Archive for March, 2011

Why a Palestinian state is an awful idea

 

 

I bet you’re all outraged right now, I would be too. For the record, a Palestinian state is not only a very good idea, but a necessity – there is no way this conflict will ever be solved otherwise.

But there’s one little caveat: it has to be reached through some sort of agreement. Not even a bilateral agreement, I woud argue that it has to be an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian authority, as well as the US, the Arab League, the UN and possibly the Hamas and the EU. Without all of those parties agreeing, there won’t truly be a solution. This is why the idea of Palestine unilaterally declaring a state scares me so much, but they keep threatening to do it:

Abbas: Palestinians to ask for UN recognition if peace talks fail – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been dropping hints that he will leave his post in September should negotiations with Israel not resume by then, and should there be no agreement about the establishment of a Palestinian state.

During a meeting in Ramallah with members of the Council for Peace and Security (who include former top IDF officers ), Abbas declared that the PA intends to work toward the establishment of a Palestinian state, and to win Israeli recognition for such a state. However, he indicated, if no accord is reached between the two sides, and if serious talks do not resume, the PA will turn to the UN General Assembly in September and request recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

Let me take you back to 1987. A lot of stuff happened in that year, good stuff. For instance, your humble author was born, meaning that you get to be reading this right now.

One thing that happened in 1987 is that Arafat declared a Palestinian state and had it recognised by a bunch of other UN states and was bringing it to the General Assembly (GA).

The next thing that happened was the first intifada.

You know what’s going to happen when the UN votes on this? If the UN rejects it, the Palestinian people will not be happy. If the UN accepts it, nothing will change on the ground, the Palestinian people will not be happy. What happens when the Palestinian people, en-masse, aren’t happy? An Intifada.

This also kind of means that Israel would no longer be in a grey area and would be actually breaking international law. Except that under international law, when one sovereign nation attacks another, that is mandate for a war of self-defence, which justifies occupying territory until the conflict is no longer a concern. Rocket attacks from Gaza? Hey, now Bibi has a mandate to re-occupy the territory. It’s also a great way to see checkpoints and curfews re-instated and life getting much worse for Palestinians in the West Bank. Plus there will be more terror attacks in Israel, which are never fun.

On the other hand, the GA has passed so many sanctions against Israel by now that if anything the GA ever did actually had an effect, Israel would have been abolished many times over. Regardless of a GA motion recognising Palestine, as long as the US still supports Israel in the Security Council, nothing will come of it.

Remember that every state who cares boycotts Israel anyway – all Islamic states have had official boycotts going back decades, most won’t even permit anyone to enter the country if they have an Israeli stamp in their passport. The only two with any kind of relationship with Israel are Egypt and Jordan.

If the US does stop supporting Israel over this (which is a possibility with Obama), that will make Israel completely isolated, which will make it feel alone and attacked. What do Israelis do when they feel alone and attacked? Vote Likkud – look at 1997, 2003, 2009 etc. What will Likkud do? change nothing. What happens then? Intifada.

This path will lead to war. That will undo all of the progress that the PA has made to get to the point where it could maybe run a state and bring us right back to 1987. It’s a very bad move, I sincerely hope that Abbas and Fayyad are just posturing.

A Palestinian state is necessary, but the way to get there is through cooperation and dialogue, not unilateral moves and certainly not violence.

For a little more background, see: Co-operation, not collision, with Israel is the only route out for the Palestinian Authority – On Line Opinion – 13/1/2011.

 

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Syria on the Human Rights Council – proof that the system works

And you thought all of the news on Syria was about authorities beating protesters to death and the president firing the government to hold on to power. No, apparently they’re about to be elected to the UN Human Rights Council too.

Don’t you love the UN?

Syria Seeking Seat on Human Rights Council at UN Amid Turmoil – Businessweek

March 29 (Bloomberg) — Syria’s government, accused of shooting peaceful protesters, is bidding at the United Nations for a seat on the Geneva-based Human Rights Council less than a month after Libya was suspended for attacking demonstrators.

Syria is one of four candidates for four seats on the Human Rights Council that will go to Asian nations when the UN General Assembly votes on May 20 for new members. The so-called clean slate endorsed in January by the UN’s so-called Asian Group of countries puts Syria in a position to win a three-year term on the 47-member council unless another Asian nation seeks a seat.

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Finally, an article about the future of books that made me smile

David Blackburn in The Spectator has written an article on the demise of Waterstone’s, the biggest book retailer in the UK, but there is a bright, gleaming silver lining to the cloud:

Book Blog | The Spectator

The bell seems to be tolling for the high street bookshop. The HMV Group, which owns Waterstone’s, has issued its third straight profit warning. Waterstone’s is supposedly on target for this financial year, but 11 of its branches were forced to close across the UK and Ireland in February alone and the company has conceded that it can’t compete in the mass market. Therefore, managing director Dominic Myers has decided on a strategy that challenges readers to escape the ‘stifling homogeneity’ of Dan Brown and Katie Price. The latest campaign will push 11 exciting first time novels on a public that largely ignores new novelists.

Admirable though this plan may be, it is accompanied by the whiff of panic. It is the exact Granta-inspired business model that Tim Waterstone demolished in the early ’80s. But, given that the ruminations of a meerkat from an advert top the bestseller list, Waterstone’s has little choice but to gravitate towards quality.

This is kinda what I was getting at in this post – stores like Borders and Waterstone’s lost their edge to Amazon because all they do now is sell bestsellers that everyone has heard of, which Amazon can do better and cheaper. The advantage that bookshops have over online retailers is the allure of stumbling across something that you had no idea about whilst browsing books. When the only fiction titles on display are Twilight, Steig Larsson and Dan Brown and the non-fiction is all bright-coloured autobiographies of B-list celebrities that have been ghost-written by the same Rolling Stone journalist, you are giving away that advantage. Add to that the fact that the sales staff are 16-year-olds on minimum wage who have never read anything outside of the afore-mentioned library and you have signed your 21st-Century bookstore death warrant.

Hopefully, other stores will follow Waterstone’s and start actually looking for writing talent again. Who knows, people might actually read more (but probably not, because people are dumb).

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How The Greens lost Australia

Before and After, NSW election. Source: The Daily Telegraph

As you should all (hopefully) Know by now, the Liberals won Saturday’s NSW election in an unprecedented, record win – stripping away seats from Labor’s heartland that no one ever expected a Liberal to represent with swings upward of 20%. More relevant to this blog is that the Greens performed very poorly relative to everyone’s predictions, not winning a single seat in the lower house and winning only 1% of the voters fleeing from Labor (by comparison, the Libs had 11.4%).

By everyone’s account, the Greens have really collapsed in the last few weeks. Some say this had a lot to do with Fiona Byrne and her BDS effort, particularly the double-game she was playing later, trying to deny her support for the movement to the media whilst simultaneously flouting it to groups that may vote for her because of it. The Sydney Morning Herald’s editorial this morning even referred to the policy as “childish and indulgent”. Matthew Franklin and Amos Aikman give a pretty good run-down of this for The Australian, particularly regarding the Greens’ admission that the issue hurt their campaign:

Anti-Israeli stance focus of Greens review | The Australian

Federal Greens leader Bob Brown admitted yesterday that voters were upset by Ms Byrne’s repeated misleading statements over her decision in December, as Marrickville Mayor, to support a motion boycotting goods and cultural exchanges from Israel.

Ms Byrne said early in the campaign that if elected to parliament she would push for a statewide ban. However, she subsequently labelled her comments a “falsehood” when they were reported by The Australian. Ms Byrne later denied she had “pushed” for the motion, but was revealed to have been planning to speak at an anti-Israeli-apartheid rally this week.

Asked yesterday whether Ms Byrne’s actions, which plagued the latter days of her campaign, had contributed to her failure, Senator Brown said: “I think it had an effect on it — that’s my feedback from the electorate and it’s no doubt something that the NSW Greens will be looking at.”

Another issue that was brought to light in this election is that the major parties, particularly Labor, are finally realising that supporting the Greens only hurts them. Labor NSW upper-house member and campaign spokesman Luke Foley has repeatedly called for Labor to turn against the Greens, and in only one seat – Coogee – did Labor and the Greens come to any sort of preference deal, presumably because Labor candidate for Coogee Paul Pierce is rumoured to be married to a Green. Coogee fell to the Liberals regardless.

Victorian Liberal senator Helen Kroger has written on how the Greens’ ostensible success was mostly as a result of the major parties preferencing them in order to take power away from each other. Without Liberal preferences, Adam Bandt would never have won Melbourne.

Victorian and NSW election results may spell end to green team dream | Herald Sun

THE Victorian and New South Wales elections may have put an end to Bob Brown’s hopes of an advancing political greenslide in Australia. In the NSW election on Saturday night, the ALP primary vote dropped 13.5 per cent but the Greens picked up only 1.4 per cent, with the Coalition’s primary vote increasing 14.1 per cent, picking up the overwhelming majority of disaffected Labor and independent voters.

The Greens were relying on the Liberals to win four seats in the Victorian state election. We [Liberals] refused to preference them and they didn’t win a seat. On Saturday night, they were expected to win the inner-city seats of Balmain and Marrickville, but they now look like winning neither.

With a huge collapse in the ALP’s primary vote, the Greens should have won these seats where the swings required were only 3.7 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively. More and more, the public is becoming deeply suspicious of the consequences of the extremist policies of selfish inner-city professionals who vote for the Greens.

These voters – usually on the government payroll and in secure jobs, living comfortably in wealthy inner-city suburbs – can afford to worry about climate change and not about jobs, mortgages and a future for their children.

These voters are largely disengaged from the general public in the suburbs.

This last point is particularly important. The Greens have really shown themselves to be a fringe group of “champagne socialists.” Moving more and more into the mainstream does not seem to be moderating them, but rather exposing them as ideologues and extremists with little real political credibility. This is particularly true in NSW, where their leader, Lee Rhiannon, is a former Stalinist who supported the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and of course this business with Fiona Byrne.

Readers may also be interested in watching Byrne’s concession speech, as well as the live response from the people of Marrickville.

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Irans Attacks

Iranian technology at its finest

A good little story to finish off the week.

Earlier in the week, Iran announced on its state media that its scientists had just developed the world’s first actual flying saucer. Whether or not they are planning to abduct dumb rednecks from Texas was not confirmed.

Experts have posited that this is an attempt to destroy US air power like the aliens from Independence day. I guess Iran didn’t factor Will Smith into the equation.

Iran and America go to war - artist's impression

Iran scientists build unmanned flying saucer | ISNA.

TEHRAN (ISNA)-Iranian aerospace scientists have built an unmanned flying saucer.

The flying saucer (cuadrotour) called “Saturn” (Zohal in Persian) was unveiled in the exhibition of strategic technologies with the presence of Islamic Revolution Commander-in-Chief Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei.

The device belonging to the new generation of vertical flyers is designed for aerial photography.

It is equipped with autopilot, image stabilizer and GPS and has a separate system for aerial recording with FULL HD quality as well as another system for aerial photography with 10 megapixel capability which can be sent and recorded simultaneously.

The machine involves a small and portable land station with the monitoring capability and is able to fly indoors and outdoors.

Easy transportation and launch and flying with less making noise are some of the advantages of the device.

The picture above comes from Fars News Agency. The ISNA released the far more realistic but infinitely less cool photo below:

Looks like Mr Achmadinejad is more Plan 9 From Outer Space than War of The Worlds, if you catch my drift.

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Apartheid, Greens, ALP and who should really feel the heat in tomorrow’s ballot

The above image is from Damien Murphy in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. NSW election is only one day away and the Greens look poised to take three lower house seats – Coogee, Marrickville and Balmain.

There was a great breakdown of why the Apartheid comparison is “nonsense” by Bruce Loudon in The Australian, a former international correspondent in both actual Apartheid South Africa and the Middle East:

Green foolish to liken Israel and apartheid | The Australian

FIONA Byrne, the Greens candidate who is favourite to win the seat of Marrickville, is being plain silly in trying to draw parallels between Israel and apartheid South Africa.

In a word, it’s nonsense. Anyone who knew South Africa in the bad old pre-1994 days of apartheid and is familiar with Israel and the Middle East knows that to be the case.

Israel is a vibrant, fully functioning, hotly contested parliamentary democracy in which every citizen can play a part. It is the only such democracy in a Middle-Eastern sea of corrupt autocracies and dictatorships that are now being challenged by Arabs seeking freedom and a new course for their countries. A place where there is completely free political debate, a completely free press and a completely free judiciary.

Contrast Israel’s democracy with the situation in South Africa during the dark days of apartheid when a small elite of whites held virtually all the political and economic power and members of the numerically overwhelming black majority – 30 million to fewer than three million – were, simply because their skin was the wrong colour, discriminated against at every level and denied any role that didn’t involve servility and servitude.

“Whites Only” signs meant that blacks were excluded from park benches, couldn’t go to beaches, had to queue in different lines at post offices, couldn’t get hospital treatment, could mostly work only as menial labourers or domestic servants, had to ride in separate elevators, and had relationships across the colour bar only on pain of being hauled before the courts and imprisoned under the Immorality Act.

For a time, blacks were even barred from placing family funeral notices in newspapers. The right to mourn the loss of loved ones was segregated. That was the evil of racial discrimination.

This message, unfortunately, has been lost on our friend Mayor Fiona Byrne, although she does seem to have miraculously realised that maybe this whole BDS kerfuffle is damaging her reputation as a real politician. Australian reporter Imre Salusinszky noted today:

Fiona Byrne dodges on Israel boycott | The Australian

A GREENS candidate in the NSW election who denied she had ever “pushed” for a boycott of Israel was slated to speak at a public rally next week in support of such a boycott, and in protest against “Israeli apartheid”.

Fiona Byrne, the Greens candidate in the inner-western Sydney seat of Marrickville, initially denied to The Australian she had agreed to address the “Sing Out Against Apartheid: Boycott Divestment and Sanctions” rally outside Sydney’s Town Hall next Wednesday.

…It is the second time this week that Ms Byrne has been caught playing fast and loose with the facts about the extent of her involvement in the global movement to isolate Israel economically and culturally.

After she denied ever expressing an intention to introduce an Israel boycott into state parliament, The Australian revealed a tape of a press conference last month where she did so.

She’s already lying on the campaign trail, this doesn’t bode well for her seemingly impending election into State Parliament.

Byrne at a press conference yesterday

Speaking of which, the ALP has been panicking about losing Carmel Tebbutt to Byrn in Marrickville, so has been telling everyone who’ll listen how evil the Greens are and why Liberal voters need to preference the ALP over the Greens because it’s better to have anyone except The Wicked Witch of the (Inner) West. Fair enough, and you would struggle to find someone who could convincingly dispute that.

Only problem is that apparently this only applies in seats where Labor is threatened by the Greens and the Liberals can help. On the other hand, if it’s the Liberals threatening Labor, they are more than happy to “deal with the devil” and hang on to power.

Greens preference ALP in hot seat | The Australian

In what is seen as a compromise, the Greens in Coogee will preference “progressive independents” before Labor, but Labor before Liberal. After informal talks with the Greens but no written agreement, the Labor Party will preference the Greens in Coogee.

This is a really worrying double standard. The Greens have only got where they are today because of Labor preferences (although Liberals helped Adam Bandt in his Melbourne bid) and even though the Greens are now posing a serious threat to Labor’s standing as the party of the mainstream Left, they still seem to be repeating the same mistakes.

I could compare it to fishers who fish all of the fish out the water until there are no fish left, only these fish never tasted any good in the first place.

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Terrorism, reprisals, civilian casualties: here we go again?

I woke up this morning to the following news:

Deadly bombing the first in Israel in seven years | The Australian

JERUSALEM suffered its first bombing in seven years today when an explosive device hidden in a shopping bag blew up at a bus station during the rush hour, killing one woman and wounding 30.

…Shattered glass from the windows of the bus were strewn across the pavement, which was scorched and smeared with blood.

The attack comes after a fortnight of rising tensions in the Palestinian territories that culminated in a series of military strikes on Gaza.

The group believed to be behind the attack is the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Al-Qaeda affiliated group that takes a more militant stance than Hamas, which has been moderated recently by responsibility. The attack coincided with renewed rocket strikes and was probably in retaliation to a recent Israeli strike that took-out some PIJ leaders:

Analysis: A war on multiple fronts|The Jerusalem Post.

The attack which rocked the entrance to the capital on Wednesday morning came just hours after two Grad-model Katyusha rockets fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Beersheba and another hit south of Ashkelon.

Islamic Jihad had vowed to retaliate against an air strike on Tuesday which killed four of its senior operatives.

This is an absolutely disgusting and inexcusable act, but there has been a whole build-up to this. I know that I’ve been MIA for a few days, but if I had more time to write, I would have been writing about the escalating tensions in this conflict.

Of course, Israel’s strike that killed four militants did not just kill four militants, unfortunately:

GAZA STRIP: Israel tank shells kill three Gaza children, one man | Babylon & Beyond | Los Angeles Times

Several Israeli tank shells landed Tuesday at a playground in Gaza City, killing three children and their grandfather and injuring 12 other children and women, hospital sources and witnesses said.

Eyewitnesses said that seven tank shells slammed a playground where children were playing soccer, adding two other shells crashed through the ceiling of a nearby house, injuring six women.

Relatives of those killed said they prevented a group of Palestinian militants from firing mortars into Israel from an area that is adjacent to their houses just half an hour before Israeli tanks fired the shells.

But militants waited until people went for prayers at the neighborhood’s mosque and sent a round of mortar shells beyond the Israel-Gaza borderline, which is a little less than half a mile away from the bombed area.

Although that story does not exactly exonerate PIJ from the killings either.

And then there’s the Itamar massacre on the weekend, which was a complete act of brutality that saw a family literally butchered in their own home:

Immoral equivalencies| The Jerusalem Post.

On March 11, five members of the Fogel family were hideously knifed in their own home at Itamar – the parents Udi and Ruth, 11-year-old Yoav, three-year-old Elad and three-month-old Hadas. The throats of Udi, Yoav and tiny Hadas were slit in their beds. Elad suffered two stab wounds to his heart.

This was anything but a chance mishap.

This was premeditated, beyond cold-hearted.

The homicides were the handiwork of terrorists who encountered their blameless victims face-to-face and, with malice aforethought, did not shrink from piercing an infant’s neck.

The other piece of the puzzle from Israel’s perspective is a sudden and massive increase in rocket fire from Gaza.

Israeli Attack on Gaza Militants Kills Four Civilians – NYTimes.com

Tuesday’s violence came amid a sharp increase in tensions along the Israel-Gaza border in recent days. Hamas has fired more than 60 rockets at Israel since Saturday, and Israeli warplanes and artillery units have carried out repeated attacks. Both sides claim they are retaliating and not seeking an escalation in the conflict, but fears of a repeat of the Israeli war here two years ago were palpable.

And there’s truth to that “tit-for-tat” statement, both sides have been escalating this situation whilst simultaneously calling for the other to stop. It’s like a retarded game of chicken where everyone loses.

Hamas has committed to keeping the truce, but admitted that it voluntarily increased rocket fire:

Hamas repeats commitment to keep unofficial truce

Abu Obaida, spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas, said: “If the enemy agrees to avoid escalation and stop the aggression on our people, Hamas will also abide [by the truce].”

He confirmed that Hamas was behind last Saturday’s barrage of mortar attacks on Israel. He claimed that the attacks were a “natural response to the ongoing crimes of the Zionist enemy.”

Abu Obaida said that the attacks came in response to the recent killing by the IDF of Ghassan Abu Amer and Adnan Ishtawi, two Hamas activists.

“The enemy will pay a heavy price if it continues its aggression on the Gaza Strip,” the spokesman cautioned.

And then Israel has re-iterated that it will hold Hamas responsible for every attack:

In Response to Rocket Fire IAF Targets Terror Sites in Gaza Strip

The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians or IDF soldiers, and will continue to respond harshly to combat terror. The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it.

This may not be entirely fair, as it is not clear how much control Hamas has over PIJ. In fact, there have been reports that Hamas is trying to reduce their activity:

MESS Report-Israel News – Haaretz Israeli News source.

It is noteworthy that Hamas has not fired at Israel over the past two days, even after four Palestinian civilians were killed by errant IDF mortar fire on Tuesday.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s office said yesterday that Haniyeh had phoned the secretary general of Islamic Jihad, Abdallah Ramadan Salah, in Damascus. Pundits in Gaza said Haniyeh asked Salah to stop the escalation, for which Islamic Jihad is mainly responsible.

Although Hamas didn’t exactly seem bothered by the attack in Jerusalem, which luckily the PA at least condemned:

J’lem bombing is a ‘natural response to Israeli crimes| The Jerusalem Post.

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in a statement that he “strongly condemns the terror attack in Jerusalem regardless of the identity of the perpetrators.”

Referring to the possibility that Palestinians were behind the attack, Fayyad said it would it be despicable if any Palestinian party was involved, especially in light of the huge damage that such attacks have inflicted on the Palestinians in the past.

Hamas representatives in the Gaza Strip hailed the attack as a “natural response to Israeli crimes against Palestinians.”

The big worry here is that the situation will return to 2007/08 levels, which Israel managed to repair only through a huge military operation. Hopefulyl the sides will see sense, but this has been coming for a while.

There is a whole other side to the past week, which is the games being played between the PA and Hamas, as well as a few settlement issues that were overshadowed by all this violence. This post is getting too long, so you can look forward to that tomorrow.

 

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Little Red Riding Hijab?

 

Just a little one (more serious post later today): Is it just me, or does the poster for the new Little Red Riding Hood movie make her look a little…Islamic?

As one colleague pointed out to me, Wolf is a Jewish surname. Maybe there’s more to this fairytale than we think…

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Major Photoshop Karnage: Boycott Edition

Below are a couple of Israel boycott-inspired images. Feel free to distribute them, but please put a link to my blog somewhere when you do.

My first image is responding to this story. I figured that there was something to what old Iran was saying, so I decided to really give Iran something to boycott:

The second image was inspired by this VexNews story:

The NSW Greens party is in a state of panic about signs appearing throughout the Sydney state electorate of Marrickville highlighting their candidate Fiona Byrne’s involvement in supporting causes associated with Israel’s homophobic and racist enemies, including a notorious council boycott of the Jewish state.

One anonymous broomstick-wielding Greens party hack, described by onlookers as acting in a manner that was reminiscent to them of a witch, was seen near the Petersham train station this morning attempting to use her powers to dislodge the signs that were out of reach of mere mortals.

So I figured that it would be a good idea to make Fiona Byrne look like The Wicked Witch of The West from The Wizard of Oz, just to illustrate the effect that she’ll have on NSW if elected. Anyone in Marrickville not planing on voting for Carmel Tebbutt, please preference her above Byrne, we really don’t want this moron running our state.

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Don’t give terror a free pass

I didn’t say anything in the last couple of days about the Israeli settler family who were murdered as they slept, or the Israeli government’s response – announcing 500 new units to be constructed in the 3 blocs that almost everyone agrees Israel will hold on to in any final-status agreement (see HERE). This is a huge issue though, and would have received a lot more coverage if the Japan earthquake weren’t overshadowing it all.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Bret Stephens has written an extremely eloquent piece on some of the implications of this saga and the reactions to it, in the context of the broader issues. He argues that the world jumps to criticise Israel for acts of little or no consequence (like construction in an area that they realistically will never withdraw from), whilst giving a “free waiver” to any Palestinian crimes (like butchering children as they sleep), dismissing them as “understandable”, given the alleged severity of Israel’s actions.

Stephens: Are Israeli Settlers Human? – WSJ.com.

I have a feeling that years from now Palestinians will look back and wonder: How did we allow ourselves to become that? If and when that happens—though not until that happens—Palestinians and Israelis will at long last be able to live alongside each other in genuine peace and security.

But I also wonder whether a similar question will ever occur to the Palestinian movement’s legion of fellow travelers in the West. To wit, how did they become so infatuated with a cause that they were willing to ignore its crimes—or, if not quite ignore them, treat them as no more than a function of the supposedly infinitely greater crime of Israeli occupation?

It is precisely in this sense that the frenzied international condemnation of Israeli settlements and settlers does the most harm. Having been accorded the part of George Orwell’s Emmanuel Goldstein—perpetual target of the proverbial two minutes of hate—they have drained whatever capacity there was to hold Palestinian actions to moral account, to say nothing of our ability to understand the nature of a conflict that is more than simply territorial. The demonization of the settlers has made the world not only coarse but blind.

Much of the conversation that I’ve seen from left-leaning Zionists has been condemnation of the new settlement policy whilst almost overlooking the actual horror of the event. An act as barbarous as this cannot possible be looked-on with anything but disgust.

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