donald Johnson at January 13, 2009 12:22 PM

Donald Johnson: I suppose you could read Chris Floyd on the U.S. and what's going on in Somalia. That's something that gets no media coverage at all.

Posted by Save the Oocytes at January 13, 2009 01:49 PM

Rupa Shah: Ah yes, the delightful Carlos Latuff! Winner of the prestigious Iranian Holocaust Cartoon Competition.


Posted by Seth at January 13, 2009 02:12 PM

Seth
I did not know, he had won an Iraninan award. I looked at his cartoon which won him the award. Gaza in a physical sense may not be like a German concentration camp with gas chambers. But I would like to ask you, is Israel using collective punishment? Is there an economic embargo ? Is there complete restriction on movements of Gazans, in and out of Gaza? Are Gazans suffering from starvation, lack of water, fuel, electricity, heat in winter and cooling system in summer? Is there free sewage flowing in the streets of Gaza? Are people dying because they can not leave for medical care or because hospitals have run out of medicines and parts for equipment that keeps patients alive? If you say YES, Gaza may be not a German concentration camp but where slow, painful deaths are going on. If you say NO, I have nothing more to say. I know, TRUTH is very painful, sometimes.

And yes, have you EVER been to Gaza since the seige? I have friends there, who are in harm's way right now and I know, what their lives are like. May be you should visit!

ps and I have not even mentioned the ethnic cleansing and land expropriation carried out by the Israeli govt, a govt of a state without borders and constitution!

Posted by Rupa Shah at January 13, 2009 03:01 PM

I'm not disputing the ugliness in Gaza. But I'm not citing racist and repulsively vulgar cartoonists either.

Posted by Seth at January 13, 2009 03:05 PM

Donald, I appreciate you making the effort. But I think Seth has pretty conclusively demonstrated what he's about.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at January 13, 2009 03:15 PM

Seth

The cartoons I saw, depicted reality. If you have seen other cartoons that were racist, I have not seen them.

In any case, Isreali leaders who have called Palestinians "animals to be caged" and "cancer" and "cockroaches" sounded pretty racist to me.

I do not think we will agree about the cartoons so please do not respond to this comment.

Posted by Rupa Shah at January 13, 2009 03:25 PM

Don:
Confiteor.

Jon:
What exactly is it that you think I am about? Why does it drive everyone so crazy if I make my comments?

I'm not denying that it's a bad scene over there. It is not a simple situation and the relentless focus on Israeli inflicted mayhem on this site seems a little myopic sometimes.

Isn't there anything else going on in the world?

Posted by Seth at January 13, 2009 03:33 PM

What exactly is it that you think I am about? Why does it drive everyone so crazy if I make my comments?

I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm driven crazy by people who ask questions when they have no interest in the answer.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at January 13, 2009 04:24 PM

Steve B. - What is happening in Gaza is total hell. It is the worst thing in the world right now. It is ghastly and bloody. It can neither be minimized nor maximized.

There now does everybody like me? That seems to be what it takes around here.

Jon-you never answered my question in the first place. All you did was cite a fifteen year old situation regarding the UN and left it at that, the implication being that every UN SecGen is a stooge of the Zionist lobby. Not that compelling really and scarcely an explanation or an answer.

Posted by Seth at January 13, 2009 04:34 PM

It is not a simple situation and the relentless focus on Israeli inflicted mayhem on this site seems a little myopic sometimes.

Well, one way of looking at it is that Israel is the aggressor in Gaza, so it's appropriate to focus on its crimes more than on those of Hamas. Sort of like when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan: the atrocities committed by our Moral Equivalents of the Founding Fathers, serious though they were, got less attention than those of the invaders.

Isn't there anything else going on in the world?

Sure. Take a look at my blog if you want a break, though I suspect you won't like it any better.

Posted by Duncan at January 13, 2009 04:36 PM

Jon--I'm going to give it another shot. Today is my peacemaking day, here and at other blogs. I'm zero for three so far.

Anyway, Seth, what I think bugs people about your comment is that it sounds a lot like one of the standard antisemitism charges that's always been made against Israel critics--you know, the one that goes "It's okay to criticize Israel, but not to single them out for harsher criticism than other human rights violators." In practice it usually means you can't criticize Israel any harder than, say Tom Friedman might. People on lefty blogs appear to be in a full-scale uprising against that argument. Good. It still seems to work in mainstream politics though.

Posted by Donald Johnson at January 13, 2009 04:44 PM

Donald, I admire your commitment to unrequited rationality and human decency. But I've already spent far too much of my life engaged in the endless roundelay with people like this.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at January 13, 2009 04:50 PM

Seth

"relentless focus on Israeli inflicted mayhem on this site seems a little myopic sometimes."

I am a relative newcomer to this website and if my opinion counts for anyhting, I think, there is a great diversity of sujects as far as posts are concerned ( from music to healthcare to incarceration in USA to politics ) and of course, current events. So, Israel is in the news all over the world, not just this website! And the whole world is critical of what Israel is doing, judging from the massive demonstrations around the world ( I do not know if you had commented on the posts about USA bombing wedding parties-- would you have ignored it if you had read the post? Would you have approved of our govt's actions or criticised it? ), so why not on this website? Relentless, I do not know but when a country bombs a beseiged population RELENTLESSLY for 17 days, it certainly merits condemnation in the strongest terms.

ps by the way, I just heard John Kerry on the radio, stating Hamas broke the cease-fire first and Sen Clinton, agreed with him ( her confirmation hearing!!!!). It is shocking that we have such ill informed elected officials who are going to make major decisions. At least the readers and commenters of this site know better.

Posted by Rupa Shah at January 13, 2009 04:54 PM

Duncan-I wasn't even talking about Hamas violence, which is minor compared to Israel's.

Don-Indeed, I don't understand why Israel merits greater scrutiny than other equivalent human rights violators.

Jon-fair enough, but then don't pretend you have exhausted yourself answering my questions.

Posted by Seth at January 13, 2009 05:12 PM

Seth -- I think Israel gets more attention than others because they are our ally and we are constantly bombarded with claims that Israel fights its wars with great care, doing all it can to avoid killing innocent people. Which is a lie. And if you point this out, you're called an antisemite. We just had Congress pass by overwhelming margins a statement of support for Israel. That's what drives people crazy.

Now if we didn't spend billions of dollars a year on them and if our government weren't so deeply implicated in supporting all that they do, and if most people including our politicians in the US took for granted that when Israel goes to war they are no better than any other thuggish state (of which there are many), then you might have a point, Seth. But it's not like that. In fact, I think you find in mainstream liberal circles it's more acceptable to criticize the US for war crimes than it is Israel. I hang out at one mostly center-left blog where that is definitely the case.

Posted by Donald Johnson at January 13, 2009 05:27 PM

Jon--You know what some of my real life friends say. Talk to someone who cites a Christian Phalangist sympathizer as an authority on Islam and nothing that happens at your blog (lately) could possibly compare.

Posted by Donald Johnson at January 13, 2009 05:33 PM

Funny thing, I don't remember calling anyone an anti-Semite.
Methinks the site doth protest too much.

Posted by Seth at January 13, 2009 06:01 PM

Is this the ultimate in being wild? Of course, it is not Livni. It is Avigdor Lieberman. Is this the 3rd or the 4th stage of “Cast Iron”?

"Israeli politician calls for nuclear strike on Gaza"
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=34924

Posted by Rupa Shah at January 13, 2009 06:10 PM

A. *criticises Israel*

B. "Why are you singling out Israel when other countries commit human rights abuses? Why don't you criticise Uzbekistan?"

C: "Why are you obsessed with the singling out of Israel even though other countries commit human rights abuses? Why don't you ever mention the singling out of Zimbabwe even though other countries commit human rights abuses?"

D: "Why are you complaining about people not noticing how other countries get singled out even though other other countries commit human rights abuses? Why don't you talk about people not noticing that other other other countries get singled out even though other other countries commit human rights abuses?"

And so it goes...

Posted by RobWeaver at January 13, 2009 08:25 PM

NonyNony: Nice takedown.

Donald: I admire your intentions as much as Jon does, but "peacemaking" between trolls and those who call them out only enables the trolls. I use the quotes because there's no lack of peace there—just a lack of respect, engendered by long experience with people whose purpose is to hijack, redirect, and undermine genuine debate, not further it.

Posted by John Caruso at January 13, 2009 10:13 PM

I like it that even though I openly agree with about 98% of what is said here, and I don't at all defend Israeli aggression, I am labeled a "troll."

The narcissism of small differences on this site is positively Bolshevik.

Posted by Seth at January 13, 2009 10:30 PM

Seth: Believe it or not, I didn't really think of you as a troll, and if it genuinely doesn't apply I apologize. Despite the implication, I meant what I wrote as a general statement. I have been and am still willing to give you a chance on here—but comments like the one you made at the start of this thread aren't encouraging.

Posted by John Caruso at January 13, 2009 10:49 PM

Seth--a suggestion.
You can get very good discussions and thoughtful and perceptive comments on this site, but not on this topic.
Listen to how John Caruso talks to you: "still willing to give you a chance on here...not encouraging."
Or, Headmaster Caruso will not tolerate you on ATR Prep if your comments don't please him or agree with him.
Oh my.

Posted by donescobar at January 13, 2009 10:57 PM

Donescobar, Seth's opening statement wasn't a serious gambit for conversation--it was more like trolling. There are a couple of very good reasons why lefties criticize Israel so harshly, particularly now when Congress lines up with Israel as they slaughter civilians, so there was no good reason for Seth to make that opening remark. And if one is openly hostile and sarcastic, it's hardly surprising when people react in kind.

I don't think your concerns about lefties going too far in romanticizing Hamas or Hezbollah or Arab leaders in general are completely unwarranted, but it's not happening at this blog In much of the world there may be a disproportionate emphasis on Israel's crimes as opposed to the crimes of others, but that's a silly thing to complain about in the US, where the problem is that all the people with power are supporters of Israeli brutality. This country is precisely where lefties should be obsessed with Israeli war crimes.

Posted by Donald Johnson at January 13, 2009 11:41 PM

Agreed.
Sometimes people need to vent before you can enage them in conversation.

Posted by donescobar at January 14, 2009 12:02 AM

Seth: Duncan-I wasn't even talking about Hamas violence, which is minor compared to Israel's.

That's an interesting claim, because your first post in this thread included these words:

Fortunately every other country welcomes missiles being fired upon it-responding to overt provocation is simply un-Christian and probably Islamophobic too (cf. religion of peace). Don't these Hebrews understand that the lex talionis is so last century?

So, if you weren't talking about Hamas firing missiles upon "these Hebrews," who were you talking about?

Posted by Duncan at January 14, 2009 12:59 AM