The Apocalyptic Origins of Suicide Terrorism

I want to apologize to those readers who have been following this blog for the extensive lapse in postings for the last two months. I have been working on my book about milennialism and have found it difficult to switch gears. But it has occurred to me that I have failed to use a great resource — my readers — in preparing my book. As a result, I would like to post some of the passages from my book to get your feedback.

The first posting I’m putting up is a section that I’m not sure I will keep in the book. It comes from the last chapter on Global Jihad as an apocalyptic movement. I’m not sure that I can make this argument well — it’s a huge and problematic literature, riddled with functionalist retrospective explanations that’s hard to combat effectively without doing my own research. Any suggestions, including other sources, would be most appreciated.

The Apocalyptic Origins of Suicide Terrorism

The marginal quality of apocalyptic thinking and the kinds of violent actions that it inspired comes across quite clearly in the issue of suicide terrorism against Israeli civilians. Predatory martyrdom – killing yourself as part of a Jihad against enemy soldiers – has plenty of Qur’anic support, even though it is not a “constant” of Muslim history.[1] Nor is it uniquely Muslim. Kamikaze pilots had already shown the world how warriors, who would rather die with honor in battle than survive in shame, deal with certain defeat. This kind of suicidal attack on enemy troops first appeared in the Middle East as part of the new global Jihad, when Hizbullah chased the Americans out of Lebanon with two massive suicide operations in 1983.[2]

Suicide terrorism – attacks deliberately targeting civilians – has a different ethos. Here, any claim to warrior’s honor fails. As Sheik of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Tantawi wrote:

Any explosion that leads to the death of innocent women and children is a criminal act, carried out only by people who are base, cowards and traitors, because a rational man with just a bit of respect and manliness, refrains from such operations altogether.[3]

Few warrior traditions do not condemn attacks on civilians, a fortiori, a monotheistic religion claiming to serve a merciful God and to treasure every human life as a universe. The ideologue of modern, apocalyptic Jihad, Sayyid Qutb, cited the Qur’an and insisted:

Do not kill any women, children or elderly people (Muhammad’s successor Abu Bakr).” “Fight for the cause of God those who fight against you, but do not commit aggression. God does not love aggressors (Qur’an 2:190).”

These principles had to be strictly observed, even with those enemies who had persecuted them and inflicted unspeakable atrocities on them.[4]

To commit suicide while targeting innocent women and children, then, as some bombers did starting in 1993, demands a major transgression, one that offends basic civilized norms.[5] People do not readily commit suicide, much less send their children to do so, much less, to kill children.[6] First, as a basic issue of Islamic Sharia, there is a commandment not to kill the defenseless civilians among one’s enemy unless they kill yours.[7] Indeed, one disciple of Abdullah Azzam claimed that what distinguished his master from Osama bin Laden, was precisely this issue:

[T]here is no way that a real Mujahid, a ‘man’ like Abdullah Azzam, who was fond of the Salafi creed, the companions and Ibn Taimiyyah, would lower himself to the methods that Ibn Laden used and advocated or even condone such terrible acts and deviation from the true jihad. How can a Mujahid like him end up killing women and children, attacking civilian non-Muslims, blowing up places of worship…[8]

When, in the early 1990s, Hamas first introduced suicide terrorism – martyrdom operations – opposition came even from their own ranks.[9] To explain it, one must not only explain how marginal activists and theologians defend it, but how a public embraces it. When the IRA tried suicide terrorism, the opprobrium that ensued guaranteed that that was the last such attempt. Suicide terrorism needs public approval to move from the margins to the center.

The academic literature on the origins of suicide bombing works almost exclusively ex post facto and has a heavy functionalist bias.[10] Once it has become popular, once the suicides are praised by their families, acclaimed as “martyrs” by the Imams and the public alike, once TV sequences show the gorgeous, unveiled, eager female sexual partners that await the dead man in heaven – once it has become socially normalized – then one can posit some more pedestrian motivations for suicide bombing… like humiliating check points, or peer pressure, or resistance to occupation, or even “despair at not having hope.”[11] But long before that can happen, many inhibitions – religious, cultural, human – must all fall victim to something still more powerful.

To explore the phenomenon ex post ante, as turkey rather than bat historians, let us look more closely at the millennial stakes at play in its origins. Rather than invoke public opinion as a key explanation, we need to ask: What drove some men to develop a theology of suicide terrorism? And what made it so popular? To do so, we must consider the situation of Hamas and their Palestinian constituency when they made the “leap.” From a millennial perspective, it makes sense that it would occur in Gaza, by an apocalyptic group dedicated to global Jihad, during the “Oslo Peace Process.”[12]

Oslo created an apocalyptic crisis for both Israeli and Arab activist millennials – for the messianic settlers, disciples of Zvi Yehuda Kook, it meant reversing the wheels of destiny: giving back sacred territory defied their apocalyptic scenario in which that land’s conquest was part of a redemptive historical process. Similarly, to those radicals committed to Jihad against Israel and the West, the very idea of compromise represented a humiliation and a renunciation of the claim to the entire Waqf of the land of Israel.

Such a collapse of one’s redemptive historical scenario provokes a crisis of faith: supremely confident while things go their way,such reversals often trigger the trip switch from passive to active, transformational to violent. Such shifts in turn intensified the apocalyptic dynamic of “one person’s messiah is another’s Antichrist.” Each side saw the other increasingly as an implacable enemy, and in addition to longstanding free-lance Arab violence against Israeli civilians which intensified throughout the early 1990s, religious Jews engaged in unprecedented violence – an intentional massacre of Arab civilians (Baruch Goldstein, Hebron, February 1994); and the first assassination of an Israeli Prime Minister (November, 1995). [13]

For the apocalyptic Muslims, as well, Oslo defied sacred history. Dedicated at their core to the irredentist scenario, they could view negotiations only as betrayal, treason against all three circles of the apocalyptic “us” – Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims.[14] With the PLO pursuing negotiations (regardless of whether in good faith or not), and even a fair number of Palestinians expressing optimism in resolving the conflict without eliminating the Israeli presence, Hamas found itself faced with a contradiction to its faith in the juggernaut of its total victory, a development that left them temporarily speechless.[15]

One response, among the more “conventional thinkers” was to justify the truce and “move away” from the theme of the destruction of Israel. The Hamas intellectual, Bassam Jirrar pursued this option with a very popular book, in which he created an apocalyptic extender, a temporal buffer between “now” and the Endtime in a popular book, Israel’s Destruction in 2022. Cook notes how this relatively moderate Muslim apocalyptic writer – little of the characteristic anti-Semitism and ferocious violence in his works – created a possibility for temporary moderation: “If God has really decreed the destruction of Israel in that year, it is sacrilegious to attempt to destroy it beforehand. Hence Hamas’ willingness to speak about a truce with Israel.”[16]

But while conditions of growing cognitive dissonance produce face-saving formulas, they also, as we have seen, encourage coercive purity and still more indiscriminate violence. Already as the first Intifada faltered in the early 1990s, Hamas apocalyptic cult of blood and death intensified as the exorbitant hopes of destroying Israel it had inspired, collapsed. And this upping of the ante came partly as a response to the fragility of Hamas’ own apocalyptic Endtimes prophecies failed.

At the same time, however, the turn toward the End… showed the Intifada under severe threat, its truth revealed only in ecstatic obliteration – precisely the logic of the suicide bomber who would save his world by blowing it up.[17]

The Oslo Process (1993-2000) took matters still further in the wrong direction. Giving up on war now was bad enough, but making peace with the intolerable enemy? Impossible. Each negotiation, therefore, brought its harvest of martyrs who gave their lives to assure that the peace process would “collapse.” A Hamas operative exulted over the results the Ninth round of the Peace Negotiations:
In little more than eighteen days the number of martyrs has gone to thirty-five, and this number did not exist in the past, and we have never seen a number like this except under the shadow of negotiations…”[18]

Oliver and Steinberg’s study illustrates the world of belief in which the Palestinians turned to suicide terror – the apocalyptic religious world of the highest stakes: “no” to any compromise, “yes” to every violence, anything to provoke Armaggedon, anything destruction to save the world.[19] Where 19th-century anarchists declared: “God is dead, everything is permitted, the apocalyptic Jihadi of the late 20th century declared, “Allah wills it, everything is permitted.”[20]

Endnotes

[1] The first case was a Christian Palestinian woman from *** who blew herself up near Israeli soldiers in 1982.
[2] The Tamil Tigers were the first to copy Hizbullah; see Mia Bloom, Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), pp. 60-75.
[3] MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis Series – No. 53, May 2001.
[4] Cited in Berman, Terror and Liberalism, p. 98. See also, Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiyya’s renunciation of violence: Al-Musawwar (Egypt), June 28, 2002. Cited in MEMRI, Inquiry and Analysis Series – No. 309, December 22, 2006.
[5] On the Islamic prohibitions, see Lewis, “License to Kill.” Qaradawhi condemned 9-11, invoking this principle of not attacking innocent civilians (from BBC Newsnight, July 8, 2004).
[6] One of the great weaknesses of the Palestinian movie Paradise Now (2005) is the lack of real emotion, motivation and preparation behind the two men’s determination to undertake a suicide mission. Overall, one does not get the impression that the religious dimension holds much significance for the director, Hany Abu-Assad.
[7] On the prohibitions, see Lewis, “License to Kill;” Qaradawhi condemned 9-11, invoking this principle of not attacking innocent civilians (from BBC Newsnight, July 8, 2004).
[8] Jalal Adualrub, comment at a thread on condemnations of Bin Laden by other Muslim authorities at Islam Life. The author is an active Jihadi warrior. 10-Feb-07]
[9] Cook “Muslim Fears or the Year 2000,” Middle East Quarterly 5:2 (June, 1998); Understanding Jihad, pp. 142-7. On the legal restraints on killing civilians in Jihad, see Bernard Lewis, “License to Kill: Usama bin Ladin’s Declaration of Jihad,” Foreign Affairs 77 (1998), p. 19; on the problems for Islamic theology posed by suicide terror, see the earliest study on the issue, Re’uven Paz, Hit’abdut ve-G’ihad ba-Islam ha-radiḳali ha-Palestini: ha-pan ha-ra’yoni (Tel Aviv: Merkaz Mosheh Dayan le-limude ha-Mizrah ha-tokhon ve-Afriḳah, Universiṭat Tel-Aviv, 1998).
[10] See above all, Robert Pape’s Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic to Suicide Terrorism (New York: Random House, 2005) which pushes the functionalist “rational choice” paradigm to its extreme.
[11] See Mia Bloom, Dying to Kill, pp. 19-44, specifically in the context of the Palestinian case.
[12] For a study of the apocalyptic setting of Hamas and suicide terrorism in the mid 1990s, see Paul Steinberg and Anne-Marie Oliver, The Road to Martyrs’ Square: A Journey into the World of the Suicide Bomber.
[13] On the impact of the Oslo Process on the apocalyptic thinking of the post-’67 Kookists, see Gershom Gorenberg, The End of Days. It produced two unprecedented acts of violence from those circles, Baruch Goldstein’s attack on the Muslim worshippers in Hebron and Yigal Amir’s assassination of Yithak Rabin: see Ehud Sprinzak, Brother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli Politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination (New York: Free Press, 1999). See also below, n. 233.
[14] See Hamas Charter (above, n. 46), article 14 (The Three Circles); article 13 (Peaceful Solutions and International Conferences).
[15] “The Oslo accords of September 1993—in which Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization agreed on a set of terms—marked a turning point for apocalyptic writers, leaving them temporarily speechless. But quickly they ascribed the whole process to a plot by the dajjal. In Jericho: the Cursed City, Muhammad ‘Izzat ‘Arif wrote that the Jews had given Jericho (which together with Gaza was the first piece of land Israel withdrew from) to the Palestinians because of a curse in Joshua 6:26 against anyone “who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho.’”
[16] Cook, Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic, pp. 120-22; Gold, The Fight for Jerusalem, pp. 237-8
[17] Oliver and Steinberg, Martyrs Square, p.110.
[18] Oliver and Steinberg, Martyrs Square, p.179.
[19] Ibid., pp. 114-81. In this sense, Timothy McVeigh, Baruch Goldstein and the Hamas suicide bombers shared a common apocalyptic logic (Gorenberg, pp. 203-8).
[20] Muravich,

214 Responses to The Apocalyptic Origins of Suicide Terrorism

  1. E.G. says:

    RL-
    Thanks for sharing!

    A few remarks.

    One thing I don’t understand from the above text is whether the honour-shame framework is relevant to suicide attacks of civilians. It’s clear that honour-shame is present in the indoctrination phase, but with the theological debates- on what grounds, by which intellectual gymnastics has it been in fine established that murdering civilians by blowing oneself up is honourable? What is the nature of the “leap”?

    i’d argue that the leap is made in a state of sheer frustration at not being able to retrieve honor “honorably.” the normal techniques of jihad call for killing the enemy and terrorizing the conquered civilians (which means killing some of them). but with the Arab/Muslim inability to defeat Israel, there’s a real crisis which has been resolved by the only violent (hence “honorable”) option for striking back — suicide terror. like killing your sister for being raped, it’s not so much a manifestation of honor-shame culture as a pathology in h-s culture.

    Plus, many Kamikaze operations were carried out using coercive measures, invoking the honour value activated pilots’ adherence but not always the actual suicidal behaviour. Hence – the more concrete measures taken, such as the limited fuel quantity, insufficient to return after the mission. Do the Moslem terrorist movements use similar concrete means?

    good point. early on, in Lebanon, there was evidence that they were chained to trucks, etc. but with the combination of wild popularity since 2000 and an elaborate ritual that makes backing out utterly humiliating, my impression is that they don’t need such crude techniques.

    I’m annoyed by the use of “martyr” for Shaheed. Using the translation confuses, in the mind of a Western reader, the Christian and Jewish connotations with the radical Moslem one.

    i agree, which is why i refer to it as “predatory martyrdom” — is that not clear enough?

    Inasmuch as the Goldstein and Amir cases may illustrate Apocalyptic Jewish thinking, their terrorist acts are comparable to Palestinian (and other groups) terrorist acts preceding the suicide “fashion” (hijackings, shooting, setting explosives etc.). Otherwise, one can just as well claim that suicide terrorism dates much earlier, because the terrorists who perpetrated the attacks often expected to get killed during/after the operation.

    i do think there’s a difference btw “expecting to be killed,” “guaranteeing you’re killed (Goldstein), and killing yourself (suicide terrorists, kamikazes).

  2. Eliyahu says:

    RL, two preliminary comments.

    1) You overlook the “messianic” expectations in the West [not Jews or Muslims], from both the Oslo “peace” process and the earlier election of the Rabin-Peres-Beilin-Aloni govt in 1992. In this regard, see a front page opinion piece or “analysis” by one Jean Langellier in LeMonde shortly after the election in the summer of 1992. He saw the defeat of Likud and the rise of Labor and Meretz as a kind of blessed, divinely-hallowed Jewish surrender, giving up militancy [that is, the wish to defend themselves and to be able to defend themselves], giving up territory for peace, that is, for “peace of mind for antisemites” [in my opinion].

    excellent point, which i make at a different point in the chapter. indeed, i argue that the vicious turn of the left against israel at the end of 2000 was due to disappointed apocalyptic expectation. i think there’s a book on the israeli left’s peace initiatives as a millennial movement. do you know the reference?

    In fact, the Israeli people had NOT changed their basic political orientations despite what Langellier and many others thought or wanted others to believe. More votes went to the national and religious camp of parties [Likud, Tehiya, Mafdal, etc] than to the “leftist” “peace-oriented” camp. However, because several smaller parties in the national & religious camp [Tehiya etc] could not get over the threshold for receiving even one seat in the Knesset, 2% or 2.5% at that time, all their votes were lost. This same phenomenon of small parties operated to a much lesser extent on the “left.” Indeed, withal, the “left” got less than half of the Knesset seats, only 59. So they needed Shas, ostensibly on the national and religious side, to form a govt. Since Shas was already receiving secret illegal monthly payments from Labor, it could not refuse to join Rabin’s govt. So apocalyptic, “messianic” analyses like that of Langellier abounded but were false, since there had been no sea change in the Israeli people’s basic views. Moreover, Rabin had run on a platform AGAINST negotiating with the PLO and against giving up the Golan Heights to fascist Syria. So there were a lot of unfounded “messianic” interpretations of the election and of how the new govt was formed in the West on the part of non-Jews.

    while you may be right for the broad spectrum of the israeli voting public, i think that both on the far left and right, there were more intense feelings of both outrageous optimism and pessimism.

    2) You overlook other interpretations of events after Oslo. Now, I do see Hamas as apocalyptic, if only from their statements and their charter. But I did not see much apocalyptic mood on the Jewish side, seldom among Jewish settlers and their supporters. The massacre of Arabs by Barukh Goldstein in the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron could be explained in other ways. After Oslo, the Rabin-Peres-Beilin govt allowed a situation of anarchy and Arab violence to develop in Judea-Samaria & Gaza and indeed throughout the country. The number of Arab terrorist attacks rose after the Labor-Meretz govt had frozen Jewish housing construction in J-S & G [summer of 1992]. The number accelerated its rise in September 1993. In reaction, there was a Jewish retaliation before Goldstein’s massacre in Hebron. Goldstein’s act took place about six or seven weeks after one of his best friends, Mordecai Lapid [a Soviet Jewish refugee] and one or two of Lapid’s sons were murdered by Arab terrorists on the edge of Hebron. So
    Goldstein may have been acting out of revenge, not only for his friend Lapid but for the 68 Jews murdered in Hebron in 1929 –with British acquiescence or encouragement.

    i think you may be downplaying the apocalyptic dimension here. Goldstein’s deed was hardly “mere” revenge. it was unprecedented in its wanton killing of praying muslims and (i think) designed to set off a conflagration. and even if you want to invoke 1929, you have to explain why, seventy years later he’s doing so dramatic an act of revenge.

    The 1929 massacre is never far from the minds of many Jews, especially those in the area of Hebron, although most of the rest of the world doesn’t know about it, never knew about it, or wants to forget it. Now, the events after Oslo only confirmed for many Israelis, and Netanyahu, for example, warned against Oslo in a NYT op ed, their direst predictions about handing territory in J-S & G over to arafat and the PLO. So I would not spend much time on apocalyptic moods and fantasies among national-religious Jews.

    I would caution against depending on either Gershom Gorenberg or Ehud Sprinzak. I find their analyses tendentious and their choice of facts to cite to be prejudiced and based on preconceived theories and “narratives,” rather than on objective analysis of all relevant facts.

    well, being a post-modernist, i’m not sure anyone is “objective”, but i take both Sprinzak and Gorenberg with significant quantitites of salt.

  3. Russ says:

    It’s not clear to me how you explain the spread of suicide terrorism, which I took to be your main point. You note that “an apocalyptic crisis” triggered violence on both sides, but fail to explore why in one case it progressed into suicide terror and not on the other. Shouldn’t you focus on how the larger communities reacted to those acts? In particular, what were the initial acts of extraordinary violence on the Palestinian side which crossed what was previously a bright line? How did the community react? How did the leadership react?

    agreed. and maybe i can make it more explicit. my point was that apocalyptic conditions produced suicide terror among Palestinians and (if we follow Gorenberg) among Israelis. but because of differing cultures and conditions, Hamas pushed suicide terror with much greater insistence, and after 2000, they got the full support of both the Palestinian leadership (including the media) and the public. on the Israeli side, the response to Goldstein — including condemnation by the quasi-full range of rabbis including settler rabbis — made suicide terror a dead-end.

    And most importantly, is it really true that there had been no attacks on Jewish civilians before then? I’m pretty sure that is not the case, so are you saying that it was always acceptable (despite Qutb’s admonition) to murder Jewish civilians just not by suicide?

    that’s my dilemma. there are no problems with attacking Israeli civilians. but there’s something about suicide terror that’s a problem. partly because suicide is forbidden in Islam. on the other hand, the justification for suicide in the context of jihad maybe only works for military targets, which then explains the problem of committing suicide in order to kill civilians. but i really don’t know how to resolve this particular problem.

  4. epaminondas says:

    Well, Azzam and others, notably Qaradawi obfuscate WHO is “innocent”. That entire idea is a canard. Shared, ironically, by Ward Churchill. In fact, has Tantawi, who Dr. Bostom makes clear is no innocent himself, ever elucidated how young you have to be to avoid being killed in Sbarro’s JUSTIFIABLY? If so, I am unaware of it.

    all this is true, and as Russ points out in the previous comment, targeting civilians has historically been no problem for Palestinians attacking Israel. it’s something else at issue here, and i can’t really put my finger on it.

    We thus have what WE conceive of as the warrior ethos entirely subjugated to the claims of the Hamas Charter.
    ‘No man can negotiate away what god gave the muslims’ i.e. a permanent waqf as immutable as the quran. This theory invalidates any negotiated peace and must end with a river of blood (apocalypse). This theory makes any peace with Abbas a canard towards the ultimate realization of what god demands, and Abbas et al the tools of satan since they are attempting SOME kind of negotiated peace (maybe).

    agreed. everything militates towards targeting civilians. and yet… there was a taboo to be broken in suicide attacks.

    The most apocalyptic theory wins since it allows any abnegation of conscience and what we consider normal behavior in the untrammeled path of what god requires.

    It also deals neatly with those muslims whose consciences are revolted by this theory since by disagreeing they are fighting god’s requirements, and have been seduced by the dark side.

    We cannot know whether HAMAS’ truce was a product of rational thinking for a survival of a gazan state of some kind or a simple Hudabiyah in the ultimate path.

    However, given the history, I think I’ll bet on apocalyptic behavior winning.

    agreed. the idea that Hamas is the product of rational thinking is pure liberal cognitive egocentrism. Robert Pape and the functionalists…

  5. Eliyahu says:

    I forgot to mention the “messianic” End Time expectations that the Israeli “Left” or “peace camp” had from Oslo. Go back to the insanities and stupidities [maybe they didn't seem so insane or stupid in 1993] that characters like Amos Oz had about the Oslo accords.

    will happily accept some specific references.

  6. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu-

    re#4 And on this very date, 31 years ago, what were you thinking? Were you hopeful and suspicious, enthousiastic and anxious? Many thought then that it was the beginning of a new era.
    Begin’s rhetoric was full of Prophet citations.

  7. Cynic says:

    E.G.

    concrete measures taken, such as the limited fuel quantity, insufficient to return after the mission. Do the Moslem terrorist movements use similar concrete means?

    They used children with mental problems, some of bombers were drugged and of course several of the women were up for “Honour” killing.
    Some of the youngsters were goaded by peer pressure which was directed from above. Yes, the adults specifically looked for the odd one out and then pressured the others to work on him.
    One poor woman was seduced by someone close to her husband and then the two of them saw to it that she blew herself up at one of the Gaza/Israel crossings.
    When it comes to honour don’t look for it among the top ranks. They are nothing more than a bunch of crooks and liars with smooth tongues.

    As for Goldstein I believe, and this from people who were not associated with that political spectrum, that he was so overwrought by the loss of close friends that he lost it. It was very easy for the media to balance the score.

  8. oao says:

    that he was so overwrought by the loss of close friends that he lost it. It was very easy for the media to balance the score.

    the difference is that goldstein lost it spontaneously as a consequence of a loss, while the pals, particularly hamas, are induced to lose it by indoctrination and manipulation.

  9. Vilmos says:

    > To commit suicide while targeting innocent women
    > and children, then, as some bombers did starting
    > in 1993, demands a major transgression, one that
    > offends basic civilized norms.

    Especially, when the transgressing party actually brainwashes *ITS OWN* children to become suicide terrorists.

    Why they do this? I think, because whenever children die, the world will sit up and condemn the “murderers”. But what the world doesn’t know, the dirty little secret, is how the child gets into the situation where s/he will perish.

    In the remote chance that you are not aware of this report, do yourself a favor and check out the Palestinian Media Watch’ report, “Ask for Death”, about this phenomenon:

    http://www.pmw.org.il/ASK%20FOR%20DEATH.htm

    Vilmos

  10. Peter B says:

    One apparent difference between kamikaze attacks and what we today call suicide bombing is that the Japanese were engaged in defensive battle — against Allied forces preparing to invade the Japanese mainland–involving conventional military forces on both sides.
    The Japanese calculus of one or two young men deliberately dying in a cheap aircraft to destroy or disable an expensive warship or supply ship isn’t illogical, appalling though it was that the Japanese systematized it.

    This appears different from Islamist suicide bombing, but it is possible that the underlying mental construct is similar. Joseph Myers’ essay (Parameters 2006-2007 108-121) reviewing The Quranic Concept of War by Brig. Gen. S.K. Malik of Pakistan explicates the concept that all jihad is (from the jihadi point of view) intrinsically defensive. A non-Muslim who rejects the Muslim’s dawa, the call to become a Muslim, is, according to Malik’s exposition of Quranic war theory thereby committing an act of aggression against Islam. So, any seemingly hostile act committed against that unbeliever is actually defensive in nature.

    There are certainly parallels between the social mechanisms that led Japanese mothers to embroider death headbands for their kamikaze sons and those in Islamist society.

    So I’m proposing that what is perceived to be defensive warfare as the conceptual link between the kamikaze and the Islamist suicide bombers.

    How delusional that perception is, and how deadly delusions are promoted and perpetuated is another interesting question.

  11. Peter B says:

    I’m not sure if this is particularly relevant to the topic, but I find it interesting that U.S. personnel referred to the rocket powered kamikaze bombs that were guided to their targets by a pilot as “baka (idiot) bombs.”
    60 years later, bombs guided to their targets by relatively simple robots are called “smart bombs.”

  12. Eliyahu says:

    EG, when I heard in 1977 that Sadat had been invited to Jerusalem, I was terribly depressed and anxious. My reaction, my depressed mood at the time, was well-founded. One disaster has since followed another, although I have recovered emotionally. Even the way Sadat and Begin’s speeches were conveyed to the world was a disaster. On this read Variety, the entertainment business paper. Begin was a bigger fool than most imagined, although he was not alone in negotiating with Sadat. Carter was there too doing his usual worst to hurt the Jews. Indeed, the major powers have always been involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict, seldom working for peace, usually working for war. But warmongering is nowadays called “peace processing.” That’s why the Obama election has me upset. How will The One’s self-styled anti-war activists react to his plans for more war and more troops in Afghanistan?

    Vilmos is right about the cynicism in setting kids up to be killed and then pointing the finger at Israel. And then the MSM play along with the PLO and Hamas propaganda.

    Peter makes the interesting point about how Muslims view “aggression.” Not only aggression but so many other concepts are radically different in Islam and Arab culture from other cultures and religions so that each use of a term like “justice” or “injustice” or “peace” or “martyr” or “truth” or “terrorism” by a Muslim/Arab spokesman, leader or official should be accompanied by an explanation that a Muslim martyr is far from the Christian or Jewish concept of martyr, Muslim justice is not our justice, and so on. Of course, the MSM don’t do that, thereby leaving the average Western reader in confusion. This of course serves Arab/Muslim propaganda and psywar.

  13. E.G. says:

    In fact, has Tantawi, who Dr. Bostom makes clear is no innocent himself, ever elucidated how young you have to be to avoid being killed in Sbarro’s JUSTIFIABLY?

    As young as a school child in Ma’alot or a pre-school in Nahariya or in an Egged bus returning from a journey…
    All legitimate targets. That’s what terror is about: harm civilians, physically and psychologically.

    Sorry, I fail to see a distinction in nature between terror attacks and suicide bombing attacks. There is a difference in technique.

    Indoctrination also didn’t start in the late 20th century. What changed is the rhetoric, with the Islamic Newspeak replacing/being added to secular nationalistic terms. And also with the addition of technology (TV) and religious figures to the traditional authority figures. It also increased in intensity.

  14. Stan says:

    I think you are missing a major point. Suicide bombings of women and children works as a tactic.
    Israel is far more willing to make concessions. It brings attention to the cause, and forces a country to make itself vulnerable by its reactions to the bombings. If it weren’t tactically advantageous, it would fade away into oblivion.

    Stan

  15. E.G. says:

    I think women and children are far less common suicide bombers than adult males. Does anyone have the statistics?

  16. Cynic says:

    E.G.
    Here’s a link worth reading:
    Tales of a Fourth Grade Suicide Bomber

    At the time the film was made in 2004, there had been 28 Palestinian suicide bombers aged 18 or younger, comprising roughly 30 percent of all Palestinian suicide attacks since 2000. …………
    ………. Suicide bombers have become folk heroes in parts of the Muslim world, so recruiting children is not difficult. Indeed it took all of 48 hours, and $20 dollars, to convince Abdu to go to the checkpoint.

    Read the whole thing.

    The Continued Rise of the Child Suicide Bomber

    A 2007 study in Afghanistan, found 80% of the suicide attackers had some kind of physical or mental disability (Disabled Often Carry Out Afghan Suicide Missions).
    These are not heartless killers, but manipulated people who’s minds and bodies have been enslaved by the terror that is placed upon them over and over by those who see vengeance as a tool

  17. oao says:

    Israel is far more willing to make concessions. It brings attention to the cause, and forces a country to make itself vulnerable by its reactions to the bombings.

    It does not just bring attention to the cause. It cuases a PC west to believe in the cause. It simply cannot conceive, based on its own culture, that there are cultures/societies which sacrifice women and children for political and genocidal purposes and so it interprets such actions as follows: “if they resort to such acts then it must be that they are desperate due to jewish oppression and genocide. IOW, it makes them reach upside down and backwards conclusion as to who is the real villain in the conflict.

  18. E.G. says:

    IOW, it makes them reach upside down and backwards conclusion as to who is the real villain in the conflict.

    Like in Iraq.

  19. Cynic says:

    RL,
    Last night I sent two links in a comment to try and provide E.G. some figures for his #17 comment.
    It appeared then but I see today that it is not among the comments.
    Is WordPress playing games or is someone censoring things?

  20. Cynic says:

    E.G.
    Here’s another attempt:

    At the time the film was made in 2004, there had been 28 Palestinian suicide bombers aged 18 or younger, comprising roughly 30 percent of all Palestinian suicide attacks since 2000.

    A 2007 study in Afghanistan, found 80% of the suicide attackers had some kind of physical or mental disability

    The Continued Rise of the Child Suicide Bomber

    These are not heartless killers, but manipulated people who’s minds and bodies have been enslaved …

  21. oao says:

    Here‘s exactly what I am talking about:

    to quote: ‘the deep sense of injustice it [the conflict] stimulates is genuine and pervasive.’?

  22. E.G. says:

    Todah Cynic for your efforts (@%#Ӥ# the filters!).
    Todah oao.
    Off to the links.

  23. E.G. says:

    oao-

    I believe you and I appreciate the patronizing tone some pundits and state advisors use about the Israeli-”Palestinian” “conflict”. Sounds so much like parents telling the elder child to “behave” vs. the younger sibling pestering him/her – on grounds that the younger is less mature, is powerless, is less intelligent, is not as capable to control frustration…
    The elder should give up, shouldn’t mind the trouble, tolerate, not bother about justice/fairness, act responsibely…

    At the same time however, Israel is getting both the “elder sibling” treatment and, for some, the younger sibling denomination – for these persons consider the “Palestinians” are the true natives of the region (i.e., old-timers). But it’s as if those “elders od Palestine” have made enough concessions to the “Enfants terribles of Zion”.

  24. E.G. says:

    Cynic-

    Thanks again for the links.
    For those who do wish to know what a terror regime is – these are a must.
    The first to be hurt by such a regime are the children and women and the most helpless in the society governed by the rule of terror.

    This said, what am I to conclude?
    That the apocalyptic factor does not play a significant role for about half of the suicide bombers?
    That the apocalyptic factor includes use of “useful idiots” in the terror masters’ minds?
    That Moslems adopted earlier mid-eastern (pagan) customs of human sacrifice?
    That the statistics indicate a growing part of women and children taking part in active terrorism (40-50%)?

  25. oao says:

    That the apocalyptic factor does not play a significant role for about half of the suicide bombers?

    whether it does or not it matters little, because in either case it is induced in people without much intellectual defense. and I doubt they understand what it means when they do what they do.

    To all of the rest, most likely.

  26. Richard Landes says:

    Andy Bostom sent me this note, which he may not have posted to spare my feelings.

    Your mischaracterization of Al-Azhar Grand Imam Tantawi is rather egregious and includes omission, most appositely, of this:

    Within days of the Netanya homicide bombing massacre on a Passover seder night in 2002, for example, Tantawi issued an abhorrent endorsement of so-called “martyrdom operations,” even when directed at Israeli civilians.

    And here is the larger context of sacralized hatred in which he operates:

    Tantawi’s Ph.D. thesis, Banu Israil fi al-Quran wa-al-Sunnah (Jews in the Koran and the Traditions), was published in 1968-69. In 1980 he became the head of the Tafsir (Koranic Commentary) Department of the University of Medina, Saudi Arabia — a position he held until 1984. Tantawi became Grand Mufti of Egypt in 1986, and a decade later he took his current post as Grand Imam.

    My forthcoming book The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism includes extensive, first-time English translations of Jews in the Koran and the Traditions. In the 700-page treatise, Tantawi wrote these words:

    [The] Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah [Koran 2:61/ 3:112], corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness. . . . Only a minority of the Jews keep their word [Koranic citations here]. . . . All Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims [Koran 3:113], the bad ones do not.

    These are the expressed, “carefully researched” views on Jews held by the nearest Muslim equivalent to a pope. Tantawi has not mollified such hatemongering beliefs since becoming the Grand Imam, as his statements on “dialogue” with Jews (“I still believe in everything written in that dissertation”), the Jews as “enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs,” and the legitimacy of homicide bombing of Jews make clear.

    Unfortunately, Tantawi’s anti-Semitic formulations are well-grounded in classical, mainstream Islamic theology. The Koranic depiction of the Jews — their traits deemed both infallible and timeless — highlights, in verse 2:61 (repeated in verse 3:112), the centrality of the Jews “abasement and humiliation,” and being “laden with God’s anger.” Koranic verses 5:60 and 5:78 describe the Jews’ transformation into apes and swine (5:60), or apes alone (2:65 / 7:166), having been “cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary’s son” (5:78). Moreover, forcing Jews, in particular, to pay the Koranic poll tax “tribute” (as per verse 9:29), “readily,” while “being brought low,” is consistent with their overall humiliation and abasement in accord with Koran 2:61, and its directly related verses.

    An additional, much larger array of anti-Jewish Koranic motifs build to a denouement (as if part of a theological indictment, conviction, and sentencing process) concluding with an elaboration of the “ultimate sin” committed by the Jews (they are among the devil’s minions [Koran 4:60], accursed by God [Koran 4:47]), and their appropriate punishment: As per Koran 98:6, “The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures.”

    However, the Koranic origins of Islamic anti-Semitism are not a justification for the unreformed, unrepentant modern application of these hateful motifs pace Tantawi. Within days of the Netanya homicide bombing massacre on a Passover seder night in 2002, for example, Tantawi issued an abhorrent endorsement of so-called “martyrdom operations,” even when directed at Israeli civilians.

    And during November 2002, consistent with his triumphant denial, Tantawi made the following statement in response to criticism over the virulently anti-Semitic Egyptian television series Horseman Without a Horse, based on the Czarist Russia forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

    Suppose that the series has some criticism or shows some of the Jews’ traits, this doesn’t necessitate an uproar. . . . The accusation of antisemitism was invented by the Jews as a means to pressure Arabs and Muslims to implement their schemes in the Arab and Muslim countries, so don’t pay attention to them.

    Finally, just this past January 22, it was reported that Tantawi cancelled what would have been a historic visit to the Rome synagogue by Ala Eldin Mohammed Ismail al-Ghobash, the imam of Rome’s mosque. The putative excuse for this cancellation was Israel’s self-defensive stance — a blockade — in response to acts of jihad terrorism (rocket barrages, attempted armed incursions) emanating from Gaza. The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, commenting aptly about these events, observed that the cancellation proved “even so called Muslim moderates share the ideology of hate, violence and death towards the Jewish state.” Al Azhar, Corriere della Sera further argued, which in the absence of a central Muslim authority constituted a “Vatican of Sunni Islam,” had in effect issued “a kind of fatwah.” The paper concluded by noting that “what the Cairo statement really means is that Muslim dialogue with Jews in Italy is only possible once Israel has been eliminated.”

    Tantawi’s case illustrates the prevalence and depth of Jew-hatred in the contemporary Muslim world. Tantawi embodies how such hatred remains firmly rooted in mainstream, orthodox Islamic teachings, not some aberrant “radical Islam.”

  27. Richard Landes says:

    when i asked Andy why he didn’t post it, he commented as follows:

    I am not in the habit of commenting on other blog sites, and waste too much precious time policing the idiocy that appears on my own small site.

    The “info” in fact so strongly contradicts the point you seem to have been trying to make that it would be more appropriate to refer to the “info” yourself and re-evaluate the whole rather spurious contention that traditional Islam prohibits the taking of innocent, non-combatant life. This argument is spurious if one does not consider seriously the absurdity (or if you don’t like that characterization, “elasticity’) of the Islamic definitions of “innocent,” and “non-combatant.”

    Another equally important omission from your argument is the concept of “harbi” from dar al harb, which further illustrates how far removed Islamic conceptions are from Western notions of innocent, non-combatant civilians.

    From the updated Preface to the paperbound edition of “The Legacy of Jihad”

    Armand Abel, the leading 20th expert on the Muslim conception of Dar al Harb, summarizes it as follows:

      Together with the duty of the “war in the way of God” (or jihad), this universalistic aspiration would lead the Moslems to see the world as being divided fundamentally into two parts. On the one hand there was that part of the world where Islam prevailed, where salvation had been announced, where the religion that ought to reign was practiced; this was the Dar al Islam. On the other hand, there was the part which still awaited the establishment of the saving religion and which constituted, by definition, the object of the holy war. This was the Dar al Harb. The latter, in the view of the Moslem jurists, was not populated by people who had a natural right not to practice Islam, but rather by people destined to become Moslems who, through impiousness and rebellion, refused to accept this great benefit. Since they were destined sooner or later to be converted at the approach of the victorious armies of the Prophet’s successor, or else killed for their rebelliousness, they were the rebel subjects of the Caliph. Their kings were nothing but odious tyrants who, by opposing the progress of the saving religion together with their armies, were following a Satanic inspiration and rising up against the designs of Providence. And so no respite should be granted them, no truce: perpetual war should be their lot, waged in the course of the winter and summer ghazu. [razzias] If the sovereign of the country thus attacked desired peace, it was possible for him, just like for any other tributary or community, to pay the tribute for himself and for his subjects. Thus the [Byzantine] Empress Irene [d. 803] “purchased peace at the price of her humiliation”, according to the formula stated in the dhimma contract itself, by paying 70,000 pounds in gold annually to the Caliph of Baghdad. Many other princes agreed in this way to become tributaries – often after long struggles – and to see their dominions pass from the status of dar al Harb to that of dar al Sulh. In this way, those of their subjects who lived within the boundaries of the territory ruled by the Caliphate were spared the uncertainty of being exposed arbitrarily, without any guarantee, to the military operations of the summer ghazu and the winter ghazu: indeed, anything within the reach of the Moslem armies as they advanced, being property of impious men and rebels, was legitimately considered their booty; their men, seized by armed soldiers, were mercilessly consigned to the lot specified in the Koranic verse about the sword, and their women and children were treated like things. 18

    The widely revered contemporary Muslim cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, “spiritual” leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, head of the “European Council for Fatwa and Research”, and popular Al-Jazeera television personality, reiterated almost this exact formulation of Dar al Harb in July 2003, both in conceptual terms, and with regard to Israel, specifically:

    It has been determined by Islamic law that the blood and property of people of Dar Al-Harb [the Domain of Disbelief where the battle for the domination of Islam should be waged] is not protected…in modern war, all of society, with all its classes and ethnic groups, is mobilized to participate in the war, to aid its continuation, and to provide it with the material and human fuel required for it to assure the victory of the state fighting its enemies. Every citizen in society must take upon himself a role in the effort to provide for the battle. The entire domestic front, including professionals, laborers, and industrialists, stands behind the fighting army, even if it does not bear arms. 19

    In fact the consensus view of orthodox Islamic jurisprudence regarding jihad, since its formulation during the 8th and 9th centuries, through the current era, is that non-Muslims peacefully going about their lives—from the Khaybar farmers whom Muhammad ordered attacked in 628, to those sitting in the World Trade Center on 9/11/01—are “muba’a”, licit, in the Dar al Harb. As described by the great 20th century scholar of Islamic Law, Joseph Schacht,

    A non-Muslim who is not protected by a treaty is called harbi, ‘in a state of war’, ‘enemy alien’; his life and property are completely unprotected by law…20

    And these innocent non-combatants can be killed, and have always been killed, with impunity simply by virtue of being “harbis” during endless razzias and or full scale jihad campaigns that have occurred continuously since the time of Muhammad, through the present. This is the crux of the specific institutionalized religio-political ideology, i.e., jihad, which makes Islamdom’s borders (and the further reaches of todays jihadists) bloody, to paraphrase Samuel Huntington, across the globe. 21

    Notes
    18. Armand Abel, “L’Etranger dans L’Islam Classique”, Recueils de la Societe Jean Bodin, 1958, Vol. 9, pp. 332-333, 343-345. [English translation by Michael J. Miller]
    19. “Al-Qaradhawi Speaks In Favor of Suicide Operations at an Islamic Conference in Sweden” Middle East Media Research Institute July 24, 2003
    20. Joseph Schacht, An Introduction to Islamic Law, Oxford, 1982, pp. 130-131.
    21. Samuel Huntington. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, New York, 1996, pp. 254ff.

  28. oao says:

    based on what i know and understand, i am with bostom on this. attempts to find anything in koran to obscure elements that are too difficult to contemplate in the west reveal essentially more about the west than about islam. it’s wishful thinking not supported by the facts.

    but then why do you think it took so long to get this phenomenon of suicide terror?

  29. Cynic says:

    attempts to find anything in koran to obscure elements that are too difficult to contemplate in the west reveal

    Didn’t RL define a term for this type of psychosis of refusing to accept reality?

  30. Levy says:

    Where do I donate to your book fund?

  31. E.G. says:

    Bostom’s main point is that, for Moslems of the Tantawi sort, the main distinction is between Moslems and non-Moslems. No distinctions are made among the non-Moslem category “Jews” – civilians, military, women, elderly… with maybe the Israeli sub-set being a primary target, but all are fair game. So whatever technique is used to kill more and harm an even greater number of Jews/Israelis, is OK. The cost (a Moslem’s life) is well worth the benefit (eliminated Jews/Israelis).
    The apocalyptic discourse, in this view, is merely a rationalization, a smoke screen used for both internal and external propaganda purposes.

    whatever the texts state, it’s how they’re read that counts. i think it’s clear that jews are a special category of infidel (as they are also for christians). the latest events in mumbai show that. and apocalyptic discourse is generally not “merely a rationalization”.

  32. oao says:

    did RL define denial?

    one can find almost anything in scriptures. it does not mean it’s salient with respect to what drives its clergy and believers.

    as far as i can tell islam is a political ideology and methodology to win. which every constipated old cleric can interpret his own way. the distinct impression one gets is that of rabid cheap hatred, not spirituality.

    a large part of the reason is that islam inhibits progress and induces failure relative to non-moslem societies and that instills envy and hatred. instead of emulation, islamists bury themselves deeper in islam and strive to destroy the success of others instead of achieving their own.

  33. E.G. says:

    did RL define denial?

    Yes. S. Freud studied RL in extenso. ;-)

    a large part of the reason is that islam inhibits progress and induces failure relative to non-moslem societies and that instills envy and hatred.

    see: internal/external locus of control.

  34. Lorenz Gude says:

    Most satisfying explanation of the ‘peace process’ I’ve ever read. US President after president gets up and talks about it but I can’t see it any better than I can see the emperor’s new clothes. The process is treated like negotiations were between two rational actors. There may be such actors on both sides but the ones that count are in control and hold world views incomputable with any modern win win settlement. So, as you point out, a real settlement threatens the whole world view of strong belief based factions on both sides. That is why none of the proposals put forth seem to me to have any hope of succeeding. I can’t help with the details – your readers are making some strong suggestions obviously – but I can say as a non Jewish American this is making a lot of sense. Millennialism and apocalyptic thinking are governing myths or archetypal forms of thought in both Western religious and secular collective life. I would add that for Communists everything was permitted in the service of the revolution. Ironically, the Jewish idea of a messiah has cropped up thinly disguised in the recent presidential election. It is worth noting that the triumph of communism is deemed as inevitable as the triumph of dar es Islam. Absolutely in the eyes of it believers; less so in the rest of us. Hope find the right spot for this.

  35. Diane says:

    There’s a book I’d like to recommend for RL’s reference: “From Chivalry to Terrorism: War and the Changing Nature of Masculinity, by Leo Braudy. It isn’t directly on topic, but its ambitious scope — it covers a thousand years in the cultural evolution of masculinity — provides fresh food for thought.

    i have it and use it in my honor-shame course. were you thinking of anything in particular? -rl

  36. Cynic says:

    David Frum of NRO does a review of Benny Morris’ book 1948.
    David’s Bookshelf 106
    He writes:
    The leading states of the English-speaking world dreaded both an Israeli victory and an Israeli defeat, with the US tilting slightly more in favor of Israel and Britain tilting slightly against. Both governments wanted to avoid a massacre of the Jewish population of course. But they also wanted to pressure the Israelis to accept something less than the already narrow borders they had been awarded in 1947

    That is the crux of the matter; the English speaking world did not want an Israel at all in the “something less than the already narrow borders”.
    Had they wanted the remnants of European Jewry and the Arab world to truly have a haven this whole business would have been resolved 60 years ago.
    I don’t know if Morris makes the point of the RAF flying for Egypt as I have not read his book but it would be to the point to publish British behaviour before and after the war with regard to the “less than already narrow borders”.
    And the Arabs knowing the world’s wants certainly were not going to discuss any peace.

  37. Eliyahu says:

    Cynic, of course the British were much more pro-Arab than Frum referring to Morris allows. First compile all the cases of British military intervention on the Arab side, not only by the RAF in Yafo [Jaffa] and over Sinai, but tanks sent into to the battle of Yafo, pro-Arab intervention in Jerusalem, turning fortresses over to Arabs, etc.

    It is also necessary to read Meir Zamir’s 2 articles from earlier this year in HaArets. His research is very very important in refuting the big lies about the 1948 war on who was on whose side that have become conventional in the last 30-35 years.

  38. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu do you have any links to those articles of Zamir?

  39. Eliyahu says:

    RL,
    I think that the response of most settlers, religious or not, to Oslo was not an apocalyptic one. It was a very traditional Jewish response, whether wise or unwise. Oslo was seen as a gezerah גזרה, an evil decree. It had to be suffered until times changed, until the storm had passed. Ir had to be endured until the govt came to its senses, an eventuality which many foresaw that the Arabs would promote through their increased terrorism. Indeed, the Arabs played their part but the Israeli govt did not change its policy enough. A half-fulfilled prophecy.

    this may be true of many, even most of the settlers. but for the followers of Zvi Yehudah Kook, the conquest of 1967 was part of the fulfilment of a messianic process and its reversal a bitter disappointment that disproved an apocalyptic scenario to which they had attached much meaning.

    Oslo also had to be combatted but by the available means, not by an uprising or violence. So people continued to move into Judea-Samaria & Gaza. The Jewish population of JSG has more than doubled since 1993. Then it was, I believe, about 100,000. Now it is said to be between 200,000 and 300,000, not counting another 200,000+ Jews living east of the 1949 armistice line in Jerusalem, like me. The belief was that if SO MANY Jews live east of the armistice line, then no govt would evict them. But maybe this strategy was wrong or only partly right. After all, the Jews were forced out of Gaza.

    Time will tell. But the brzzzskis and the scowcrofts are sharpening their knives to have a genocidal “settlement” or “solution” imposed on Israel. Obama has been given his orders by Zbig and others

    So if Goremberg and/or Sprinzak claim that “the Settlers’” reaction to Oslo was apocalyptic, then they are wrong. Of course, they could always point to small, unrepresentative groups, including certain rabbis. But I suggest again that these Goremberg and Sprinzak are themselves True Believers and hence have to see the Other, the Settlers, as something widely acknowledged as bad. In this case, the Others are called apocalyptic or messianic. My view is that Oslo was based on defrauding the public or even self-deception. The opponents of Oslo have proven to have been the realistic side.

    Shalom, Best Wishes,
    Eliyahu

    well as you know, i agree with you about the opponents of Oslo being right. but i do think the reason matters, just as it matters why the left was a) so wrong about Oslo, and b) continues to misread the evidence. i agree the left was being their own kind of messianic, which accounts for their poor learning curve, and i do think that some messianic beliefs informed the Jewish violence. Goldstein may have “snapped” for understandable reasons, but going in and shooting up a mosque of praying muslims is a form of “snapping” we’ve rarely if ever seen jews do. so i think it’s fair to speculate that some of the motivation may have involved that highly volatile additive, frustrated apocalyptic expectations.

  40. Eliyahu says:

    Cynic, this is the first part, published on 1 Feb 2008

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=950373

    the second part, published 26 June 2008

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=996684

    Zamir’s info is of extreme importance, which is probably why it has gotten much less attention than it deserves. It vitiates most accounts of how Israel could be reborn, both “bourgeois” accounts like the walt-mearsheimer melodrama and the Chatham House version, and the “leftist” accounts by a host of Commies, Trots, “pacifists,” “progressive” professors, “neo-colonialism” theorists, Maoists, etc. That is, it vitiates the notion that Israel was created by British imperialism. I knew that long ago. I knew that France and USSR helped Israel while US policy was divided [Truman White House vs State Dept/CIA frenetically against Israel]. But I was amazed to learn of the immense documentation that Zamir reports and that he had access to. So I think most recent accounts of Israel’s history in the 1945-1949 period have to be rewritten or considered trash, a crime against truth as well as a crime against the trees. Clowns like Wm Roger Louis, the al-Khalidis, the Cosa MESA gang, and so on produced much worthless, dishonest trash, false “narratives,” tendentious frauds.

    Britain’s hostility to Jews and Zionism was revealed in the 1939 White Paper, the BBC’s suppression then minimizing of the news of the Holocaust, the effective green light that the Foreign Office gave for the 1941 Farhud pogrom against Jews in Baghdad, the prevention of Jews finding refuge in Israel during the war, even the efforts by UK diplomats to have Mediterranean states prevent ships from taking Jewish refugees out of Europe, etc.

  41. E.G. says:

    RL-

    re-Martyrdom.

    Maybe my personal story will convince you.
    A few years ago, I was asked to comment on a Shoah survivor’s text. When he characterised his brothers cruelly assassinated by Nazis as”martyrs” I asked if he was sure this was the appropriate term.
    I then realised the magnitude of the turn this term has taken, coming to signify nowadays something entierly different than its original meaning.

    Sorry. A “martyrdom operation” is an oxymoron and so is “predatory martyrdom”. Using Martyr for Shaheed confuses the causality relationship.

    so what is a martyr? literally, it’s a witness to faith. it can be, at least to some minds, violent. Roland the martyr lies dead, surrounded by the thousands of corpses of dead Saracens he’s slain in the valley of Roncevalles. so what meaning does it have that precludes the term “predatory martyrdom.”

    i do think there’s a difference btw “expecting to be killed,” “guaranteeing you’re killed (Goldstein), and killing yourself (suicide terrorists, kamikazes).
    A difference in nature or in degree?
    At any rate, such fine distinctions are absent from the Jihadistic discourse – see for example Dalal Mughrabi (Fedayeen in 1978, Shaheeda in 2008).

    please give me more details than this, so i can figure out what you’re saying.

  42. Cynic says:

    E.G.,
    Thanks

  43. oao says:

    My view is that Oslo was based on defrauding the public or even self-deception.

    Kramer has just provided the mechanism for this — a must read! — which he correctly calls an American trait.

    http://sandbox.blog-city.com/what_do_the_financial_crisis_and_us_middle_east_policy_hav.htm

    That is one of the major factors contributing to US decline and also why the various policies implemented to stop it will do the opposite — accelerate it.

  44. Eliyahu says:

    oao, the fraud and self-deception that I was referring to were on the part of the Israeli govt of the time, of Peres-Beilin-Aloni who placed Rabin in the situation where he felt he had to go along with the Peres-Beilin secret Oslo talks.

    I don’t think that the State Dept/CIA were ever naive about arafat and the PLO. They probably felt that they were using arafat & PLO against Israel, which was OK since they were Kikes.

  45. Cynic says:

    I don’t think that the State Dept/CIA were ever naive about arafat and the PLO.

    That’s why Baker and ilk forced them on Shamir in the late 80s by proclaiming Arafat the only Palestinian the Israelis could negotiate with.
    All along they used the Arabs to grind the Jews down.

  46. oao says:

    oao, the fraud and self-deception that I was referring to were on the part of the Israeli govt of the time, of Peres-Beilin-Aloni who placed Rabin in the situation where he felt he had to go along with the Peres-Beilin secret Oslo talks.

    i know. my point was that they suffered from the same american trait — ignoring the risk for the wishful thinking benefits.

    I don’t think that the State Dept/CIA were ever naive about arafat and the PLO. They probably felt that they were using arafat & PLO against Israel, which was OK since they were Kikes.

    dk about that. my guess is that they thought that it was in the interest of the US to appease the arabs and ignore that “fucking little country” and the arabs will go with america. and in that sense they were naive too. as is now obama.

    the american instinct is to bribe and compromise and to assume that others are the same–projection. there is a certain amount of cowardice in that.

    israel was not like that, but it underwent americanization in the last 20-30 years. the leadership failure–rise of politicians to replace leaders–is one dimension of that.

    here’s the same mechanism at work in the US jewry:

    http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2008/11/american_jewish_indifference.asp

  47. shriber says:

    Great thread:

    I haven’t read all the entries so I don’t know if this point was made already.

    Richard said:

    “This kind of suicidal attack on enemy troops first appeared in the Middle East as part of the new global Jihad, when Hizbullah chased the Americans out of Lebanon with two massive suicide operations in 1983.”

    I thought that these attacks had been introduced during the Iran Iraq war. Is this correct?

    possible. i’d be interested if they were. i’d also be interested if they come from the Iranian — ie the really apocalyptic — side.

    Also, interesting that the first Palestinian suicide bomber was a “Palestian Christian.”

    Does anyone know what motivated her homicidal suicide?

    and a woman. interesting. i think she was part of the thinking of the radical “marxist” groups that allowed Arab Christians to fight alongside their Muslim “brethren.” but note, she went after a military target.

  48. shriber says:

    Kamikaze pilots killed themselves as part of a war strategy which targeted enemy soldiers.

    Does anyone know of a case where a Kamikaze fighter targeting women and children?

  49. shriber says:

    “I don’t think that the State Dept/CIA were ever naive about arafat and the PLO. They probably felt that they were using arafat & PLO against Israel, which was OK since they were Kikes.”

    Do you have any evidence to support this view, Eliyahu?

    Who was the head of the State Department during the Oslo accords?

    Besides wasn’t it Rabin and Peres who held secret negotiations in Oslo without telling the US about it?

  50. Eliyahu says:

    Shriber,
    When examining State Dept policy concerning Israel, we have to go back at least to the 1930s [the CIA not founded until 1947] and consider –inter alia– State Dept policy on the immigration of Jewish refugees. In fact, the immigration quotas for countries that Jews wanted to come from were not filled in the 1930s. The main authority on this subject is David Wyman who wrote a couple of books on the subject. There is also an institute in his name. Their site has more precise data.
    http://www.wymaninstitute.org/

    Then, what was policy toward Nazi Germany during the 30s??? The head of the German desk was Eleanor Dulles [the sister of...] who was favorable to Hitler. Check it out and also check out, if you have the stomach for it, the sad, tragic personal story in which she was involved.

    Then bear in mind that neither the US nor UK nor USSR had a policy of trying to rescue Jews or trying to stop the mass murder machine. Again check out the Wyman Inst site, and on UK, in particular the BBC during the Holocaust, check out my blog.

    As to State Dept/CIA policy in 1947-48, note that sec’y of state Marshall and Forrestal of the Navy/Defense were both against Israel even coming into existence. The common belief at the time was supposed concern over oil supplies. That’s an opinion. I think that there were other motives for their attitudes. Why does Zbig B, ex-nat’l security advisor, want so much to “make peace” for Israel?? Zbig’s record is one disaster after another. Yet Obama regards him highly. Why?

  51. shriber says:

    “When examining State Dept policy concerning Israel, we have to go back at least to the 1930s…”

    No we don’t, Eliyahu

    You said that the CIA and the State Department embraced Arafat because of a long standing hatred of Jews.

    Leaving aside that this claim is patently false since the State Department follows government policies and it has been pro Israel for a long time.

    Is there a country that is more pro Israel than the US?

    In any case the State Deparment of the 30′s is not the State Department of the 40′s and 50′s and is definitely not the State Department of the 70′s and thereafter.

    In any case, Israel embraced Arafat before the US did.

    Oslo negotiations and agreements came as a surprise to the State Deparment as it did to most of us.

    Embracing Arafat was a spectacularly stupid thing to do but it wasn’t the fault of the State Department no matter what it did in the 30′s.

    Let’s get real, here.

  52. oao says:

    Shriber,

    Leaving aside that this claim is patently false since the State Department follows government policies and it has been pro Israel for a long time.
    Is there a country that is more pro Israel than the US?

    Let me get this straight: you are equating the US with the elite of the State Dept? Las time I look foreign ministries in most of the west are arabists and at odds with the public.

    In any case the State Deparment of the 30’s is not the State Department of the 40’s and 50’s and is definitely not the State Department of the 70’s and thereafter.

    Care to expound on this? Foreign ministries tend not to be very dynamic.

    In any case, Israel embraced Arafat before the US did.

    If that is true, it may be precisely israel could not rely on the west to let it destroy him as the real solution–they saved his ass in lebanon, remember? I also seem to vaguely recall that Baker pushed Arafat as the sole rep.

    So yes, indeed, let’s get real.

  53. shriber says:

    oao,

    “Las time I look foreign ministries in most of the west are arabists and at odds with the public.”

    Most is not all. The US State Department got rid of its “arabists” during the Nixon administration when Kissinger was secretary of State.

    “Care to expound on this? Foreign ministries tend not to be very dynamic.”

    Yes, at least since Kissinger most secretaries of State with the exceptions of Brzensky (I can never spell that jerk’s name), and James Baker were pro Israel.

    Even the antisemitic Nixon ordered Kissinger to resupply Israel with weapons which helped them win the war against the aggressing Arab forces.

    Do you deny that without American help Israel might have lost the Yom Kippur war?

    btw: your

    “Care to expound on this? Foreign ministries tend not to be very dynamic.”

    is a general comment which doesn’t apply to the US.

    Each Secretary of State brings his or her own people and do a lot of house cleaning.

    The State Department under Bush was not the same as the one under Clinton.

    This is phenomenon which doesn’t happen anywhere else in the West.

    “If that is true, it may be precisely israel could not rely on the west to let it destroy him as the real solution–they saved his ass in lebanon, remember? I also seem to vaguely recall that Baker pushed Arafat as the sole rep.”

    Your confusing “the west” with the US tells me that you don’t know much about this country.

    Israel embraced Arafat for its own reasons and a lot of Americans were pretty upset by that turn of events.

    The idea that you embrace a terrorist and a murderer because you can’t rely on someone else to destory him makes no kind of sense.

    I don’t recall Baker inviting Arafat to the Madrid conference.

  54. Cynic says:

    Leaving aside that this claim is patently false since the State Department follows government policies and it has been pro Israel for a long time.

    Oh good grief!

    If you want a small example of State Department thinking just go back and get to grips of their officials machinations in Israel and especially the consulate in Jerusalem.
    Then go and follow up on the activities of all those “retired” philo-Israelis.

    I don’t recall Baker inviting Arafat to the Madrid conference.
    Go back in history and read up on Secretary of State and State Department actions that nominated Arafat prince of Palestine and the only legitimate representative of the Palestinians, acceptable to Foggy Bottom and the Baker Clan, whom the Israelis could negotiate with.

    Is there a country that is more pro Israel than the US?
    Is that sort of analogous to Churchill’s comment, in the House of Commons in 1947, on Democracy:
    “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried … ?

    So if there is no other country more pro-Israel just how pro-Israel is any American admin on a count of 0 – 10?
    The CIA at odds, the FBI at odds, the Pentagon at odds and the State Department, for all the intelligence and support during the Cold War, and as Cinnamon Stillwell wrote: Israel’s contributions to this relationship are rarely if ever mentioned by its opponents, as no other ally provides the U.S. with such incredible military, agricultural, technological, medical and scientific advances.

  55. Cynic says:

    In any case, Israel embraced Arafat before the US did..

    Talk about an inversion of history. It was the US that refused to permit the Israelis to take out Arafat in Lebanon in 1982.
    It was the US that brought him out of “retirement” during the 80s, well before Oslo.
    The Israelis did not talk to ‘him’ in secret meetings before the dance on the Whitehouse lawn, but with people who led them to believe in “change”. Yes when he was allowed back into Gaza all those moderates the Israelis had been talking to suddenly died a sudden death. Didn’t your media keep you informed?

  56. Cynic says:

    The State Department under Bush was not the same as the one under Clinton.

    Yes we can see that in the actions of Ms. Rice who forced her own idea of security on the Egyptian/Gaza border when Israel pulled out, with Europeans meant to control (a la UNIFIL?) the comings and goings of certain “types”.
    The complete refusal to permit Israel to patrol the Philidelfi corridor for tunnels.
    The blind eye to Egypt’s “blindness” to stockpiles of arms, explosives etc., in Raffah that took a week of trucking into Gaza when Hamas broke down the frontier barrier.
    The blind eye the Egyptians turned to the movement of Hezbollah operatives, over the years, in and out of Gaza as they perfected the IDEs on Israeli tanks, later to be used to such deadly effect in Iraq, must have been noted by the CIA and State must have known about it.

  57. Cynic says:

    Yes, at least since Kissinger most secretaries of State with the exceptions of Brzensky (I can never spell that jerk’s name), and James Baker were pro Israel.

    What! James (F*ck the Jews) Baker?
    Baker law firm Baker and Botts lobbies for Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

    … the price of international stability is the appeasement of Middle Eastern dictators..

    In seeing Baker as a potential ally against the Bush administration’s muscular foreign policy, Korb’s confidence is not misplaced. A wealth of historical evidence argues that Baker would betray the larger aim of the Bush Doctrine – spurring eventual reform in the Middle East’s dangerously backward political culture – in order to court the very dictatorships, from Tehran to Damascus, whose systematic oppression is one cause of the anti-American attitudes exploited to such murderous effect by the preachers of fanatical Islam.
    Baker’s role in the first Gulf War is illustrative. As an advisor and Secretary of State under President Bush père, Baker played a key role in preventing a decisive end to Saddam Hussein’s provocations. Prior to the war, Baker had leaned on the Likud government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to defy public pressure and desist from retaliating against Iraq’s relentless barrage of missiles. …………
    In stark contrast to his groveling outreach to assorted dictators was Baker’s approach to Israel and her Jewish supporters. Beyond opposing any Israeli retaliation against Iraq, Baker repeatedly blamed the government of Yitzhak Shamir, rather than intransigence of the Arab world, for the absence of a negotiated settlements.

  58. oao says:

    The US State Department got rid of its “arabists” during the Nixon administration when Kissinger was secretary of State.

    On what planet have you been smoking?

    Each Secretary of State brings his or her own people and do a lot of house cleaning.

    Which tend to be very similar, and if they are not, they are coopted by the bureacracy on which they must rely for advice and implementation.

    Your confusing “the west” with the US tells me that you don’t know much about this country.

    On the contrary, having lived in and out of the US I can better compare, while you, as most americans, have an idealized, nonrealistic picture of the US. Just the kind the marketeers want you to have.

    Israel embraced Arafat for its own reasons and a lot of Americans were pretty upset by that turn of events.

    israel made and is making her own mistakes. but had not the US save Fatah’s ass in lebanon, israel wouldn’t have embraced, would she?

    As for the rest, cynic has exposed your nonsense too well for me to bother.

  59. E.G. says:

    shriber-
    Do you consider you opinions more or less or as apocalyptic as oao’s and Cynic’s?

    Plus, would you care to explain (just to expand my limited understanding) the relevance of your comments to suicide/homicide bombing terrorists?

    Thanks in advance.

  60. shriber says:

    Cynic, I see nothing specific in you firs rebuttal post.

  61. shriber says:

    Cynic, “Talk about an inversion of history.”

    Yes, talk to me about historical inversions:

    “The Israelis did not talk to ‘him’ in secret meetings before the dance on the Whitehouse lawn, but with people who led them to believe in “change”.”

    So the people they talked to didn’t represent Arafat and Baker didn’t work for George Walker Herbert Bush. Learn something new every day. Thanks for sharing.

    “It was the US that refused to permit the Israelis to take out Arafat in Lebanon in 1982.”

    This is not the same thing as embracing him.

    “It was the US that brought him out of “retirement” during the 80s, well before Oslo.”

    How so? Are the Israelis stupid, or did the State department threaten them to deal with Arafat or else?

    “Yes when he was allowed back into Gaza all those moderates the Israelis had been talking to suddenly died a sudden death. Didn’t your media keep you informed?”

    Sorry, your beef is with the moderate Israelis like Rabin and Peres and not with the State Department.

  62. shriber says:

    “The State Department under Bush was not the same as the one under Clinton. “ Shriber

    “Yes we can see that in the actions of Ms. Rice who forced her own idea of security on the Egyptian/Gaza border when Israel pulled out, with Europeans meant to control (a la UNIFIL?) the comings and goings of certain “types”.”

    You are being both dishonest and incoherent.

    I said above that the State department under Bush pere was not the same as under Clinton. What Rice has to do with either Clinton or Bush pere is beyond me.

    “The complete refusal to permit Israel to patrol the Philidelfi corridor for tunnels.
    The blind eye to Egypt’s “blindness” to stockpiles of arms, explosives etc., in Raffah that took a week of trucking into Gaza when Hamas broke down the frontier barrier.
    The blind eye the Egyptians turned to the movement of Hezbollah operatives, over the years, in and out of Gaza as they perfected the IDEs on Israeli tanks, later to be used to such deadly effect in Iraq, must have been noted by the CIA and State must have known about it.”

    And do you have any proof that they did?

    You are carrying cynicism over into mendacity.

    How come Israel could defy Ronald Reagan when it invaded Lebanon but couldn’t defy Secretary Rice and veto her ideas about security.

    You have built a whole myth to support your idea of a big bad State Department. This excuses Israeli bad judgments in the Oslo accords, the evacuation of Gaza, and the Lebanon war, especially the withdrawal from Lebanon under Barak.

  63. shriber says:

    “Yes, at least since Kissinger most secretaries of State with the exceptions of Brzensky (I can never spell that jerk’s name), and James Baker were pro Israel.”

    What! James (F*ck the Jews) Baker?
    Baker law firm Baker and Botts lobbies for Saudi Arabia and Dubai.”

    I said with the exception of Baker and Brzynsky, do you have a problem reading, Cynic?

    No need to go into a tirade criticizing Baker. I am well aware of his point of view on the Arab Israel conflict. I am also aware that his views unlike those of the self hypocrites Carter and Briznski was self serving and not based on either religious intolerance (Crater) or antisemitic hostility (Bryszinksy’s).

  64. shriber says:

    “israel made and is making her own mistakes. but had not the US save Fatah’s ass in lebanon, israel wouldn’t have embraced, would she?“ by oao

    Yea, and if my grandmother had wheel she’d be a bicycle.

    Grow up oao (and cynic) Israel is an independent country and both you and cynic are writing as if it doesn’t can’t make its own decisions.

    Just because Arafat was alive didn’t mean that Israel had to deal with him.

    Similarly today Olmert want to reach a deal with Syria and give up the Golan.

    “Bush to Olmert: Why are you giving Syria the Golan for nothing?”

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1042008.html

    Next you are going to tell me that Rice is twisting Olmert’s arms.

    You guys are writing the way leftists anti-American write: it’s all the fault of the US, whether it’s terrorism or the actions other countries take it’s all the US’ doing. No one else has any free will and no one else is a moral agent.

  65. shriber says:

    „Each Secretary of State brings his or her own people and do a lot of house cleaning.
    Which tend to be very similar, and if they are not, they are coopted by the bureacracy on which they must rely for advice and implementation.“

    Oh sure and that’s why since Nixon the US has given Israel billions of dollars in aid and weaponry. It has vetoed, and rightly so, hundreds of anti Israel resolutions at the UN.

    It has developed strategic partnership with Israle in many areas.

    All because the State department is hostile to Israel.

    What exaclty is it you are smoking oao?

    „On the contrary, having lived in and out of the US I can better compare, while you, as most americans, have an idealized, nonrealistic picture of the US. Just the kind the marketeers want you to have.“

    Oh yes I am just a dumb American.

    If you lived here and in your Europe you didn’t seem to have learned anything.

    „As for the rest, cynic has exposed your nonsense too well for me to bother.“

    Sure he did, to your satsifaction, but not mine.

  66. shriber says:

    „shriber- Do you consider you opinions more or less or as apocalyptic as oao’s and Cynic’s?“

    Well, as a dumb pragmatic American and an agnostic, I don’t believe in apocalypts of any kinds.

    „Plus, would you care to explain (just to expand my limited understanding) the relevance of your comments to suicide/homicide bombing terrorists?“ E.G.

    I have no idea what you are asking. Please tell me what you have in mind and I will answer it.

  67. oao says:

    Do you consider you opinions more or less or as apocalyptic as oao’s and Cynic’s?

    Consider:

    * the UN has just discarded free speech
    * the US is insituting sharia finance
    * the west is begging the gulf arabs to save the west
    from its financial self-destruction
    * the IEAE is helping Syria to develop nuclear power
    while it’s discovering they tried to build an illicit reactor

    So we are apocalyptic in the reality sense.

    I suggest you read the details of the Mumbai attack. This has happened in India, which has suffered several major attacksin the last year with hundreds of dead; a country which borders with THE source of muslim terror; with which it has a fundamental conflict; and yet the unpreparedness, incompetence and unwillligness to face the danger is monstruous.

    Also check out the analysis of the trend in terror to terror ARMIES and tell me that the West will do better than India?

    If India, which has both the resources and incentive can’t do better, what chance does the decadent, bankrupt, ignorant west has?

    The fact is that the western era is over and Israel cannot do it alone even if it did not suffer from a leadership crisis. With the crisis I very much doubt it. I mean, look at those idiots: practically begging Hamas to extend the cease-fire. How do you think islamists interpret that?

  68. oao says:

    Shriber,

    Israel is an independent country and both you and cynic are writing as if it doesn’t can’t make its own decisions.

    Nominally it is. Resource-wise it is not, certainly not when it’s facing the resources of all the islamist countries all alone.

    The west has always been anti-semitic and it is now openly so. It is now in free fall on any indicator you care to consider: cultural, economic, military, demographic. So if the whole west–US included–don’t seem to be able to stand up to the islamists, what chance does israel alone have?

    The main reason Israel has been forced to deal with the pals is because the west has propped them up and pumped zillions into them. Each time israel was on the verge of finishing them off, the west saved their ass–arafat, hamas, hezbullah, you name it. Like any other refugees, the pals wouldn’t have existed for 6 decades without the west. I suggest you check out UNRWA and the plethora of charities in the west collecting for terror.

    I don’t think it’s productive to continue this exchange. There is a difference between stupidity and ignorance. At this point I detect only the latter. Only if you continue to argue without correcting for that first will I be forced to conclude the former.

  69. oao says:

    “The atrocities demonstrated with crystal clarity what the Islamist war is all about – and the western commentariat didn’t understand because it simply refuses to acknowledge, even now, what that war actually is. It does not arise from particular grievances. It is not rooted in “despair” over Palestine. It is not a reaction to the war in Iraq. It is a war waged in the name of Islam against America, Britain, Hindus, Jews and all who refuse to submit to Islamic conquest.”
    –Melanie Phillips

    “A lot of people are determined to miss the message from Mumbai. Among them are Fareed Zakaria (“One of the untold stories of India is that the Muslim population has not shared in the boom the country has enjoyed over the last ten years”) and Martha Nussbaum (“it’s important to consider Indian terrorism in a broader context”).

    Saul Bellow’s epigram looks like an eternal verity: “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”
    –Power Line

  70. oao says:

    “The problem inside the United States government is that if we admit that the ISI is not some rogue element, then the implications are almost too horrible to contemplate. Yet that is precisely the problem that we face. The “rogue element” excuse is used to write off Pakistani assistance to the Quetta Shura (the Taliban’s leadership council), refusal to go after certain tribes providing assistance to AQ, etc.

    This is a specific problem that has hampered Bush Administration thinking. Until we get past our faith-based policy on Pakistan we’ll see more and worse coming from Pakistan.

    The larger problem — one that particularly haunts Europe and the Left in the US — is the failure to admit that terrorist ideology has a geopolitical dimension. Whether it comes from Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or even Russia, there is often a state offering silent (and sometimes not-so-silent) assistance.

    In fact, more than we would like to admit, those states are actually directing the attacks. If one believes that these are just “disaffected” actors then it’s easier to think law-enforcement can solve the problem.

    It’s a lesson that many of us on the Right have forgotten since 9/11, and one that most on the Left never learned. Who knows what our mysterious new President thinks? He was still captive to the Ayers/Wright clique on 9/11. Let’s hope he’s learned a few things since then.”
    –Power Line

    shriber,

    emphasis mine. this was written by a DoS official.

  71. E.G. says:

    shriber-

    My question is very simple: how are your comments related to this thread’s subject (titled “The Apocalyptic Origins of Suicide Terrorism”)?

    I’m not sure your own religious beliefs or intelligence or citizenship are the matter under discussion here.

  72. E.G. says:

    oao –
    re-Your #67

    That phrase was mostly sarcastic (though you do sound a bit dark – but it’s not the apocalypse in RL’s sense. Indeed, crediting Arafat with anything else than murderous intentions was delirious but I’d categorise it as wishful thinking rather than apocalyptic vision).

    I’m not sure I entirely share your point of view: I should give it some more thought (I haven’t reached that level of complexity – no joke here!).

    Do you qualify the Mumbai attack as suicide terrorism?

  73. shriber says:

    The boychicks are back:

    “Consider:

    * the UN has just discarded free speech”

    And how does that prove the reality of apocalyptic thinking. The UN btw has never a gan eden of free speech. I sincerely hope the US pulls of the UN altogether.

    “ the US is insituting sharia finance”

    Bizarre exaggeration, boychik.

    “the west is begging the gulf arabs to save the west
    from its financial self-destruction”

    Also an exaggeration. China perhaps.

    “the IEAE is helping Syria to develop nuclear power
    while it’s discovering they tried to build an illicit reactor”

    From what I read the IEAE has said that Syria is not coming clean on its nuclear ambitions. It is hardly helping them. Why does Olmert want to give them the Golan?

    “So we are apocalyptic in the reality sense.”

    False premises, invalid conclusion.

    Good night boychik.

  74. shriber says:

    „I suggest you read the details of the Mumbai attack. This has happened in India, which has suffered several major attacksin the last year with hundreds of dead; a country which borders with THE source of muslim terror; with which it has a fundamental conflict; and yet the unpreparedness, incompetence and unwillligness to face the danger is monstruous.“

    I suggest you read the details of the Nazi assault on Poland in 1939. Now that was a real apocalpse, boychick.

    Apocalypses come apocalypses go, such is the logic of the apocalypse….

    As for Muslim terror. Wanna stop it? Threaten to nuke Mecca and Median. That’ll get their attention. You will also have a 2009 version of apocalypse, now.

  75. shriber says:

    “The west has always been anti-semitic and it is now openly so.“

    Europe has been antisemitic. Since WW2 it has hid its Jew hatred but it’s now coming back into fashion that is true.

    I don’t see this applying to the US. Ceratinly not today.

    Again, you know nothing about the US, aoa or oao whatever.

    “So if the whole west–US included–don’t seem to be able to stand up to the islamists, what chance does israel alone have?“

    Europe can go to hell.

    The fight against Islamicism in the US is just beginning.

    “The main reason Israel has been forced to deal with the pals is because the west has propped them up and pumped zillions into them. Each time israel was on the verge of finishing them off, the west saved their ass–arafat, hamas, hezbullah, you name it. Like any other refugees, the pals wouldn’t have existed for 6 decades without the west. I suggest you check out UNRWA and the plethora of charities in the west collecting for terror.“

    All true and all besides the point. Besides it doesn’t answer the question as to why Israle has made so many stupid decisions.

    “I don’t think it’s productive to continue this exchange.“

    Good night then boychick.

  76. shriber says:

    Oao, are you daft?

    I am aware of what the Islamicists stand for. I don’t need lectured from you. Their nhatred of Jews is undeniable.

    How does this relate to our discussion of State Department antisemitism?

  77. shriber says:

    “The larger problem — one that particularly haunts Europe and the Left in the US — is the failure to admit that terrorist ideology has a geopolitical dimension. Whether it comes from Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or even Russia, there is often a state offering silent (and sometimes not-so-silent) assistance.”

    aoa, I am neither a leftist nor a European. First rule of debate know your interlocutor. Second limit you subject and don’t go fishing in all kinds of muddy waters for points.

    Finally, I don’t disagree with the above. And even though I didn’t vote for Obama he has said that he wanted to go after the Taliban in Pakistan.

    Methinks our relationship with the Pakistanis is going to become a lot less friendly after Mumbai.

    Btw: If the quote was written by a State Department official then there are people in the government who do know what is going on, aren’t there?

  78. shriber says:

    shriber-

    “My question is very simple: how are your comments related to this thread’s subject (titled “The Apocalyptic Origins of Suicide Terrorism”)?”

    How are yours?

  79. oao says:

    Do you qualify the Mumbai attack as suicide terrorism?

    in the absence of evidence contrary I would. however, the media claimed that the survivor stated that they were NOT suicidal, that there was a plan to take hostages and leave; and that he begged the interrogators not to kill him, for he did not want to die. if all that is true, it reinforces my guess that these thugs are truly stupid for believing they’ll come out of it alive; which is precisely why they can be so readily indoctrinated with jihadist crap.

  80. oao says:

    shriber,

    there is so much nonsense in your comments that it would take me whole pages to do them justice. so as I already stated, I will refrain.

  81. oao says:

    incidentally, you understood almost nothing I wrote.

  82. shriber says:

    “there is so much nonsense in your comments that it would take me whole pages to do them justice. so as I already stated, I will refrain.” oao

    Brave words from someone who doesn’t know what the heck he is talking about.

    “incidentally, you understood almost nothing I wrote.”
    oao

    Nothing you said was that difficult to understand nor was it worth saying.

  83. Cynic says:

    Shriber,
    All you seem capable of is invective.
    Where are the facts to back your argument.

    Just because Arafat was alive didn’t mean that Israel had to deal with him.
    You have the constitution backing your access to American documents; go and read what was done.
    Unklike the British where they lock their diplomatic intrigue away from the public’s eyes for 50 years or more.
    By the way
    As for Nixon’s giving all that aid and BS, it almost came unstuck thanks to Kissinger and they would basically have lost the ME to Russia as those on the Suez front were loading their last rounds before the C5s started arriving.
    Now would it have come to that had the US (Johnson) stuck by its “commitment” to Israel and stopped Egypt from closing off the straights of Tiran to Israeli shipping, not permitted the dismissal of UN troops from a demilitarized Sinai and not permitted Egypt to pour hundreds of thousands of troops under Russian control into Sinai which of course ended in a war?
    Everything points to the West doing everything to prevent those uppity Jews from progressing from mere existence.
    And the ultimate hypocrisy is that they benefit from their creativity.
    Pity you could not have seen the Israelis when Kissinger put foot in the country. Had they got to him they would have torn him limb from limb.

    Next you are going to tell me that Rice is twisting Olmert’s arms.

    She had to twist Sharon’s but Olmert’s no. He and his the dysfunctional family do only to be accepted by the same crowd that the liberals try so hard to please.

    E.G.
    Do you qualify the Mumbai attack as suicide terrorism?
    Don’t tell me you go with media claptrap after the “Non_Suicidal” terrorists slaughtered, what was it, more than 150 people (men, women and children) in the railway station, a hospital and various other places and still hoped take away hostages?

  84. E.G. says:

    Cynic-

    see #42 above, RL’s distinctions and my puzzling over them.

    In my (still shaping) opinion, such attacks are on a continuum with terrorists sacrificing their lives i.e., expecting to get killed in one or another point in time; suicide/homicide bombings being just one murder technique among others.

  85. Cynic says:

    “Bush to Olmert: Why are you giving Syria the Golan for nothing?”

    The members of Israel’s Knesset have already said that any decision about the Golan will only be decided by a referendum.
    Olmert is tilting at windmills and the vast majority of Israelis realize this. They also realize through the actions of his daughter protesting the security fence (against terrorist incursions) especially at the Arab village of Bilin, that the family is not functioning on all cylinders.
    Had political machinations not prolonged things he would have been out some time ago and Rice would have been without a partner to her “realist” schemes.

  86. shriber says:

    “Everything points to the West doing everything to prevent those uppity Jews from progressing from mere existence. And the ultimate hypocrisy is that they benefit from their creativity.”

    You are not a cynic, cynic, you are paranoid.

    And please no more the West bullshit.

    I don’t live in the West I live in the USA.

    The US has more in common with Israel than it does with the West!

    I won’t bother with the rest of your rant since I don’t see an argument there.

  87. shriber says:

    “Bush to Olmert: Why are you giving Syria the Golan for nothing?” Shriber

    “The members of Israel’s Knesset have already said that any decision about the Golan will only be decided by a referendum.” Cynic

    I hope so.

    Still, Sharon did withdraw from Gaza or Barak from Lebanon without a referendum and without anyone twisting their arms.

    You can’t blame all of Israel’s strategic problems on the US.

  88. oao says:

    Brave words from someone who doesn’t know what the heck he is talking about.</I

    one of the drawbacks of engaging ignorants is that when you realize it’s useless and stops, the ignorant declares victory by impugning you their own ignorance.

    classic.

  89. oao says:

    Cynic,

    Don’t tell me you go with media claptrap after the “Non_Suicidal” terrorists slaughtered, what was it, more than 150 people (men, women and children) in the railway station, a hospital and various other places and still hoped take away hostages?

    It was me who brought that up, not E.G. And I said that’s what the media said, not that I necessarily believed it. But given the amount of stupidity required to be indoctrinated with the islamist crap, it’s not so hard to believe that their controllers made them believe this too.

  90. oao says:

    cynic,

    you’re wasting your time.

    don’t you know that there is no anti-semitism, it’s just the jews who are paranoid? and that america is an exception like no other? and that americans are not as gullible as the europeans?

    funny that I just came across this.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/JL02Ad01.html

    if you want to understand how shribers come about, read it.

  91. Eliyahu says:

    Shriber, I don’t think you are stupid, far from it. But an intelligent fellow who is lacking much important info can be worse.

    What I suggest is two-fold:
    1) there are a few books that you could read to correct some of your illusions. List supplied at end of comment. You don’t believe of course that your govt [or most govts] tell the people what is really going on. Nor does the press/media accept the duty of really informing folks. That goes especially for the benighted NYT.

    2) let’s take a couple of discrete episodes that reveal a picture of Washington policy on the Middle East that you find hard to accept. First, during the Lebanon War in 1982, Washington pressured Menahem Begin not to kill yasser a. He is supposed to have been in an Israeli sniper’s gunsight at the Beirut port as PLO forces were leaving Beirut but the word came down NOT to kill him because Washington didn’t want him dead. So Begin mistakenly agreed not to shoot him. This is also confirmed by a response to an interpellation in the French National Assembly. As I recall, in 1982-83, the French foreign minister [was it Jacques Delors?] was asked why French troops had been sent to Lebanon in the late summer of 1982. The FM or his spokesman answered that the mission of these troops was to protect the leadership of the PLO from being destroyed. Nobody protected Bashir Gemayel at that time; after all he was not as valuable an asset as afreet or arafat. But I’m going off on a tangent. The main point is that US troops were sent to Lebanon at the same time as the French troops. Was their mission different from that of the French?? Yes, I know, Shriber, you’re an American, not a Westerner. But I ask, Was the Marines’ mission different from that of the French???
    Second, about 1991 or 1992, afreet or arafat’s plane went down in the desert near where the borders of Egypt, Sudan and Libya meet. Guess who sent air rescue and specilized emergency medical teams to save yasser a.’s tukhes?? Yes, it was the US govt, then under jim baker and George Busha the First. Why did they bother to save him?? Would the US govt do the same for you or for any average US citizen?? Think about it?? How does the State Dept treat the American kids who get in trouble while backpacking in India or Thailand or Turkey or wherever?? The State Dept and the diplomats usually give little or no help to ordinary citizens? Why did arafat get special treatment –and he was not a US citizen??

    2) a few suggested books
    Joseph Schechtman, The United States and the Jewish State Movement.
    I L Kenen, Israel’s Defense Line.
    Miles Copeland, The Game of Nations
    Lester Velie, Countdown in the Holy Land
    –a very partial list–

  92. shriber says:

    oao and cynic,

    we know that you both have superior knowledge.

    You and Chomsky whose line on media manipulation of everyone except himself and people like you is being parroted here.

    I didn’t say, btw, all Jews are paranoid, I said many of your comments here were paranoid.

    Try arguing with specific facts and logic and not just talk about “the west,” etc.

  93. shriber says:

    Eliyahu, you seem a little more reasonable that the other two clowns.

    I am not disputing your facts. I am also not saying that there are no differences of interest between the US and Israel. What I am disputing is that every difference of opinion can or should be seen as a sign of antisemitism.

    If all the facts about the US protecting Arafat are as you say then I believe that the my government was wrong in protecting Arafat in 91 and 92. I haven’t read about that incident and I don’t believe it is widely known.

    Moreover, if the US protected Arafat Israel for far too long protected Hamas as a counter to the PLO.

    Countires make horrible mistakes. This is a sign of bad judgment and not of any conspiracy.

    This is my whole point, the rest is commentary.

  94. shriber says:

    “In my (still shaping) opinion, such attacks are on a continuum with terrorists sacrificing their lives i.e., expecting to get killed in one or another point in time; suicide/homicide bombings being just one murder technique among others.”
    by E.G.

    We need to make a distinction between the people sent in to torture and murder (some of whom may be drugged) and those who sent them.

    It’s the leadership we should be after, no matter where they are located, in Pakistan, in Egypt, or in Mecca.

    Until we get serious about decapitating these Islamicist movements nothing will change.

  95. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    The French FM in 1982 was Claude Cheysson.
    I don’t know (i.e., have no evidence at hand) about the comment you mention (saving the PLO and its chief) but it’s very plausible, given his well-known stand vis a vis Zionism and Israel. But it’s his successor, Roland Dumas, who actually justified Palestinian terror attacks – see D. Pryce-Jones’ “Betrayal”.

    And these are far from being single cases of states protecting terrorists.

    What I fail to see in your comments is their relevance to the thread’s subject.

  96. oao says:

    elyahu,

    You will find too that you are wasting your time. consider this:

    What I am disputing is that every difference of opinion can or should be seen as a sign of antisemitism.

    your interlocutor asks to be specific and logical but it is he who fails abysmally at both. for nobody here has argued that difference of interests is anti-semitism. and in general he misinterprets what others argue if it is unpleasant to what he wants to believe.

    consider this:

    Moreover, if the US protected Arafat Israel for far too long protected Hamas as a counter to the PLO.

    he seems totally oblivious of the immense pressure on israel to spare those barbarians which is so effective on the Kadima left and recently on olmert taking revenge on the nation that scaked him.

    he admits that “his govt was wrong” but he cannot help but insist that israel was wrong on hamas too. we must be “balanced”, you know?

    Countries make horrible mistakes. This is a sign of bad judgment and not of any conspiracy.

    That a vast majority of those mistakes are against Israel and can be proven so it’s just a coincidence, you know. It’s not intentional.

    If I thought it would be productive to educate him between anti-semitism and conspiracy I would suggest you do it. But I suspect it’ll be a waste of time.

  97. oao says:

    e. g.

    We need to make a distinction between the people sent in to torture and murder (some of whom may be drugged) and those who sent them.

    we MUST, you know? for the amount of hatred, religious ideology and barbarism that are involved would be too hard to contemplate.

    and, as you make clear, those “civilized” govts who protect these barbarians and pump zillions into them are guilty of just “poor judgment”, you know? no bad feelings, huh?

  98. Cynic says:

    Maybe somebody can help me remember the name of that Englishman who was an EU bigshot who refused to accept that the billions they were giving to the PA was going into terrorism; refused to accept documentary proof.
    Who questioned every bit of evidence produced, even original PA papers.
    If my memory serves correct he was originally the governor of Hong Kong until Britain’s lease ran out.
    There is an example of “just poor judgment”.

  99. E.G. says:

    We need to make a distinction between the people sent in to torture and murder (some of whom may be drugged) and those who sent them.

    What a brilliant idea! How come nobody else has thought of it?
    It’s indeed hardly perceptible that the militants/suspected gunmen are merely brainwashed executioners on behalf of non-conspirationist ideological lords.

    But oao, I do have bad feelings for not having thought of it hard enough myself.

    Cynic – Ah! Those memory holes! Worse than the Filters!
    http://middleeastfacts.com/Articles/and-a-thief-too.php
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/906539/posts
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/698470/posts
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/830971/posts

  100. E.G. says:

    Mumbai Police Commissioner Hassan Gafoor: “In our view this was a suicide mission”
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Terrorists_came_to_Mumbai_from_Karachi_Police/articleshow/3785443.cms

  101. oao says:

    cynic,

    If my memory serves correct he was originally the governor of Hong Kong until Britain’s lease ran out.

    you mean lord patten. he just had bad judgment, you know. over and over and over.

    e.g.

    “In our view this was a suicide mission”

    that would be the most reasonable inference from the evidence.

  102. shriber says:

    oao you are qa waste of time.

  103. shriber says:

    oao you are a waste of time.

  104. oao says:

    shriber,

    for you i am sure.

  105. E.G. says:

    I agree with many of the points Altman makes here:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3630443,00.html

  106. Eliyahu says:

    to clarify my earlier remark about French troops sent to Beirut in 1982 in order to save the lives of yassser a. et al. The statement was made by PM Pierre Mauroy and quoted in France-Israel Information [Sept-Oct 1982]:
    [C'etait] “… le premier ministre Pierre Mauroy lui-meme qui ne se gene pas de faire cet aveu en declarant, le 21 septembre a l’Assemble Nationale:
    ‘Le mission des troupes francaises avait pour objectif d’assurer la depart, dans la securite, des combattants palestiniens de Beyrouth-Ouest. Il s’agissait en outre de sauver la direction de l’OLP qui etait menacee d’elimination physique.”

  107. Eliyahu says:

    All words in the previous post from “La mission des troupes francaises” up to and including “d’elimination physique” are words quoted from Pierre Mauroy, French prime minister in Sept 1982.

    My question for Shriber is still:
    Was the mission or purpose of the French troops in Beirut in 1982 different from that of the US troops sent to Beirut at the same time??

  108. E.G. says:

    The Religious Foundations of Suicide Bombings
    by David Bukay
    http://www.meforum.org/article/1003

  109. oao says:

    My question for Shriber is still:
    Was the mission or purpose of the French troops in Beirut in 1982 different from that of the US troops sent to Beirut at the same time??

    It was just “bad judgment”. As is the money and weapons that were and are being pumped into Abbas and reached and are reaching Hamas.

    As is the reinstatement of S. Powers in the Obama admin, who said that all aid to Israel should be transferred to the pals and a mammoth force should be sent to israel to prevent pal genocide.

    The Religious Foundations of Suicide Bombings
    by David Bukay
    http://www.meforum.org/article/1003

    David Bukai was research assistant to prof. Gaby BenDor at the University of Haifa when I did my master there. I know him personally.

    The arab students at UoH tried to have the univ fire him as a racist because he had the audacity to tell the truth about islam and islamism. they failed. this time.

  110. Eliyahu says:

    I think that the Arab student leading the smear campaign against Bukay was a leader of the Commies at the univ of Haifa. Commies have been collaborating with Arab nationalists against the Jews for a long time. I have spoken to Bukay too on occasion. This Arab student recruited some scribbler from HaArets to write up the smears for the general public.

  111. E.G. says:

    So Bukay is Kosher but not Hallal.
    I think his paper is fine. And relevant to RL’s chapter.

    My impression is that, in addition (or substitution) to lots of secular arguments (e.g., ideological), many Quranic references and tendentious interpretations have been “recruited” in order to justify terrorism. Including apocalyptic visions.

    This one is O/T but relevant to the general subject of this site:
    The Fog of Breaking News: Why you should take reports from the scene of a massacre with a grain of salt

  112. oao says:

    Some more bad judgment:

    http://www.vosizneias.com/23726/2008/12/03/brooklyn-ny-hikind-thompson-denonce-sunflower-seeds-package-as-anti-semitic/

    Commies have been collaborating with Arab nationalists against the Jews for a long time.

    Very much so at the Univ of Haifa in particular, even in the 70′s when I was there.

    The Fog of Breaking News: Why you should take reports from the scene of a massacre with a grain of salt

    Anybody with half a brain should do that as a matter of course.

  113. E.G. says:

    RL,
    re-Martyr

    so what is a martyr? literally, it’s a witness to faith.
    You mean the originally Greek “martur”.
    (sometimes via Latin in ancient French “martre” like Montmartre)

    so what meaning does it have that precludes the term “predatory martyrdom.”
    The Judeo-Christian meaning of the martyrdom notion is that of someone who’d endure torture and (violent) death rather than forsake his/her (usually religious) principles or beliefs. Note the passive form: endure, suffer etc. “Predatory” is active, and refers to harming others rather than oneself.

    The martyr of someone (e.g., Roland) means his being slain, not his bellicose acts. And Jewish law strictly defines the few cases in which a Jew would sacrifice his/her own life- “Yehareg v’al ya’avor”; (Note both the singular and passive form) rather than transgress the law, the first and foremost of which is “Kiddush HaShem” (die rather than convert or desecrate God’s name, and this is close to the meaning of early Christian martyrdom). None of these cases includes harming another person, Jewish or not. There isn’t even a Hebrew word for “martyr”.

    As Bukay (ref. above) notes, “In Islamic practice, the martyr is one killed in jihad.” A Shaheed actively kills others, and his/her death in the process is believed to be the means for him/her to achieve eternal afterlife. A Shaheed also means a witness: by dying while accomplishing a religious act, including waging war on infidels, the person testifies of his/her faith. At any rate, the point is about initiating violent killing of others and self, for the sake of Islam.

    I think the differences between the conceptions are more substantial than the similarities, making the translation of Shaheed as Martyr totally inappropriate, if not absurd: it confuses letting your life be taken with taking others’ life along with yours. Such confusion leads to characterising the Crusades as martyrdom operations (Istishhad), which – albeit being violent, cruel, and deadly – they were not.

  114. E.G. says:

    RL,

    i do think there’s a difference btw “expecting to be killed,” “guaranteeing you’re killed (Goldstein), and killing yourself (suicide terrorists, kamikazes).
    A difference in nature or in degree?

    Your explanation will be welcome.

    At any rate, such fine distinctions are absent from the Jihadistic discourse – see for example Dalal Mughrabi (Fedayeen in 1978, Shaheeda in 2008).
    please give me more details than this, so i can figure out what you’re saying.

    see my comment #116 above. It’s an impression: I have not seriously studied the issue.

  115. Eliyahu says:

    EG,
    there are many terms used in Islam that are superficially similar to Jewish & Christian terms [martyr, justice, aggression, peace, etc.] but really mean something much different, as you have demonstrated for martyr. So Muslim spokesmen, jihad spokesmen in fact, can use such terms perfectly sincerely but mean something fitting in with Muslim belief and law [shari`ah].

    Alain Besancon made a point like this in a Commentary article some years ago. He went farther, saying that the Muslim Yusuf, Musa, Ibrahim, `Issa and so on were not the Joseph, Moses, Abraham, and Jesus of Jewish and Christian tradition. I would not go as far as Besancon but –although some of the Muslim concepts may have started out from Jewish and/or Christian beliefs and concepts– they have since radically diverged.

    Of course, the MSM do not inform the average “news” consumer of these radical differences, if the journalists are even aware of them. At one time, educated, knowledgeable people were journalists, like Theodore Herzl, Ladislas Farago, Pierre van Paassen, Albert Londres, Ben Hecht, Richard Harding Davis perhaps, and others. Today, they are ignorant and/or indoctrinated and very unreliable.

    By not informing the public of the radical differences between Muslim concpets on one hand, and Jewish and Christian concepts on the other, and by their gross ignorance of history, they aid the propaganda of the Islamic jihadists.

  116. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu-
    I appreciated Christopher Hitchens’ explicit words on the Bombay-Mumbai transformation. For some reason, the French still call it Bombay, and, if my memory doesn’t fail me, it was still Burma rather than Myanmar for the London Times.

  117. E.G. says:

    We need translations from foreign languages in order to grasp the meaning of foreign words/concepts for those  who use them (i.e., foreigners). But some words just do not translate, because there is no equivalent notion in our language (culture). So rather than mistranslate, we use those foreign terms such as Schadenfreude and Jihad. I think the same principle goes for Shaheed.

    Otherwise, the door is already wide open for fallacious equivalences, as Eliyahu notes above. I’ll only add the phonetic similarity between Philistines and Falasteen.

  118. oao says:

    So Muslim spokesmen, jihad spokesmen in fact, can use such terms perfectly sincerely but mean something fitting in with Muslim belief and law [shari`ah].

    It’s effective taquiya with ignorants about islam.

    …were not the Joseph, Moses, Abraham, and Jesus of Jewish and Christian tradition

    yes and no. they likely are the same persons (to the extent that they existed), but with a different interpretation altogether.

  119. oao says:

    Here’s the taquiya mehanism at work:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/023818.php

    It is not implausible that a lot of muslims simply don’t know (and don’t want to know) about elements of islam that are inconvenient. Then they write about the elements that they themselves are comfortable with. It serves the propaganda purpose equally well.

  120. oao says:

    Regarding #125: That’s one reason not to rely on “moderate muslims” for info on islam that can enlighten infidels as to its nature and objectives. In fact, many moderate muslims are recruited to jihad and terror precisely by making them aware of the foundations of islam which they do not know.

    This explains why you get all those reactions of “he was such a nice boy, not religious at all” after terror acts.

  121. Eliyahu says:

    Here is an attempt to define general terms as Muslims use them. It ought to be extended, improved and corrected where needed.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=CB861004-4459-4E25-932B-6029CBC8BA9D

  122. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    My point is about Western interpretations of Islamic notions. The paper you link-to above is exactly the opposite: Islamic conceptions of Western notions. The only symmetry is in the culture-bound meanings attributed to foreign notions.

    After the recent “Pogroms” in the ME, I wonder whether someone will come up with the “Maccabean Intifada” for Hanukkah.

  123. Eliyahu says:

    EG,
    your typical American journalist is an ignoramus about most places that he goes to, including Arab/Muslim lands. Most of these characters, male or female, get indoctrination before they get to their area of “reporting”. That’s so that their “reports” can be counted on to be politically correct without undue correction by homebase editors. Now, these journalists are taught that only Arabs and Muslims have “human rights”, and when the rights of an Arabic-speaking Christian clash with those of an Arab Muslim, then the Arabic-speaking Christian loses the rights that he might have if he were in conflict with a Jew. In this situation, the journalists [a name of shame in my lingo] want to believe the Arab or Muslim –and only the Arab or Muslim– in conflict with a Jew, unless the Jew or Israeli is one of those brainwashed creatures, like Neave Gordon or Ilan Pappe. Pappe studied at Oxford under Albert Hourani, while Gordon studied at the Kroc Center at Notre Dame U.

    to get back to your point, US & UK journalists, inter alia, have benign preconceptions of Arab/Islamic notions and arguments and pretexts and claims/excuses. If they were genuine reporters seeking the truth or the reality or even some approximation of the same, then they would dig down to get at what Arabs/Muslims/jihadists really mean by what they say.
    Now, I would not use your expression: Western interpretations of Islamic notions. This is because “justice,” “martyr” et al. are genuine Islamic terms, but they have a much different meaning in Islam than they do for Jews and Christians. That’s why I said that the jihadist can use terms like justice [al-haq] and martyr [shahid] quite sincerely. So the first problem to deal with is the complicity of the Western journalist with the jihadist. The Western journalo-scribbler does not explain to his readers that words like justice, martyr, peace, corrupt, aggression, have much different meanins and usages in Islam than for non-Muslims. Of course, the jihadist may use these terms quite cynically, knowing that the Western journalist will want to believe that his justice, etc., is the same as Western justice, and so on.

  124. Eliyahu says:

    I meant to say that I would not use your expression:
    “Islamic conceptions of Western notions.”
    This is because martyr, etc. are genuine Islamic notions that meant something radically different from the Judeo-Christian meaning of this and other terms.

  125. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    a. So I think you agree that a learned, responsible person would better use the genuine Islamic terms (al-haq; shahid) rather than these words’ mistranslations in order to avoid confusion.

    b. I believe Moslems’ cognition is not different from other human beings’, and that when they read/hear “justice” they interpret the notion according to their own frame of reference. It so happens that their frame of reference is not the same as Westerners’. So I maintain my expression, because we’re dealing with 2 de facto distinct sets of values and beliefs. A Westerner’s conception of justice is not identical to a Moslem’s conception of al-haq. But all wish to find a just solution to the ME conflict, n’est-ce pas?

    c. “My typical journalist” used and continues using “Intifada”, while s/he can quite appropriately use “revolt” and/or “uprising”. Because it sounds exotic? Or am I missing some subtlety in the genuine notion?

  126. Eliyahu says:

    on your c., the Western media use intifudi because it’s exotic and also because it’s an imprecise term [at least for their audience] and they like to be imprecise. That’s part of psywar. The bbc uses vague, imprecise terms all the time. Insinuation too. Insinuating can be very powerful, especially when being too explicit might get people angry and might lead to denuciations and counter-arguments.

    on b., yes Muslims have the basic physiological equipment of cognition like everybody else but I still would not use your term “Islamic conceptions of Western notions.” Now, justice, martyrdom, etc., are not “Western notions.” The Muslims always had a notion of justice, and so on. The problem is that the Muslim notion is so deviant from everyone else’s. That reminds me of the Universal Decl. of Human Rights. Muslims do not believe in Human Rights. Muslims have rights. Kufar are divided into dhimmis and harbis [people in non-Muslim states]. Dhimmis have submitted to the Muslim state and have rights on condition, contingently. They have the right to live on condition. That is, provided that they pay their yearly jizya. If they don’t pay, then they don’t have a right to live or can be enslaved. So in order to combat the unIslamic notion of universal HR, the Muslim states put together the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, which contradicts the older, 1947 Universal Declaration on important points. But nobody at the UN or the State Dept or EU seems to care. So the UN HR Council is a farce since it is dominated by those Muslim states that don’t accept HR even in principle.

    What I would say is that whereas certain notions and terms are shared [justice, martyr, etc], there are different meanings and/or conceptions of these terms in the Muslim and non-Muslim domains. But these terms go back to the beginnings of Islam and are not borrowed from the West as you seem to imply. The problem is this divergent meaning which the MSM obscures by not challenging the Muslim spokesmen for specific instances and which makes it hard to get along with the Dar al-Islam because of the divergent meanings that are not clearly understood in the West.

    on a., maybe you’re right that it would be better to use al-Haq, shahid, etc. instead of the usual English terms in order to avoid confusion and in order not to facilitate Muslim da’wa and propaganda.

  127. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    No, I don’t imply that the Moslem notions or values are borrowed from the West. Au contraire, I think they’re quite specific and vaguely related to similar caterories of Western concepts. Neither shared nor equivalent. Like Lent and Omer, for instance.

    Occupied territories will never have the same psychological impact as territoires occupés – this is how France was called during WWII. More generally speaking, it appears that analogy is the dominant form of reasoning these days, although it’s far from being the only kind of reasoning, and not always the most suitable one.

  128. E.G. says:

    Gaijin, Goy, Kuffar, Alien, Ausländer… terms signifying exclusion from the “us” group, but with various, specific, extra meanings.

  129. oao says:

    get indoctrination before they get to their area of “reporting”. That’s so that their “reports” can be counted on to be politically correct without undue correction by homebase editors.

    as far as i know the indoctrination is not explicit. rather, given that the journalist is ignorant, wants a career and access to natives (1) he submits material for publication and it is being edited, rejected or published based on the PC/multiculti/cowardice of the editors (2)quickly realizes that being critical of the natives is dangerous to his career/health. so quite quickly he internalizes what is expected of him, often without realizing it. they will swear up and down that nobody has ever pressured them and in a sense they are right. it is very subtle and subconscious because they don’t want to admit it to themselves.

    The Western journalo-scribbler does not explain to his readers that words like justice, martyr, peace, corrupt, aggression, have much different meanins and usages in Islam than for non-Muslims.

    this would require education and they are too lazy. besides, why should they bother if it’s not expected of them, in fact it’s rejected by editors? I’m not sure most readers care about such explanations either, or know what to make of these differences.

    So I think you agree that a learned, responsible person would better use the genuine Islamic terms (al-haq; shahid) rather than these words’ mistranslations in order to avoid confusion.

    1st, there is a paucity of such persons. 2nd, if such terms were used, most readers would not understand what they mean either without proper explanations, which are not likely to be given anyway.

    I believe Moslems’ cognition is not different from other human beings’, and that when they read/hear “justice” they interpret the notion according to their own frame of reference.

    perhaps, but it’s the process of interpretation that is different. the concepts of objective truth/evidence, reason and their appreciation are lacking. that is a critical, fundamental difference.

  130. E.G. says:

    oao,

    The learned, responsible person I was alluding to was the author whose text we’re discussing.

    What’s the difference between your last paragraph and “interpret the notion according to their own frame of reference”?

    [+Eliyahu]
    How did you gain knowledge about how journalists and editors work?
    (other than the infamous RAI letter to the PLO)

  131. oao says:

    What’s the difference between your last paragraph and “interpret the notion according to their own frame of reference”?

    Their frame of reference is one component of what interpretation involved.

    How did you gain knowledge about how journalists and editors work?

    oh, that’s so obvious that anybody should see it, not to mention instances when the sausage making is exposed.

    dk about eliyahu, but I’ve been working with editors, albeit in a technical context (IT) and I can assure you that they work all exactly in the same way.

  132. Eliyahu says:

    Now, really, EG, I’ve worked on a newspaper and I have been reading newspapers, consuming radio & TV for many years. I talk to journalists, both good and bad, and I took graduate courses in a social science field in 2 American institutions of higher learning. I have also published in dailies, monthlies, learned journals, bimonthlies, etc. Many years ago, one of my ex-gal friends told me that she and others had gotten a subsidy to publish a so-called “undergrouned” newspaper in a large American city. The money for those rags had to come from somewhere.

    What might also interest you EG is that some Western journalists here in Jerusalem have taken part in training spokespersons for the PLO/PA. This training is also financed in whole or in part by funds from Western govts. They want the Arabs to be able to communicate most effectively with their own [Western] populations.
    See link:

    http://israelbehindthenews.com/Archives/Jan-12-03.htm

    So if you don’t believe that journalistic/media messages are organized and planned beforehand, then you got another thunk coming, as many Americans might say.
    Further, as oao points out, everybody ought to able to recognize that there is planning and indoctrination behind what is presented as “news.”

  133. E.G. says:

    Todah oao and Raba Eliyahu,

    My question was asked in good faith (in your knowledge), much less faith regarding MSM.

    So if you don’t believe that journalistic/media messages are organized and planned beforehand
    That far I know.

    And I also came to recognise a media outlet’s “editorial policy” – at least regarding several issues. It may sound naïve to you but I still think of such policy as ideological orientation – and consider it legitimate, as long as it’s clearly stated (i.e. not presented as “objective” “balanced” etc.). It does sometimes reach indoctrination (e.g. “analysing” all and anything through the dominating/dominated lens).

    The media training info and paper are eye openers. Of course I noticed PA reps.’s media skills (enviable when there’s an Israeli sitting next to one of them). And I know journalists make extra money via consulting – but reporters?! Isn’t it somehow conflicting with ethics (I hear you laughing in stereo)? Do they do it for Israelis too?

    I googled PASSIA and am relieved to ack that the USAID funding stopped in 2004. Other Western countries continue.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  134. Cynic says:

    E.G.

    There was a good report some time back in Frontpage Magazine
    Your Taxes for PLO Propaganda

    Just take a look at, apart from the funding, who was helping to train PLO propagandists.
    While USAID apparently stopped their funding of PASSIA just research what they were funding in Gaza until as late as 2006. If I remember correctly one of the things was providing funds for “flags” (for burning), and another, material for propaganda banners that Hamas used for their election purposes.

  135. Cynic says:

    It may sound naïve to you but I still think of such policy as ideological orientation – and consider it legitimate, as long as it’s clearly stated

    E.G. you are naive if you think that the NYT is going to broadcast that the piece you reading is written from their ideological agenda point of view?
    Oh good grief how could you suggest that anything the MSM publishes is anything other than “fair and balanced”? :-)

  136. oao says:

    On top of what cynic said, there are journalists/editors who are oblivious to any distinction between ideology and objectivity. Most people are not born discerning between the two and must undergo a serious education process to be able to separate the two.

    That’s what high education used to be about. No more. Now even the academics are ideologs and could not figure out objectivity from ideology if it bit them in the ass. Aside from those who explicitly don’t want to be objective.

    http://www.campus-watch.org/blog/2008/12/vassers-joshua-schreier-promises-zero.html

  137. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Everything the Guardian publishes is fair and balanced. And, especially since the return of Amira, Haaretz is even fairer and balanceder. The fairest and balancedest of them all is Libération. Or perhaps Le Monde Diplomatique.

    Am I reading wrong the FP-mag paper (similar if not the same as the one Eliyahu referred to) – stating that the BBC is funded by US taxpayer’s money?

    oao,

    I’m in total agreement with your #143. Shame the observations are so sad – this rare event deserves raising a glass!

    Why don’t Israeli FM spokespersons get some decent media training?!
    Would any of you argue that it’s the media that distorted Livni’s statements regarding Israeli Arabs’ future in the Palestinian state?

  138. oao says:

    Why don’t Israeli FM spokespersons get some decent media training?!

    methinks–based on personal experience of living in israel as well as other cultures and being able to compare–is that israelis have not had, until recently, the instinct to fake, to “shine” their thoughts or behavior. they used to say what they think and think what they said and both their own public and the arabs’ got it pretty well.

    then the system got europized and americanized (due to dependency on aid and weapons) and the first consequence you see is an empty, corrupt political system with failures such as olmert, barak and nobodys like livni. as usual, they learned PR about themselves but not in the service of the country, because they don’t care about the country anymore.

    that’s what westernization and interaction with western elit will do to you.

    Would any of you argue that it’s the media that distorted Livni’s statements regarding Israeli Arabs’ future in the Palestinian state?

  139. oao says:

    in fact, even when they do pr about themselves they’re incompetent because they’re not even clever enough to do that well. they usually end up screwing things up.

  140. E.G. says:

    oao-

    I wasn’t talking about politicians but about MFA personnel – in particular spokespersons (embassy personnel included). Especially those who appear in the media.

  141. oao says:

    Forgot to comment on this:

    Would any of you argue that it’s the media that distorted Livni’s statements regarding Israeli Arabs’ future in the Palestinian state?

    the media cannot distort her more than she does it herself. there is hardly a more nobody than livni. that she ever reached a position of power is conclusive evidence that the israeli political system has collapsed. not to mention that an ass like olmert became PM or that the other 2 politicos competing for PMship are two previous utter failures, barak and bibi.

    imagine that israel, in its current predicament, cannot produce better candidates than 2 previous failures who were already thrown out before.

    I wasn’t talking about politicians but about MFA personnel – in particular spokespersons (embassy personnel included). Especially those who appear in the media.

    you obviously dk how people get to be MFA. let’s say it’s not exactly on merit and competence, to be polite.

  142. Eliyahu says:

    somebody asked about funding for the BBC. The BBC is an agency of the UK government and is, I believe, still under the authority of the Foreign Office. During the Holocaust and WW2, the bbc was certainly under the Foreign Office and foreign minister Anthony Eden watched over the bbc closely. He was directly responsible for suppressing and minimizing news about the Holocaust. [see link]

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2006/05/british-governmental-guidance-of.html
    [Also see other posts on my blog about Shmuel Zigelboym, the Polish Jewish socialist who came to Britain during WW2 representing the Jewish socialist Bund of Poland]

    Anthony Eden was also responsible, according to a British army officer, for ordering the British army not to intervene to stop the massacre of Jews in Baghdad in the notorious Farhud, 1941 [see Somerset de Chair on myh blog]. This was just about the same time that Eden was urging Arabs to form a unified pan-Arab body that later became the Arab League.

  143. Eliyahu says:

    - – - – - – - – - -
    somebody asked about funding for the BBC. The BBC is an agency of the UK government and is, I believe, still under the authority of the Foreign Office. During the Holocaust and WW2, the bbc was certainly under the Foreign Office and foreign minister Anthony Eden watched over the bbc closely. He was directly responsible for suppressing and minimizing news about the Holocaust. [see link]

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2006/05/british-governmental-guidance-of.html
    [Also see other posts on my blog about Shmuel Zigelboym, the Polish Jewish socialist who came to Britain during WW2 representing the Jewish socialist Bund of Poland]

    Anthony Eden was also responsible, according to a British army officer, for ordering the British army not to intervene to stop the massacre of Jews in Baghdad in the notorious Farhud, 1941 [see Somerset de Chair on myh blog]. This was just about the same time that Eden was urging Arabs to form a unified pan-Arab body that later became the Arab League.
    * * * * * * * * *

  144. E.G. says:

    I re-read carefully both papers and indeed, the author does distinguish the BBC journalist from the other ones. Not very clearly, though.

    “The participants are moderators Dr. Khatib and Rami Khouri of Jordanian television, Tudor Lomas and two Western journalists: Eric Weiner, of National Public Radio (NPR) – another U.S. taxpayer funded enterprise – and Lyse Doucete of the BBC.”

    The Beeb is, has been, and will probably continue to be the reference model of independent, professional journalism. A reliable source – and I’m sure Eliyahu and Cynic concur.

    A propos Foreign Affairs, oao- with proper training any schmuck can parrot a good narrative.

  145. Eliyahu says:

    EG, for an obviously intelligent guy [or gal?] you surprise me. I don’t consider bbc reliable which does not mean that they always lie. They can be very subtle in insinuating rather than explicitly stating. And insinuation can be very effective in persuasion. Certainly over the long term, insinuation can be very effective in creating the public opinion that one desires.

    I shouldn’t boast here too much but I’m proud to say that my father warned me about the bbc’s deceit more than 40 years ago, when I told him much I admired its news coverage that was broader than that of the American networks.

    I don’t trust the bbc even on the human-caused climate change [global warming] issue. I’ve heard scientists say on other news media that global warming is not a proven phenomenon. Prof Andrew Bostom argues that the claim of “anthropogenic” global warming is “bad science.” Have you noticed that bbc likes lachrymose issues, including global warming?? They always trying to get the listeners to shed a tear.

  146. E.G. says:

    Oy! My yet-to-be-perfected humour skills… Please shed a tear for them, Eliyahu, if not for my tongue in (the other) cheek!
    Even the accent and tone that used to give the Beeb its distinction are now gone. What’s left? Convenient pravdas.

    You must have seen “The great global warming swindle”.
    Talk of Apocalypse.

  147. oao says:

    A propos Foreign Affairs, oao- with proper training any schmuck can parrot a good narrative.

    If they are career diplomats, they can. But if they’re political/nepotism appointees they don’t think they require any learning.

    the reason the pals are so effective is that they lie through their teeth in a way that they know the ignorants and useful idiots in the west absorb without questioning. to be as effective israel would have to engage in that sort of thing too, so just training is not enough.

  148. oao says:

    The Beeb is, has been, and will probably continue to be the reference model of independent, professional journalism. A reliable source – and I’m sure Eliyahu and Cynic concur.

    for what it’s worth your sense of humor was clear to me.

    the notion that you can have independent, objective journalism is an illusion, as both the american and european models (including the bbc) demonstrate. at best you can have good individual journalists or channels for a while, but not all the media in the long run. they are part of the society and succumb to the same forces that politicians and the publics do. particularly in society with collapsing education.

  149. Cynic says:

    the reason the pals are so effective is that they lie through their teeth in a way that they know the ignorants and useful idiots in the west absorb without questioning. to be as effective israel would have to engage in that sort of thing too, so just training is not enough.

    No oao, because whatever the Israelis say, truth or lies , it will not be accepted by the MSM.

    E.G. you are naive if you think …
    E.G. My remark about you being naive was also tongue in cheek but obviously my tongue was not long enough :-) I should have use “one” etc., instead of “you”!

  150. oao says:

    No oao, because whatever the Israelis say, truth or lies , it will not be accepted by the MSM.

    I said in the past that this os probably the main reason the israelis don’t bother. my reply to EG here was just in the context of “had they expected to be believed, would training be enough?” My answer si that the would be unlikely and since they’re no gonna be believed anyway, why bother?

  151. oao says:

    http://blog.camera.org/archives/2008/12/israeli_doctors_save_life_of_i.html

    in a west still based on its original values this should be more effective than jihadi lies and manipulation.

    it’s no surprise that the mother is the only muslim impressed with the deed, but consider how the media covered this case!

    if this does not get covered, why would israel train its MFA?

  152. E.G. says:

    Are you charitably advancing the Gelt/presents distribution? Acknowledging such nice things about my skills from different persons rings like miracle bells.
    Yes, Cynic, I took the naïveté remark personally – but since I assume it, I didn’t take offence. Whatever the tongue’s length, the spirit reached destination.
    Thank you all, your positive feedback is an encouragement to improve.

    oao’s “why bother” comment captures a widespread attitude that I distaste, if not despise. One cannot be oblivious to the goebbelsian “repeat a lie” principle plus the “emotional appeal” propaganda going on, and stick to the dry-facts-lamely-stated communication line. Ethics (not lying) or predicted deaf ears are not valid excuses. If the media are only after good stories – there are plenty of true good ones to provide them with (like the one oao in #161 links to). But they need to be well told.
    The defeatist, lazy attitude is destructive.
    Why bother? Because the job has to be done properly. Even if the incumbent got there by less than proper procedures. And whose job is it? First and foremost the Israeli Ministery of Foreign Affairs’ employees.

  153. E.G. says:

    oao – “Anything the Beeb does we can do better!” Should be the Israeli MFA’s credo and motto.

  154. oao says:

    “Anything the Beeb does we can do better!” Should be the Israeli MFA’s credo and motto.

    I guess you don’t accept our claim that even if israel did that it would not make any difference. that’s too bad, because your position is based on some wishful thinking.

    the world did not like the jews when they were scattered across it and they don’t like them in their own country, no matter what they do. the rest is commentary.

    it so happens that i read today that an israeli team may have found a cure for diabetes 1. if this sort of thing, or the saving of arab and iranian children does not buy israel appreciation, let alone the stopping of hatred, will the MFA do better?

  155. E.G. says:

    oao,

    There are many reasons for one (me included) to accept your claim. I just view it as a hypothesis and, as such, would like to see it tested empirically.
    It’s about as wishful thinking based as the search to cure diabetes. Instead of declaring in advance that “it won’t work” the approach is “let’s see if this stuff works”.

  156. oao says:

    sorry, unjustified comparison.

    with respect to diabetes you must yet do human experiments to see if it works.

    with respect to politics, there is overwhelming empirical evidence that DEEDS much more impressive than any WORDS by MFA are not only ignored, but turned against Israel, while continuous despicable acts of barbarism by pals/jihadists are accepted. This kind of reality can be affected by what MFA says?

    Please, let’s be serious. There is practically nothing short of suicide that israel can do to satisfy the world. that this is now gaining strength in the US too is clear evidence — as if more were necessary — that the jews won’t ever be accepted. and a lot of this has to do with making the world feel inferior to them.

  157. E.G. says:

    you must yet do human experiments to see if it works
    Indeed, empirical testing in situ.
    I just read about the IDF revising its selection and assignment procedures. They first tested the new procedures on a sample of conscripts and, given the results, will now extend it to the whole conscript population. Why not test the effects of some training on a sample of MFA employees?

    with respect to politics, there is overwhelming empirical evidence that DEEDS much more impressive than any WORDS by MFA are not only ignored, but turned against Israel, while continuous despicable acts of barbarism by pals/jihadists are accepted.

    By whom? The media?
    Deeds need to be described in order to be communicated. And the manner in which these acts/facts are couched in is crucial to their prception.
    Take a look at this and, beyond the scorn some sentences inspire, do you get the sense that some concrete action had to be and was taken?

    It’s not about Jews being accepted. Nor is it about Israel satisfying the world. It’s about a constructive, honourable, approach to life.

  158. oao says:

    By whom? The media?

    yes, but why does the media do it? unlike the common notion that media has an indeology that it imposes on the public, my take is that it tries to please the public by giving it what it wants to hear. that’s because the media is not in the business of selling info to the public, but it sells audiences to advertisers. consequently, it likes to predict what its readers wants to hear in order to put them in the proper mood to open thenselves to buying what the advertisers offer.

    another aspect of it that is missed is that the media is part of society and therefore to some degree it reflects the public: ignorance, cowardice, self-centered approach, greed, etc.

    taken together these 2 aspects balance if not override the effects of ideology.

    Deeds need to be described in order to be communicated. And the manner in which these acts/facts are couched in is crucial to their prception.

    if the media sensed that their readers want to read about such things, they would communicate them. instead, they sense that it is now an anti-jewish atmosphere. now, i agree that media behavior feeds the attitudes of the public, but without a proneness to it it would not work that well.

    It’s not about Jews being accepted. Nor is it about Israel satisfying the world. It’s about a constructive, honourable, approach to life.

    yeah, right. saving arab and iranian children, providing scientific solutins to world problems is not constructive/honorable enough — in the face of the so-called civilized world succumbing to atrocious barbarism and moral collapse — we need MFA quality to reach the goal.

    as i said, wishful thinking.

  159. Cynic says:

    One cannot be oblivious to the goebbelsian “repeat a lie” principle plus the “emotional appeal” propaganda going on, and stick to the dry-facts-lamely-stated communication line. Ethics (not lying) or predicted deaf ears are not valid excuses. If the media are only after good stories – there are plenty of true good ones to provide them with (like the one oao in #161 links to).

    But will the MSM publish it?
    M.P. gets a comparatively small readership so mostly those who read her blog get to know but all those people “dependent on the networks, NYT, Wapo, LAT etc., will know anything and remain misinformed.

  160. Cynic says:

    It’s about as wishful thinking based as the search to cure diabetes. Instead of declaring in advance that “it won’t work” the approach is “let’s see if this stuff works”.

    How? Walk into the NYT, shove an UZI down the throat of the editor and demand that he publish. And even if they felt that they had to carry an item it would most probably be hidden on page 52 or something. They are not out to give Israel, or with regard to the NYT even Jews in general, anything positive that would improve their appearance.
    After the 2006 mess NYT’s Erlanger at a conference in Jerusalem made it plain that he was not out for stuff that would show Israel’s humanitarian efforts but was only out for dirt.

  161. Cynic says:

    Oops! #170
    will know anything

    Should be “will know nothing!”

  162. Eliyahu says:

    Listen, guys, let’s not be simplistic about this problem. It’s not either or. There are certain very powerful people who want to destroy the Jews. Granted.

    But they could simply drop an A-bomb on Israel and that would be that. But they haven’t done it. So something holds them back, besides the fact that radiation pollution is bad for everybody, even those who command A-bombs, etc. The thing is that they don’t want to be seen doing the dirty work. That’s where the fanatic Arabs come in. But when 50 million or 100 million or 250 million Arabs screaming “Allahu Akbar” or Polly Want a Kwakbar or whatever, go after little Israel, then it doesn’t look nice. So they had to invent a small, innocuous people which would be the symbolic protagonist against Israel. Hence, they invented the “palestinian people” [which the PLO in its charter/covenant continues to insist are basically Arabs, with the Hamas concurring, merely adding that they are also part of the Ummah Islamiyyah]. The notion of a “palestinian people” was not invented by Arabs but by Western psywar experts, apparently British.

    Now, this symbolic protagonist ["the palestinians"] has also been imbued with the traits of Jesus, seen in Christian theology as a victim of the Jews/Israelis in a crucifixion which took place in the Holy Land, called “palestine” by the Roman Empire only after the Bar Kokhba War [previously called Judea, Provincia Iudaea]. This country is called Land of Israel in the NT [Matt, chap 2], as well as Judea there. In the psywar-produced imagination, the Arab identity and alliances of the “palestinians” fall away unnoticed and the soft, loving, innocuous, peaceloving features of the commonplace figure of Jesus [according to the Christian imagination which overlooks Jesus' zealot associations, etc.] are imparted to the “palestinians” and Jesus himself is no longer the Jew as in the NT but a “palestinian.”

    So the mass media of indoctrination, like the BBC, work according to a script which has to be understood. And the whole genocidal program works according to a set of rules and a script. Before physical genocide, the Jews have to be dehumanized. Israel has to demonized, denied a historic past, etc. And in this insidious drama, the “Left” [most of it] plays a role of accomplice to powerful Western Judeophobes and “imperialists.”

    Now, it seems that certain Western powers have complained to Israel’s govt about forthright statements of Israeli rights, etc. So the passion play, the drama, is protected by diplomats, etc. But much could be done, including by the Israeli govt/MFA, as well as by private citizens in many countries. Rather than trying to influence the NYT or bbc to be more honest towards Israel, other channels of communications can and should be used.

  163. E.G. says:

    Cynic #170 –

    My point is in the last sentence, omitted from your quote.*
    Like a joke, a good story (i.e. attention attracting) needs to be well told. The “In Yiddish it sounds better” argument is just about this: the story loses its relevance, fun, informative value, etc. because the appropriate terms and expressions are missing when told in the “other languages”. Media training is, in part, about finding the angle and the convenient terms to get good coverage, such as stating “Israel unwilling to return 7% of the West Bank” – the empty glass part- rather than the full glass one. And no, the latter is not the “Dog bites Man” stuff.

    See the link in #168 for an alternative to the Uzi technique.

    *side note: this could be used to illustrate in-need-for-training comm. skills plus editorial slant.

  164. E.G. says:

    oao #169-
    I tend to agree with your media acceptance/rejection policy analysis.
    Regarding media sensing its public’s interests/influencing the public, it’s a bit of the hen-egg precedence controversy.

    yeah, right. saving arab and iranian children, providing scientific solutins to world problems is not constructive/honorable enough — in the face of the so-called civilized world succumbing to atrocious barbarism and moral collapse

    Au contraire!
    Had the Israeli (vile, powerful) propaganda machine that the “honest partners” and their supporters keep reminding their audience really existed, some arguments would have been couched in terms of constructive-destructive approaches.

    My thinking is sometimes wishful, and I don’t consider it bad either. On this issue (media representation of Israel) however, I’d be very interesed to read why you view my advocating for better media training of MFA employees as wishful thinking.

  165. Cynic says:

    E.G. forgive me but when I read this:
    Ethan Bronner, the Jerusalem bureau chief, said, “Our general view is that the word terrorist is politically loaded and overused.”

    and think how Nazi and Holocaust are slung about I just wonder at the depths of hypocrisy the media have sunk to.

    I agree that it won’t hurt to educate the MFA about the media and Dale Carnegie but what good it will do in the long run when the media’s active role is to determine “foreign policy” in line with their agenda, I have no expectation of something positive.

  166. E.G. says:

    Forgiven Cynic,
    I did state that there were scorn-inspiring sentences in there.

    I wasn’t aware that Dale Carnegie was Liar-in-Chief Erekat’s tutor but, as the saying goes, God willing – even a broomstick can shoot.

  167. oao says:

    But they could simply drop an A-bomb on Israel and that would be that. But they haven’t done it. So something holds them back, besides the fact that radiation pollution is bad for everybody, even those who command A-bombs, etc.

    1st, they don’t have the guts even for that. 2nd, once you start lobbing nukes around, who knows where it will end. I think your comment is simplistic.

    but i agree to the demonization argument. it is perfectly consistent with my comments.

  168. oao says:

    Au contraire!

    Raise yours. I don’t believe it.

    I’d be very interesed to read why you view my advocating for better media training of MFA employees as wishful thinking.

    it’s clear and I was clear why: it would not make any difference. it’s not what israel does that matters. the world wants israel to go away, preferrably without it actually pulling triggers, but rather cause it to commit suicide.

    Most thinking, not appeasing jews know there is no point to bother and israelis know it best. Look at the work of MEMRI, CAMERA, Pal Media Watch and numerous others — not one dent.

  169. oao says:

    btw, antisemites incl. american ones, would love for israel to go away so that they could readily turn against the jews in their own countries and treat them the way they were treated when they did not have a country to go to. and many jews behave just like the assimilated jews did in europe in 1938 and will have the same fate.

  170. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Most thinking, not appeasing jews know there is no point to bother and israelis know it best. Look at the work of MEMRI, CAMERA, Pal Media Watch and numerous others — not one dent.

    So, according to you, the Israelis among them are consciously wasting time and resources, the non-Israeli ones being wishful thinkers or don Quixotes. Doomed – fasten your seatbelts, relax, and wait quietly and without further ado for your turn to meet unavoidable fate.
    Israelis know best, MFA even bestest, Olmert even besterer, that all they need is to eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow they’ll die.

    Raising my Carpe diem to mark my agreement to disagree.

  171. oao says:

    Doomed – fasten your seatbelts, relax, and wait quietly and without further ado for your turn to meet unavoidable fate.

    based on available evidence and understanding of the configuration of forces at work alas yes.

    that all they need is to eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow they’ll die.

    in part. they also need to defend themselves as much as they can to delay the death amap. what they should not do is appease, delude themselves that assimilation saves them, and go out of their way to explain themselves. if they cannot be liked they should be feared/respected.

  172. Cynic says:

    Most thinking, not appeasing jews know there is no point to bother and israelis know it best. Look at the work of MEMRI, CAMERA, Pal Media Watch and numerous others — not one dent.

    I don’t have an example to proffer right now but has anyone noticed how the MSM, if by circumstance are forced to mention the ‘above named’, diminish if not denigrate the messenger and his message.

    Yes it would be nice if the MFA knew and had the cujones to treat the MSM in the manner required, but the general public would be none the wiser to the facts.

  173. E.G. says:

    oao-

    It might come as a surprise to you, but all Humans are mortal. Death hates us all, even Arabs. So the existential question is why bother doing anything during a lifetime?
    Might be an insight of the philosophy of suicide terrorism.

    Cynic-
    I noticed that they diminish messenger & message (and not only from the above list), and how it’s done.
    Should I conclude that the “repeat a truth” principle is an ineffective one?

  174. Cynic says:

    E.G.

    One is not dealing with naivety or stupidity but dislike and even hatred so only if their actions bring on on pain to themselves will there be some change in their behaviour.
    Repeating a truth umpteen times, ineffectively, is not going to make a difference unless one can change the channel so that the message gets through.

  175. oao says:

    It might come as a surprise to you, but all Humans are mortal. Death hates us all, even Arabs. So the existential question is why bother doing anything during a lifetime?
    Might be an insight of the philosophy of suicide terrorism.

    Indeed, why, if reality is the way it is?

    I think you’re caught in a confusion between expressive and instrumental behavior and the inability to admit that only the former is possible while the latter is not. Most humans — to use your lingo — simply cannot accept that there is nothing they can do except call a spade a spade.

    May I suggest to do some reading in game theory, there are some books that explain it to the layman. It is quite enlightening, if psychologically depressing.

  176. oao says:

    cynic,

    it would have been hard to consider the possibility 15-20 years ago that this would start coming from under rocks in america. perhaps i europe and the ME but not the US.

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/32210_Counterknowledge-_Pat_Buchanan_Flirts_with_Holocaust_Revisionism

    and MSM always has no trouble channeling this kind of crap.

  177. E.G. says:

    Cynic-

    Who’s “they”? Media people?
    What do you mean by “change channel”?

    oao-

    Sorry but I understand nothing of your comment #186 (except the reading suggestions).

  178. oao says:

    Sorry but I understand nothing of your comment #186 (except the reading suggestions).

    If you read the suggested material you’ll understand.

  179. Cynic says:

    E.G.

    Who’s “they”? Media people?
    What do you mean by “change channel”?

    Yes the MSM.
    A change of channel, conduit, to get the facts out to the broad population by bypassing the MSM’s tollgate (political agenda) censorship.

  180. oao says:

    A change of channel, conduit, to get the facts out to the broad population by bypassing the MSM’s tollgate (political agenda) censorship.

    Such channels have been available and active for quite a while on the Net (see those specified in my earlier message). They have not changed reality:

    1. Too few plebos get their info from the Net.
    2. As I explained earlier, the MSM wouldn’t have be doing what they do without a public that doesn’t want to hear what they sell.

    This has a lot to do with new generations who have not experienced–directly or indirectly–WW2, the holocaust, the war of indepenedence, 6-day war, etc. otoh and the collapse of education — no history, classics, philosophy — and thus ignorance and inability to think critically and analytically. You can sell almost anything to these generations and that’s what the politicians and MSM do, given that they are part of the same culture and generations.

  181. E.G. says:

    Cynic, as an illustration of channel change – though I have no idea about this relatively new site’s popularity.

    A paper (in French) by Luc Rosenzweig revealing, inter alia, some ties between “Le Canard enchaîné” chief ed. and pro-Arab and anti-American French Foreign Affairs civil servants.

    http://www.causeur.fr/un-canard-un-peu-faisande,1549

  182. Cynic says:

    oao,
    This is just the dual loyalty scheme which is practiced against Jews but not applied to those US Muslim citizens whose only loyalty is to Islam and who take their marching orders from Riyadh or Cairo’s Imam.

    Anyway if the guy is guilty the Israelis won’t give him citizenship and would no doubt extradite him.

    Rosenstein was extradited to the U.S. on March 6, 2006,

    They extradited an Israeli citizen, who committed a crime in the US, to stand trial in the US.

    Now why could this not be done with an American criminal fleeing to Israel? Because of the hypocritical bias of officers of the state towards Jews vis a vis Muslims.

  183. Cynic says:

    Just came across this American’s opinion of why Israel extradited Rosenstein

    Israel Is Just Emptying The Garbage On Us

    So there is no way for some Americans that Israel or Jews can do right.

  184. oao says:

    Now why could this not be done with an American criminal fleeing to Israel? Because of the hypocritical bias of officers of the state towards Jews vis a vis Muslims.

    that’s one component. there are 2 others: cowardice and greed. the former is by most westerners; the latter by the top elite, those who like carter and clinton sell themselves to highest arab bidders.

    the jews are just an inconvenience and the israelis are the vassals, so they should do as they’re told.

  185. oao says:

    e.g.

    Doomed – fasten your seatbelts, relax, and wait quietly and without further ado for your turn to meet unavoidable fate.

    These are better responses to yours than mine:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2008/12/022348.php

    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/special-preview—br–eradicating-the–little-satan–13900?page=all

    and optimism and wishful thinking is precisely what dooms the west for refusing to accept the rhyme and pattern of reality. all the more depressing when it’s a repetition of the past.

    when you discard knowledge and reason you lose the ability to intergenerational learning and you’re doomed to repeat the past.

  186. oao says:

    So there is no way for some Americans that Israel or Jews can do right.

    Relax, the arabs, the iranians and the koreans do everything right. If you ask me that’s the exact way to treat america, they know that then you can get almost anything from it. play nice and you’re history.

  187. Cynic says:

    By the way oao,
    Here’s a link that is interesting from the point of view of
    the jews are just an inconvenience and the israelis are the vassals, so they should do as they’re told.

    The language used by the EC on this is direct: “to change public policy” by targeting “Israeli decision makers and those who influence them

  188. Eliyahu says:

    what gets me –& oao might call me naive, I’ll survive that– is how shallow so much of the fakery is. If you read NGO Monitor, they tell you in a very matter of fact way that this high-falutin’ sounding “non-governmental organization” is funded by such and such govt or by the EU or by “German trade unions” or by “German churches”, such as those that funded our own B’Tselem years ago. By the way, the usually reprehensible Tom Segev reported years ago that such were the sources of B’Tselem funding. There were others too, such as jimmah’s Carter Center in Atlanta which in turn got and gets –I must assume– money from the Bin Laden Group of Saudi Arabia, and in the early 1990s, the Carter Center got dough from the corrupt Sheik of Abu Dhabi, the main owner of the Arab-cum-Paki BCCI bank, a major transmitter of funds for terrorists. So the “NGO”s are really governmental agencies. But the “Left,” including Noam Chomsky, as far as I know, never discuss the sources of funding of outfits like Amnesty, human rights watch, oxfam, b’tselem, etc etc. However, in the old days, when the Commies were more serious, they loved to talk about where the funding came from, except their own funding of course.

    Most of the so-called “Left” never talks about how much Arab money –Saudi, Kuwait, Qatari, even Lebanese [think of Rafik Hariri] and palestinian Arab, etc– goes to American and other Western politicians. Nor do they call the rich Arab oil states “imperialist,” whereas Lenin’s definition of imperialism was precisely finance capital, that is, owning huge amounts of money and stock in corporations. Of Course, the rich Arabs referred to above own much much capital. But the “Left” is not interested nor does “the Left” refer to that capital as explaining any US or UK or EU policies. Nor do many complain or point to the huge Arab funding of Middle Eastern studies in the USA –which obviously makes an impact on what they teach.

    Back to the first point. The governmental funding of NGOs is so close to the surface, so easily found out by anyone who does elementary research, that those who don’t know about and/or are taken in by lofty purposes and moralistic, prechi-precha rhetoric on the part of NGOs must be dumb or ignorant or incapable of reason [oao's bete-noire again!!] or all of those.

  189. oao says:

    what gets me –& oao might call me naive, I’ll survive that– is how shallow so much of the fakery is.

    well, you’re just not jaded enough relative to reality.

    shallow is enough for generations who have not been instilled with knowledge and ability to reason and that do not appreciate such. take for example the patent inconsistency between bending backwards to insist not to call all muslim terrorists, yet deeming all jews corrupt because of one man, madoff.

    as to funding — haven’t you seen the sources of bill clinton foundation? or the universities’? or even the govt running hat in hand begging for arab money?

    when the USSR collapsed, everybody rushed to declare the west the winner. well, what do you: corporate capitalism is collapsing too and it looks like the american solution is socialism. good luck.

  190. E.G. says:

    The calendar reminds me of the martyr of Hannah and her sons.
    And also of miracles and determination.

    I’d like to point out that game theory (from the “for dummies” till the Bob Aumann versions) is founded on agents’/players’ rationality premise and that even if it’s theoretically comfortable, it’s still empirically problematic.

    This conclusion, as wishful and hardly rational as it is, corresponds to my present frame of mind As for Israel, if it takes today’s challenges seriously and prepares to meet them with the requisite strength and creativity, this may yet turn out to be its finest hour.

  191. oao says:

    is founded on agents’/players’ rationality premise and that even if it’s theoretically comfortable, it’s still empirically problematic.

    the theory deals with the difficulties of rational behavior in the case of collective (as distinct from personal) action. iow, when the desired objective is dependent on the actions of many rather than one’s own. it explains why it is rational, in an instrumental sense, to not act and that is very empirically realistic.

    voting for example is a nonrational act, it is an expressive, not instrumental act (not that it does not mean people are conscious of the distinction).

    To act in such circumstances is is called expressive behavior — you don’t act to achieve the goal, but rather to express yourself–the action yourself is an expression of something. a good example is voting.

    As for Israel, if it takes today’s challenges seriously and prepares to meet them with the requisite strength and creativity, this may yet turn out to be its finest hour.

    my guess that it’s probably too late. caroline glick explains the israeli failure well, but strives to draw the wrong conclusion: that voting will bring the govt down and solve the problem. but bibi is but another past failure and israel has put itself in a situation from which I don’t see a good exit.

    http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2008/12/repeating_failure_in_gaza.asp

    israel has shown huge weakness and incompetence — there is NO leadership — and if you give jihadists so much of that, you commit suicide. coupled with the rise of iran and the collapse of the US…

  192. Cynic says:

    oao,

    Haven’t read her article but if she is counting on Bibi for salvation then god help us.

    As was seen during the Likud primaries he was not the guy to receive the 3 am phone call.
    Actually a lot of people have been making the the same distinction using Sharon’s cool and calculated reactions to Bibi’s panic.

  193. oao says:

    Haven’t read her article but if she is counting on Bibi for salvation then god help us.

    yes and no. she deems the act of voting and the possibility of bringing down the current govt as an opportunity to address its failures. her problem is that she does not realize or is in denial of the reality that israel has a general leadership crisis.

    Actually a lot of people have been making the the same distinction using Sharon’s cool and calculated reactions to Bibi’s panic.

    I know sharon well enough. he may have been cool, but whatever contributions he made in his career, leaving gaza without destroying hamas was hugely stupid. he was a great general but a poor politician. not as bad as barak, but nevertheless.

  194. Cynic says:

    <em.her problem is that she does not realize or is in denial of the reality that israel has a general leadership crisis.

    Heh. Was watching London & Kirschenbaum on 10 and they were interviewing Lieberman and London sort of mocked his party which has a true mixture of Israelis, not just Russian immigrants, as not having having a “personality” like … and then proceeded to enumerate some of the idiots who have made a mess so far.
    And someone in the room burst out laughing and shouted back, at the TV, asking where the leadership was because it is not to be found in any of the political groups.

  195. Eliyahu says:

    Sneering, as you refer to Yaron London as doing, is typical of our benighted “left.” They really have little to say in their own defense so they mock others.

  196. E.G. says:

    What’s Left? Balding bitter Yaron Zehavi.

  197. Eliyahu says:

    EG, I don’t believe in the nonsense of a “Left” that is essentially different at all times and places from the “Right.” There is no political/ideological spectrum. There is a 3-dimensional universe of ideologies, which are often just a cover for unspeakable interests anyway.

    By the way, Bernard-Henri Levi [BHL] wrote in a recent book that the left-right classification doesn’t make much sense anymore. The Left and the Right are different bodies of public opinion but they can both work for the same end or ends without realizing it. Both are manipulated by psywar, especially the “Left.”

    Whereas Marx himself had a certain political sophistication, the “leftists” today are jackasses, easy to manipulate, screaming like fools, braying like donkeys, easily directed to hate the hate-object du jour, which is now the Jews and Israel. By the way, Marx believed and wrote that Islam was an obstacle to progress and that social-economic class analysis could not be applied to Muslim societies [he was specifically writing about the Ottoman Empire]. Today he would be extremely politically incorrect –to the “Left.”

  198. oao says:

    the left-right classification doesn’t make much sense anymore.

    I would not subscribe to that. it makes sense in the proper context — in the socioeconomic domain. For example, when it comes to the current crisis and bailout and so on, classes are explanatory.

    By the way, Marx believed and wrote that Islam was an obstacle to progress and that social-economic class analysis could not be applied to Muslim societies.

    Hence the clueless left–e.g. Chomsky, Judt, etc. — when it comes to islam and jihad.

  199. E.G. says:

    Naaah, as soon as Spencer joined him, the venture lost all credibility (soon opening a Sharia-chic Dept.). At that circus, they all like their duck soup served hot and free of charge. Even BHL, who can afford paying more than just tribute.

    The political/ideological spectrum is widening, with the polarised “extreme” right and left profiting from the vacuity and hypocrisy in the more central positions.

  200. Cynic says:

    By the way, Marx believed and wrote that Islam was an obstacle to progress and that social-economic class analysis could not be applied to Muslim societies.

    They were and still at the clan and tribal level.

    Just to diverge slightly:

    (Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by Toland, 1976, p. 306)
    “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” –Adolf Hitler

    But Hitler found Islam fit for other things.

  201. oao says:

    The political/ideological spectrum is widening, with the polarised “extreme” right and left profiting from the vacuity and hypocrisy in the more central positions.

    Not widening, but the extreme left is joining what was and whatever still remains of extreme right. you see, it’s a circular, not linear continuum.

  202. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    (just seen your last comment)
    the fit was on the National half.

    In some concentration camps, the dying of starvation and exhaustion were called Muselmann.
    http://www1.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%206474.pdf

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