Flushing out the Honor Madness: Palestinian Leadership responds to Netanyahu’s Speech

I recently had a conversation with a friend about the Jews in a major city in the southern USA. He told me that by and large what they got in Sunday school was the classic AIPAC-style narrative: “The Arabs won’t accept Israel and want to destroy it; Israel’s efforts to make peace fail because the only thing they understand is strength, and if you make concessions they’ll interpret it as weakness and press for more.” After a moment of silence in which, presumably, I was supposed to cluck at the hopeless backwardness of such a “narrative” (which as readers of this blog know I call the Honor-Shame Jihad Paradigm and consider fairly accurate), I asked, “So where do you find this narrative inaccurate.”

His response was so perfect that I wrote it down to use in my book.

    The vast of majority everywhere want a roof over their heads, to sleep peacefully at night, enjoy their families, food in their bellies and to say good morning to their neighbors and spouses.

Now how was this a response to my question? It had nothing to do with real data from the Arab world, nothing from the various responses of Arab leaders to various concessions Israel has engaged in since 1993. It’s his liberal cognitive egocentrism, raised to the level of an axiom of human nature (confusing human and humane), and then applied as a negation of any evidence to the contrary. If all people are like this, then the Arabs can’t be like that narrative. QED. PCP. The whole world is like us.

I cited for him the comment of one of the Arab rioters in 1936 to the Peel Commission’s question about why he so hated the Jews, if the Zionists have made the land far more prosperous than it had been before they came:

“You say we are better off: you say my house has been enriched by the strangers who have entered it. But it is my house, and I did not invite the strangers in, or ask them to enrich it, and I do not care how poor it is if I am only master of it” (Weathered by Miracles, p. 207).

He responded: “Do you think they all think like that?”

Good question. I say yes, I sound like a bigot. If I say no, then where are we?

Do they all think that way? Or is this irredentism “merely” an expression of the male mafia, the alpha males who crave vengeance, the political/religious leadership, “the Arab street”? What about the “vast, silent majority.” I’m not sure. I think that many… most… maybe even the vast majority would accept my friend’s lovely depiction of a prosperous and peaceful life. (It is, after all, at the core of the messianic promise.)

What I do know is that as long as honor-shame culture, with its demanded solidarity — asabiyyah — prevails, and as long as it’s enforced with such vicious brutality, whatever your “average Palestinian” thinks, he or she will have no ability to change the dynamic of the HSJP narrative. And when mothers can be driven to killing their daughters by a merciless community that demands it for the sake of family honor, then it can’t just be a problem of elites.

I give this anecdote as a preface to the following post on Palestinian reaction to Netanyahu’s speech, because so much of the dynamics we disagreed upon show up in unvarnished form. Netanyahu clearly struck on honor-shame chord.

If it were a chess game, Netanyahu’s speech would be a “?!.” “?” because if the Palestinians had responded intelligently — even while retaining their desire to destroy Israel — they could have said, “Fine. Let’s get on with it.” Then, when they got their demilitarized state, they could go ahead and militarize and no one could stop them. It’s a “!” because, true to form, Palestinian “pride” trumps (what we define as rational) self-interest at every turn. As a result we have the spectacle of unvarnished zero-sum Arab irredentism in response to a speech that called for basic mutuality — two states for two religious communities. Short of everything, it’s Palestinian suffering.

Below are a series of responses from Palestinian leaders that display all the elements of an honor-shame culture under conditions of humiliation which needs to be fixed by shedding blood — at once childishly violent in rhetoric, and violently malevolent in intent.

There are two questions here: 1) Is this the real reaction, or posturing? Even as posturing, it’s significant. Why take these mad postures? As bargaining tools? Possibly.

2) Is the West listening and registering this? And if so, do they have the wisdom and foresight to tell the Palestinian leadership to grow up and, as Obama might put it: “join the 21st century.”

Palestinian Reactions to Netanyahu’s Speech
‘Akin to a Declaration of War’; ‘Netanyahu is a Liar and a Crook’; ‘The Speech is Worthless and Warrants a Determined Response’; ‘Not In a Thousand Years… Would [He] Find a Single Palestinian’ to Agree to His Conditions

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s June 14, 2009 speech was met with hostility by all Palestinian factions. The Palestinians called Netanyahu “a liar and a crook,” stated that the only purpose of his “hollow” speech was to placate U.S. President Barack Obama, and claimed that he was effectively ruining the chances for peace. Senior Palestinian Authority officials called on theU.S. to force Israel to implement the two-state solution, and on the PA to toughen its positions. Hamas called on PA to stop security coordination and to reassess their position on negotiations with Israel.

Following are excerpts from reactions in the PA press to the speech:

PA: Netanyahu’s Speech Has Ruined the Chance for Peace

Palestinian Authority negotiations department head Saeb ‘Ariqat stated: “The peace process can be compared to a turtle, and now that Netanyahu has turned it over, it’s lying on its back. Not in a thousand years will Netanyahu find a single Palestinian who would agree to the conditions stipulated in his speech. The speech is a unilateral declaration ending the political negotiations on permanent status issues.” [1]

This is an eloquent expression of the arrogance of prime divider elites. They will speak for their people without the slightest hesitation. Essentially, ‘Ariqat [also known as Erakat], the main expounder of the Jenin Massacre in 2002, is condemning his people to decades if not generations of suffering, but he not only doesn’t care, he makes no room for the slightest dissent. No proud Palestinian would stand for this (and I guess, by implication, no one shameful enough to accept the deal, is a Palestinian). So Erakat’s implicit answer to my friend’s query is: “Yes! Every Palestinian thinks this way.” (NB: Erakat’s considered a moderate, not a racist who demeans Palestinians by thinking they’re all war- and hate-mongers.)


Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority president, stated: “The speech has destroyed all peace initiatives and [chances for] a solution.” He called on the U.S. administration to fulfill its responsibility in this respect, and added that “Netanyahu’s failure to recognize the Arab Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state and his attempt to impose a solution to the Palestinian problem outside Israel will not lead to a just and comprehensive peace, as prescribed by the U.N. resolutions.”[2]

Remember that “justice” and “peace” mean something else in the honor-shame world of “solidarity with us, and enmity with them.” There are no mutualities here: justice is when I take vengeance; injustice is when you manage to humiliate me without vengeance. Peace is when I run things, war is when you are not dependent on me.

PLO Executive Committee Secretary Yasser ‘Abd Rabbo stated: “Netanyahu’s speech was hollow, and it ruined the chances to advance toward a balanced settlement. The speech is worthless and warrants a determined response. Netanyahu is a liar and a crook; he is looking for ploys to disrupt the peace endeavor.” [3]

Note that Rabbo is also an alleged moderate, one of the main players in the post-Intifada Geneva Initiative. But he’s also the Minister of Information, and hence responsible for the daily fare of hate-mongering and genocidal incitement that constitutes the main offerings of Palestinian media.

Some PA officials appealed to the U.S. to put pressure on Israel. Thus, Palestinian Ambassador to Egypt Nabil ‘Amro stated: “Netanyahu’s speech is nothing but a hoax [to deceive] America; it does not constitute a positive step towards peace. Netanyahu’s speech is not an initiative, but a poor show presenting a political stance adopted for no other reason than to appease Obama.” ‘Amro called on Obama to force Netanyahu to accept the peace process and the American position on the two state solution. [4]

Mind you, Palestinians would never do such a thing as to put out a hoax to deceive America, to pretend to want peace in order to appease Western pressure.

The editor of the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Hafez Al-Barghuthi, wrote: “Binyamin Netanyahu said nothing new in his speech; rather, he reiterated [his] pre-election positions, and spat in the face of all those who counted on Obama’s magic wand to swallow the serpents of the settlements and to make Netanyahu change his skin and recognize the two-state [solution]… The Palestinian side is not ready to form a state, no matter how small, since Obama has not demanded that the Palestinians unite their ranks and eliminate the rift between Fatah and Hamas…” [5]

This is bizarre, especially the final remarks, which suggest that Obama needs to make the Palestinians swallow some serpents. Would like more of this speech translated.

If Israel Does Not Grant the Palestinian Refugees the Right of Return, PA Will Sign Only a Hudna Truce

Senior Fatah official Bilal Al-Hassan contended that the Palestinians must set forth the following demands: full Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967; the dismantling of all settlements, including construction in East Jerusalem; the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state; rejection of the idea of exchanging territories; the payment of damages to West Bank and Gaza residents for all the destruction caused by the occupation; and a solution to the right of return problem based on U.N. Resolution No. 194. In addition, should Israel not agree to the return of the Palestinian refugees, only a hudna/truce and an agreement on reversing the consequences of 1967 war will be signed – but not a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement. [6]

Now one could argue that this is just bargaining. Bibi says, “50 shekels,” and Bilal says “50 shekels for this? You must be mad!”

But it could be something far more dangerous, namely the “Phased Plan” for the destruction of Israel. Only when we have the return of the refugee to the constrained borders of 1949, including withdrawal from all of Jerusalem, will we agree to what we know you won’t agree to. And if you don’t take in millions of refugees, then we’re only going to give you a cease-fire (Hudna is not a truce, it’s a period of non-violence while the Arab side prepares for the next round of violence under more favorable circumstances).

Talal ‘Ukal, Palestinian political analyst and columnist for the PA daily Al-Ayyam, stated that in his view, the Palestinians should intensify pressure on Israel by accusing it of war crimes as well as assign greater importance to Europe’s attempts to establish an international front opposing settlements. He said that they must demand not only a stop to the building of settlements, but that they be considered an aggressive, illegitimate, and illegal element. ‘Ukal also called for the elimination of the rift between the Palestinians. [7]

Hamas: Demand to Recognize a Jewish State – A Racist Position

Hamas issued an announcement, stating: “Netanyahu is offering the Palestinians a state without identity, sovereignty, army, or weapons; without Jerusalem or the right of return. And at the same time, it insists on leaving the settlements in place. He is offering an economic peace in return for normalization and recognition of the Zionist entity. Netanyahu tried to use some misleading expressions [to describe] his quest for peace and his racist position – especially [regarding his demand] that the Palestinians recognize the Palestinian land as a Jewish country, as well as his dismissal of the right of return and the Palestinians’ right to Jerusalem. These positions reveal the falsehood of his peace advocacy. The declarations and positions expressed in this speech have increased the hatred and enmity towards this enemy.

What’s wrong with a Jewish state? There are so many Muslim Arab states. Is this not about reciprocity (gasp!)? Is it about dominion?

“Netanyahu’s racist speech is a message to all those betting on a settlement to immediately stop longing for this mirage. Hamas is calling on the Arab countries to stop marketing normalization or negotiation plans vis-à-vis the occupation. Hamas’s announcement has also called on the PA to stop providing the [Zionist] entity with free security services, as well as to reassess its position and to again embrace Palestinian unity, in light of Netanyahu’s clear declaration that he would not give the PA anything of substance. Hamas elaborated that [Netanyahu's] statements would only make the Palestinian people more steadfast on its position, Jerusalem, the right of return, and the refusal to recognize this racist occupation.” [8]

Senior Hamas Official: Netanyahu’s Speech Proves that Resistance Is the Only Way to Attain Rights

Hamas official Dr. Ahmad Bahr, who is acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, stated: “[Netanyahu's] racist speech rests on denying the [existence of] the Palestinian people and on disregarding their suffering, and [affirms] that a racist entity [exists] on Palestinian soil. It is an arrogant Zionist speech, rife with threats and condescension towards the Palestinians as well as towards the Arab and Muslim peoples.

“This speech by the criminal Netanyahu showed that some are [still] enticed by his imaginary peace and by his failing plans, while others still harbor hopes of pleasing the Zionists and the Americans. This speech proves that resistance is the only way for the Palestinian people to attain its legitimate rights – and mainly the right to liberate its country, to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its eternal capital, and to bring a million Palestinians back home, whence they were expelled by Zionist terrorist gangs.” [9]

Notice the ease with which they throw around the word “racist” — as if Arab culture were not. Only the exceptional stupidity of Western progressives in accepting these grotesquely hypocritical accusations can account for its frequency. If every time an Arab spokesperson called Israel racist, they were asked about their own racism, they’d stop bring it up fairly quickly much less resort to it the way a teenage street gangbanger might call someone he doesn’t like a m-fg a-hole.

Islamic Jihad: The Arab Initiative Must Be Revoked

The Islamic Jihad spokesman stated: “Netanyahu’s speech was deceptive through and through – it clearly disregarded the rights of the Palestinians.

Nice touch. It decieved other fools, but we see right through it — it’s about depriving us of our rights [to wipe out the "Jewish state."

Netanyahu's speech has proven that the wave of extremism has engulfed the state of the Zionist entity, and that therefore it is impossible to achieve a peace agreement with this state. The Arab League must declare the Arab peace initiative revoked, and stop betting on a settlement, because Netanyahu's speech was an answer to this initiative…

"The Palestinians must unite their ranks, as should the Arabs and the Muslims, in order to stand up to radicalization that has taken hold of Israel on all levels.

"It is impossible to come to terms with the occupation, even of one inch of the Palestinian soil. The conflict will continue until the occupation of Palestine ends." [10]

Pop quiz: What’s the borders of the “Palestine” referred to in the above quotation?

PFLP: Netanyahu’s Speech “Akin To a Declaration of War”

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called Netanyahu’s speech “akin to a declaration of war and an insult to the international community…” It was further stated: “The peace that Netanyahu offered to the Palestinians and the Arabs is a peace of serfdom, with the Palestinian state as an Israeli reservation, and the PA a civilian administration of its residents, who would be dependent on the occupation’s munificence, and on its security and economic sovereignty… Netanyahu’s call for security, economic activity, meetings with Arab leaders, and negotiations with the Palestinians – while Israel continues acting against the Palestinians – is a mockery of the Arab leaders and the Arab peace initiative.”

The PFLP also called on the Arab League to reassess the feasibility of peace and negotiations. [11]

PS. I just learned that Diana Buttu, the “independent political analyst” is a member of PFLP.

[1] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Palestinian Authority), June 15, 2009.

[2] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), June 15, 2009.

[3] www.palvoice.com, June 15, 2009.

[4] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), June 15, 2009.

[5] Al-Quds (Jerusalem), June 15, 2009.

[6] Al-Quds (Jerusalem), June 15, 2009.

[7] Al-Ayyam (PA), June 15, 2009.

[8] www.palestine-info.info, June 14, 2009.

[9] www.palestine-info.info, June 14, 2009.

[10] www.paltoday.com, June 14, 2009.

[11] www.maannews.net, June 14, 2009.

89 Responses to Flushing out the Honor Madness: Palestinian Leadership responds to Netanyahu’s Speech

  1. [...] press for more.” After a moment of silence in which, presumably, I was supposed to cluck at the click for more var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : [...]

  2. Lorenz Gude says:

    Well, it certainly confirms my ongoing impression that a ‘two state solution’ is an imaginary idea that has existence only in the minds of Westerners – Israeli or otherwise. It appears to me that as more Israelis have come to recognize that the Palestinians are really not interested in a two state solution that even it they put Kadima or Labor back in power they wont do so on a platform of promising a two state solution at any price. So it appears that Obama’s approach – if the above reactions to Netanyahu’s speech are any indication – is predictably encouraging Palestinian intransigence.

  3. Paul Stevenson says:

    I wonder how much of their drivel they actually believe. Is this purely an exercise in fooling stupid progressives and whipping up local hatred?

  4. Barry Meislin says:

    …is predictably encouraging Palestinian intransigence.

    Well, um, yes, but one must not be too hard on the President, since one must keep in mind the following:

    1. If you do encourage Palestinian intransigence, then you are encouraging Palestinian intransigence.
    2. If you do not encourage Palestinian intransigence, then you are also encouraging Palestinian intransigence.

    (Otherwise known in the Middle East as “win-win”. Yes, life in the ME is actually quite simple….)

    This is because Israel (i.e., Israel’s existence) is the cause of Palestinian intransigence. Therefore, Israel is to blame for either (or both) points 1 and 2 above; and only Israel’s agreement to dissolve itself will be acceptable.

    Keeping in mind that Palestinian intransigence is not really intransigence. It’s actually the search for justice, dignity and peace, from a Palestinian point of view (a POV that is increasingly being adopted by progressive humanists as well as hard-headed realists around the globe).

    Essentially, Israel has no business (or right) to demand or request anything from its Partners in Peace. After all, it has no right to exist. The only option that Israel has, given the Palestinian reality is to agree to perform seppuku. (As painlessly or painfully as possible. On this point, the Palestinians are quite flexible.)

    This is why all the earnest, righteous indignation expressed on this blog is so absolutely wrong-headed.

    As I mentioned above, life in the Middle East is very simple, at least as far as Israel is concerned: you either are able to defend yourself. Or you die. But that’s OK too, since it gives Israel’s neighbors endless (one hopes) opportunities to lambaste Israel for being such a “militaristic” society…and also to chastise the US for enabling Israel to be so militaristic. To be sure, Obama/Clinton/Power/Jones/Malley/Khalidi/Carter and Co. are doing their darndest to relieve the US of such a “shameful” responsibility.

    (I hope that cleared things up.)

  5. Cynic says:

    Lorenz Gude,

    So it appears that Obama’s approach – if the above reactions to Netanyahu’s speech are any indication – is predictably encouraging Palestinian intransigence.

    Nothing has changed if one looks back and notices that all that America and Europe, apart from the rest of the world, have done over the years is bankroll Palestinian intransigence.

  6. Cynic says:

    (a POV that is increasingly being adopted by progressive humanists as well as hard-headed realists around the globe).

    Would you object if I interpreted POV to be – Peace of the Villains?
    The last thing on the minds of those humanists and realists are the lives at stake.

  7. Eliyahu says:

    RL, I don’t think that your friend accurately described the Israeli narrative. Be that as it may, I for one do not agree that the Arabs understand only force. Of course, they have been in an extremely favorable diplomatic environment for many years as states outside the ME region seem to seek to use the Arabs, especially “palestinians” as both a pretext and weapon [or tool] for continued post-Holocaust Judeophobia. Yet I believe that Arabs do understand and respond to words. And the importance of words is much underrated by many Israelis and Americans.

    Arabs are quite capable of adjusting their discourse to challenges. The problem is that they say one thing to Israelis, something else to Western sympathizers and a third thing to their own rank and file. They know enough not to deny the Holocaust to the average Western audience but to appropriate the theme of Nazi cruelty for their own purposes, applying it to Israel.

    Meanwhile, discourse about the Holocaust among the Arabs is two-fold. Some say that the Holocaust proves that the West really wants to get rid of Jews and that therefore Arabs too could do so and get away with it. Others claim that the notion of a Jewish genocide or Holocaust is a Jewish big lie meant to aid Jewish control of the world and dispossess the poor “palestinians” [whose leaders actually took part in the Holocaust and Nazi collaboration].

    But I do think that it is necessary to say the right things to the Arabs. PM Netanyahu did say some of the right things the other night. But many important points he did not make. For one, he might have quoted the Zionist verses from the Quran. It would have flattered Obama in a way by seeming to do what he had done by quoting the Quran. Quoting its Zionist verses would have been good education for the West and the so-called peacemakers and liberals and progressives, etc. Even for Obama. It would have been good for the silly so-called rabbis, who have signed a pro-Obama petition, to know these things. Netanyahu could have asked the Arabs to make peace with Israel bearing in mind parts of their own tradition.

    On the other hand, the Arabs would likely have flipped out over Zionist quotes from the Quran. They don’t want their own people to know of them. They would have been extremely angry over what in the West would likely have been perceived as a pro-peace gesture [quoting the Quran]. And that too would be good. To be sure, some of the Zionist verses are contradicted by other verses. But Netanyahu should have mentioned them anyway while he had the world’s attention. Let the Arabs explain why and how and under what circumstances some of the Zionist verses were abrogated or contradicted by other verses. Likewise, someone ought to do more with the Quranic verse quoted by Obama [He who saves one soul...] that really comes from the Talmud [Baba Metsiy`a 11 or Baba Batra 11; & Order Neziqin, Tractate Sanhedrin]. It ought to be also pointed out that the following quranic verse vitiates the one that Obama quoted.

    See link:

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2005/05/quran-agrees-with-zionism.html

  8. sshender says:

    How about the Israeli Arab reaction to the speech? Could there be anything more telling than that?!!

    I especially like what MP Ahmad Tibbi had to say (apparently without the slightest hint of irony):
    The speech displayed the same fixation on a Palestinian state with continued construction in settlements. We should hope the White House will expose Bibi’s public relations scam. The PLO does not have to and won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Netanyahu has proved he is not a peace partner.”

    Ehmm… The PlO does not have to recognize Israel, and it is somehow Netanyahu who is not a peace partner… talk about Arab logic…

    MP Baraka sang a similar tune:

    “once again choosing the peace of the settlements, which collides head-on with the peace of the region and all of its nations. Netanyhau spoke like a chameleon about a Palestinian state, with conditions and dimensions no Palestinian would ever hear of”

    Virtually seconding Erakat’s words.

    And here’s a great analysis by Yoran Ettinger writing for Ynet:

    http://yoramettinger.newsnet.co.il/Front/NewsNet/reports.asp?reportId=270171

    P.S. just finished Michael Oren’s “Six Days of War” – and highly recommend it to all of you here!!! I never knew history could be so fun to read. (and I’ve read my fair share of it).

  9. Ray in Seattle says:

    It seems to me that either international efforts at preserving peace and preventing war is based on primary moral principles, or it is not.

    Assuming that some warlike peoples would dissent from those, then a world governing body like the UN will either take on the responsibility of enforcing those enlightened principles upon the dissenters, or it would not.

    If either of the above options is not embraced by that world body, then what reason is there to expect that any form of peace between peoples and nations will ever prevail? What you will have is simply the politics of domination that frequently becomes violence and that results in death and injury to large numbers of innocent civilians – which is pretty much what we have got. At least, it’s not a step backwards from some better status quo.

    My opinion is, that such an outcome is actually preferred by the great majority of third world leaders, certainly those who achieved and hold power by openly-admitted force of arms and by their willingness to apply it brutally to any enemies, especially internal enemies.

    And I suspect this also applies to most second and first world leaders who achieved office by more democratic means but whose power depends on their ability to convince their constituents that they have the will and cojones to use whatever power is at their disposal to protect their national honor.

    Wasn’t Viet Nam largely a result of Kennedy’s and then Johnson’s political honor / shame calculations? Kennedy didn’t get to write his but Johnsons’ personal memoirs repeatedly show that theme. Isn’t Carter’s current shame still the result of his perceived inept weakness facing down Khomeini while Americans were held hostage?

    I’d like to offer the hypothesis that the psychological forces of the honor / shame paradigm pervade all domestic politics and international relations. Also, that we don’t see our own because we have this belief system that says we are not such savages, that we are enlightened, and this prevents us from seeing, much less considering, the objective truth of the matter.

    The honor / shame driven actions of Arabs stand out so vividly for us, not because Arabs are driven by a different psychology, but because we don’t share the same cultural beliefs through which that psychology is expressed. For Arabs, their own actions are seen as seeking justice and ours are seen as wielding our immense military might to force them to our will. And do not all people see their cause as just and their enemies’ as depraved?

    I’m not suggesting that we in the West are somehow equally as bad on this score. I think we are better at trying to avoid it. But I also would say that this dominate or be dominated imperative is the result of at least a couple of million years of human evolution. I think that the honor / shame paradigm is a cultural mechanism that effectively provides this practical existential view to the people who must live by it if they are to survive. Such mechanisms are not likely to be easily erased by the self-congratulatory cognitive dimensions of the enlightenment. It would seem that we are just as willing to apply that paradigm, through our own more civilized cultural worldview, as Arabs are.

    To support this hypothesis I offer the unwillingness (or inability) of the UN body to apply its own first principles embodied in Article 51 of its founding Charter – that people (member states) have an undiminished right to self-defense from attack and that aggressors should / will suffer for their actions. (I consider that principle the apotheosis of enlightenment values – the most important single idea produced by the enlightenment as per its possible ability to reduce human suffering and improve the human condition.)

    Especially I offer the unwillingness and/or inability of those first-world UN member states to even remember that such principles exist, much less insist on their application, when deciding what to do about such as Rawanda, Kosovo, Darfur or the Israel / Palestinian conflict.

    Instead these leaders of enlightened peoples consistently produce crass political decisions designed to preserve their personal / political honor and avoid whatever shame their economic classes deem significant – at least those leaders who desire a healthy political future and a decent legacy. Am I that far from the truth here?

  10. Ray in Seattle says:

    Sorry about the italics error in the 4th from last paragraph above (in #9).

    That should be:

    I’m not suggesting that we in the West are somehow equally as bad on this score. I think we are better at trying to avoid it. But I also would say that this dominate or be dominated imperative is the result of at least a couple of million years of human evolution. I think that the honor / shame paradigm is a cultural mechanism that effectively provides this practical existential view to the people who must live by it if they are to survive. Such mechanisms are not likely to be easily erased by the self-congratulatory cognitive dimensions of the enlightenment. It would seem that we are just as willing to apply that paradigm, through our own more-civilized cultural worldview, as Arabs are.

  11. Ray in Seattle says:

    sshender said, “P.S. just finished Michael Oren’s “Six Days of War” – and highly recommend it to all of you here!!! I never knew history could be so fun to read. (and I’ve read my fair share of it).”.

    I wholeheartedly agree. One of the best books I’ve read this year.

  12. SE says:

    Richard, you describe the Palestinian position as zero-sum. In fact, it is negative sum. Zero-sum means if I win, you lose, and vice-versa. Negative sum is how the Pals work: they would rather suffer terribly for generations in order to cause Israel some hardship. I may lose big, but as long as you lose a little, I am satisfied. This borders on the suicidal. Hmmm.

  13. [...] Read more from the original source:  Augean Stables » Flushing out the Honor Madness: Palestinian … [...]

  14. oao says:

    So it appears that Obama’s approach – if the above reactions to Netanyahu’s speech are any indication – is predictably encouraging Palestinian intransigence.

    people knowledgeable about the ME and the conflict predicted it at every stage concessions were made since 1948 and yet it’s not been accepted, concessions are made and the arabs become more intransigent.

    as to alibama, reality is exploding his naivity all over the place, and the only party he can push is israel. watch him increase pressure as he loses everywhere else.

    Is this purely an exercise in fooling stupid progressives and whipping up local hatred?

    for the politicians it is. for the man in the street, many believe that they’re coming close to getting everything the jews got.

    This is because Israel (i.e., Israel’s existence) is the cause of Palestinian intransigence.

    and also for everything the pals do or don’t do and all the consequences from it. they were just blaming israel for wild hoags.

    The only option that Israel has, given the Palestinian reality is to agree to perform seppuku.

    after which everybody will deplore the holocaust, just as they deplored the previous one, which they let happen and contributed to. the world prefers to deplore dead jews than to prevent their death.

    Ehmm… The PlO does not have to recognize Israel, and it is somehow Netanyahu who is not a peace partner… talk about Arab logic…

    it is a logic that the west accepts. it never asks the obvious question “if 2 states, and one is for the pals (which btw are NOT a nation), then for whom is the 2nd?

    How about the Israeli Arab reaction to the speech?

    ever since 1967 during the war when i saw israeli arabs pointing to jewish houses “this will be mine” i know what they are about, so this is the expected reaction.

    It seems to me that either international efforts at preserving peace and preventing war is based on primary moral principles, or it is not.

    moral principles? you gotta be kidding.

    To support this hypothesis I offer the unwillingness (or inability) of the UN body to apply its own first principles embodied in Article 51 of its founding Charter

    the UN is dominated now by a collection of muslim/arab states with russia and china shamelessly using it against the west. it was NEVER capable of applying the principles for which it was created. and the joke is on the west, because it is funding it.

  15. sshender says:

    Off topic.

    Ray, I assume that as the name implies you live in Seattle, and just wanted to say that in spite of having never visited it, it is my dream to one day pay a visit to your magnificent city and the surrounding natural gems like Olympia and the Cascades. I just hope the next megaquake (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/megaquake_trans.shtml) does not beat me to it.

    http://video.strath.ac.uk/06/214-06-05.wvx

    Or download here:

    http://www.mytvblog.org/?p=3541

    I don’t mean to sound alarmist. Just raising people’s awareness.

  16. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says, “after which everybody will deplore the holocaust, just as they deplored the previous one, which they let happen and contributed to. the world prefers to deplore dead jews than to prevent their death.”

    Well, perhaps the world avoids antagonizing those whose tents sit upon so much oil. And perhaps Israel made the mistake of wanting to settle on land that didn’t have any – land that was inhabited by a majority who were blood brothers to those whose tents sit upon so much oil.

  17. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says, “the UN is dominated now by a collection of muslim/arab states with russia and china shamelessly using it against the west. it was NEVER capable of applying the principles for which it was created. and the joke is on the west, because it is funding it.”

    On this we agree. And I would say it supports my premise of the mirage of Western morality being in some sense superior to third world tribalism.

  18. oao says:

    rl,

    how would your friend treat this evidence:

    Relatives of boy slain as ‘collaborator’ seek death penalty for family members who killed him
    By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1244371100264&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

    everything that’s sick about arab society is in there, and nobody seems capable of considering what such behavior is rooted in.

    they are just like us. uhuh.

  19. oao says:

    Well, perhaps the world avoids antagonizing those whose tents sit upon so much oil.

    perhaps? anyway, if the west did not pretend to be so highly moral and did not demand so much morality from the jews, we could talk. it’s the pretense that sticks in my throat.

    which is why they get what they deserve.

    And perhaps Israel made the mistake of wanting to settle on land that didn’t have any – land that was inhabited by a majority who were blood brothers to those whose tents sit upon so much oil.

    i suggest you educate yourself on the circumstance in which israel was founded, the history of that land prior to 1948, what majority was where and when, etc. you seem to belabor under some serious illusions. for example, most of the arabs who resided on that land in 1948 were immigrants from arab countries who wanted to take advantage of the jewish development, which locals were as incapable of doing anything with as the current generation.

    even ignoring the ancient continuous connection of the jews with that land, where exactly were the jews accepted to settle? if i remember correctly they were rejected by both europe and the us even as they were massacred by nazis.

    so please, spare me the crap.

  20. oao says:

    more evidence of their piety and how much like us they are:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/131928

  21. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says, “i suggest you educate yourself on the circumstance in which israel was founded, the history of that land prior to 1948, what majority was where and when, etc. you seem to belabor under some serious illusions. for example, most of the arabs who resided on that land in 1948 were immigrants from arab countries who wanted to take advantage of the jewish development, which locals were as incapable of doing anything with as the current generation.”

    I suggest you get off your high horse. What you say has no bearing on my statement. I know as much about the founding of Israel as anyone here, perhaps more than some. I’ve made those points myself in this forum and elsewhere.

    oao, “even ignoring the ancient continuous connection of the jews with that land, where exactly were the jews accepted to settle? if i remember correctly they were rejected by both europe and the us even as they were massacred by nazis. so please, spare me the crap.”

    The correct wording is: . . where exactly were the jews expected to settle?

    What in hell gives you the idea I am justifying the Arab position? You should try reading comments before offering knee-jerk reactions. I realize sarcasm doesn’t translate well in this format and maybe I could have put “mistake” in quotes just for you – but the context of the statement was adequate for anyone paying attention.

    BTW – your comments would be more readable if you acquainted yourself with the shift key. But I guess it’s fitting that someone who cares so little whether others understand what you say – makes such feeble effort trying to understand what others say. If had problems in academia I guess I can see some reasons for that.

  22. JD says:

    “The vast of majority everywhere want a roof over their heads, to sleep peacefully at night, enjoy their families, food in their bellies and to say good morning to their neighbors and spouses.”

    The first problem is “the vast of majority everywhere.” I’ll take it he has left-liberal type of mental occlusion by reason of his incantation of “AIPAC”. If he is thinking globally, he is hypercontextualizing with a world wide comparison of how he projects humanity feels. This means that he is pliable on the issue, he knows there is a weakness to his argument if he would have said “the vast majority of Palestinians.” Globally or not, it is kind of condescension in a way, and Mayberry-esque. Also, he limits humanity to simple desires…more and more I think about it, his mind is probably a victim of Marxist discourses or their periphery. They cannot contemplate religion as a motivation, and cannot concede it as a factor in world events, it is merely an “opiate.”

    There might be also some “Palestinian Refugee Camp” misunderstanding on his part. I still encounter this time to time, the idea that the “camps” are some kind of unrooted community of tent-dwelling people. They are not. They are proper cities, or city area, that the United Nations delineate as “camps” in order for the inhabitants to comply with welfare payment rules.

    Short note on “AIPAC.” The invocation of “AIPAC” as the bugaboo Jewish lobby began in the 1980′s, a reaction by leftists offended when their anti-semitism was pointed out. Since AIPAC, at least in the past, associated with the Republican party a little bit, this allowed the leftist the relief of feeling he was not a racist, but criticizing right wing or fascist behavior. Similar is the invocation of “Likudniks”.

    The beginning of the Mearsheimer essay reflected this matter. In writing about the broadness of the “Lobby” he is not merely pointing out the variety of Jewish organizations, he is reacting to the dominant left-wing shaping of the anti-Israel discourse which posits “AIPAC” as the powerful, Jewish–no, right-wing!– force “distorting” American politics. Mearsheimer is not only listing, he is trying to educate his perceived fellow travelers. Mearsheimer knows AIPAC is, or was, a rinky-dink outfit. I say “was” because the left-wing obsession with AIPAC seems to have had the unintended effect of making other left-liberal people think AIPAC is some kind of super-organization. Evidence #1, Obama’s brash appearance at AIPAC meeting last year.

  23. Ray in Seattle says:

    shender says, “Ray, I assume that as the name implies you live in Seattle, and just wanted to say that in spite of having never visited it, it is my dream to one day pay a visit to your magnificent city and the surrounding natural gems like Olympia and the Cascades.”

    Well, I use “Seattle” in my name because no-one has ever heard of the little town I live in over on the Olympic Peninsula and I am just a long ferry boat ride from that big city.

    I’m fairly close to the water of Puget Sound but on a hillside about 75 feet above a small bay. I can say that I live within a 20 mile radius of the best tasting Oysters in the world and they are plentiful and inexpensive locally which I do take advantage of.

    The hill behind our house provides another 2 or 3 hundred feet of elevation via a path through the woods so my wife and I could pretty easily get to a couple of hundred feet above sea level if we had at least a few minutes Tsunami warning. But I don’t think about it that much. I spend my worrying time hoping that things work out well for the Jews of Israel.

    If you are ever out this way let me know and I’ll buy you a beer.

  24. Diane says:

    This whole thread reminds me of a song popular in the days of Vietnam era anti-war protests. Remember “One Tin Soldier?”

    I never quite understood how this parable applied to American actions in Vietnam, but it sure fits present-day Arab zero-sum logic vis a vis Israel. Here are the relevant lyrics:

    Listen, children, to a story
    That was written long ago,
    ‘Bout a kingdom on a mountain
    And the valley-folk below.

    On the mountain was a treasure
    Buried deep beneath the stone,
    And the valley-people swore
    They’d have it for their very own.

    So the people of the valley
    Sent a message up the hill,
    Asking for the buried treasure,
    Tons of gold for which they’d kill.

    Came an answer from the kingdom,
    “With our brothers we will share
    All the secrets of our mountain,
    All the riches buried there.”

    Now the valley cried with anger,
    “Mount your horses! Draw your sword!”
    And they killed the mountain-people,
    So they won their just reward.

    Now they stood beside the treasure,
    On the mountain, dark and red.
    Turned the stone and looked beneath it…
    “Peace on Earth” was all it said.

    That’s the Israel-Palestine conflict in a nutshell. “Sharing the treasure” has never been what Palestinians had in mind.

  25. oao says:

    What you say has no bearing on my statement.

    uhuh. you seem to miss the fact that exchanges here lack tone and body language. they must interpreted from dry text. and that’s how i took it. if you meant different, you had to make it clearer.

    I realize sarcasm doesn’t translate well in this format and maybe I could have put “mistake” in quotes just for you – but the context of the statement was adequate for anyone paying attention.

    well, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. so let’s do the following: if yours was sarcasm, take mine in the same way.

  26. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says, “uhuh. you seem to miss the fact that exchanges here lack tone and body language. they must interpreted from dry text. and that’s how i took it. if you meant different, you had to make it clearer.”

    I am always aware of this fact. When interpreting someone’s online comment you have options. You can ask for clarification if it’s not clear enough, especially if it raises your ire. You can answer conditionally as in “If you mean a) then . . but if you mean b) then . . etc.

    Or you can just assume the worst and call it “crap” – which is really an honor-shame transaction in a Western cultural context; not an attempt at communication. And just as in the ME such exchanges make rational discussion difficult if not impossible. They force me to accept my small online humiliation at your hands or retaliate in some way so as not to appear to be so easily humiliated.

    I’d much rather be communicating ideas about the honor / shame paradigm than engaged in attacking your honor or defending mine.

  27. oao says:

    You can ask for clarification if it’s not clear enough, especially if it raises your ire. You can answer conditionally as in “If you mean a) then . . but if you mean b) then . . etc.

    but i don’t have to. it’s my prerogative. if you want to be correctly understood it’s your responsibility to make sure of that. that’s what i try to do when i post.

    Or you can just assume the worst and call it “crap” – which is really an honor-shame transaction in a Western cultural context; not an attempt at communication.

    indeed i can and i do. there are comments which warrant my probing in order to learn something of values i did not know or understand, this was not one of them.

    I’d much rather be communicating ideas about the honor / shame paradigm than engaged in attacking your honor or defending mine.

    i posted several times here a link to articles of mine that explain i am often brusque and don’t have much tolerance. here is again one of them, it is intended for the technical exchanges i was having in my professional field, but you can get the gist of it that applies here too:

    http://www.dbdebunk.com/page/page/3161496.htm

    if you don’t create the impression of a noam here we will avoid the kind of reaction you got.

  28. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says, “if you don’t create the impression of a noam here we will avoid the kind of reaction you got.”

    Hmmm. You show repeatedly that such a reaction is the result for anyone who expresses concepts that are not congruent or supporting of the beliefs that inhabit your closed mind. Please don’t try to pretend that the petty little honor / shame games you play here have something to do with the intelligent discussion of ideas.

    To be clear, your little insults are hardly a discomfort in my life and I usually don’t mind ignoring them. I am only concerned about the distraction they cause from the discussion of the interesting and important ideas that are raised in this forum – and so sometimes I object when they really cross the line. Now, enough of this crap. Let’s get back to discussing the topic of honor / shame in the ME conflict and let’s stop demonstrating how it works online.

  29. Ray in Seattle says:

    Actually, this little distraction has a useful purpose, I believe. I think it demonstrates the difference between honor / shame, which operates in the public arena – and integrity / guilt, which operates privately.

    The connection is that public insults, if serious enough, require a response by the inured party, lest others interpret his silence as an acceptance of shame.

    The perception of a private insult – the realization of a shortcoming in one’s character – is felt internally and can be responded to perhaps by introspection and a self-admonition to do better in the future.

    RL and others here have touched on this difference and have suggested that Arab culture places extreme significance on the honor / shame transactions that occur in the public arena. There are interesting anthropological reasons why this may be the case.

    I think that Westerners are culturally not so affected by such public jousting and have developed cultural means of defusing such public conflict when it arises. For example, my attempt in this comment to switch to a higher level of abstraction so as to deconstruct the conflict in psychological / human-nature terms rather than continue or escalate it.

  30. oao says:

    You show repeatedly that such a reaction is the result for anyone who expresses concepts that are not congruent or supporting of the beliefs that inhabit your closed mind.

    it is common to impugn others what one suffers from and you seem to be oblivious to doing that: for it is you who has produced some theory about identity values and you extend it to almost everything, thus revealing a closed mind. so please.

    To be clear, your little insults are hardly a discomfort in my life and I usually don’t mind ignoring them.

    great, because this is how it should be and how i take it when i get similar reactions. it is not intended at your person as a whole, but at the specific comment to which it pertains, and we all sometimes deserve that kind of reaction. all we can do is hope for as low a frequesncy as possible.

    yes, on certain subjects i have a closed mind — every intelligent person with basic knowledge and life experience does — but there are circumstances in which that’s sensible. when i use words like crap i also, when is warranted, provide justification for why i think it is crap. so it’s not “just disagreement” as you try to dismiss it, but rather grounded disagreement and the grounding backs up that terminology.

    I am only concerned about the distraction they cause from the discussion of the interesting and important ideas that are raised in this forum – and so sometimes I object when they really cross the line.

    tut, tut.

    listen: it is you who created a distraction, by expressing views which could have easily been taken at face value, and when it was deservedly dismissed, you distracted by clarification, complaining and impugning me what you are doing. when you live in a glass house don’t throw stones.

  31. oao says:

    I think it demonstrates the difference between honor / shame, which operates in the public arena – and integrity / guilt, which operates privately.

    no, it demonstrate your tendency to develop or adopt certain concepts and then stretch them to where they don’t belong.

    to apply the honor/shame concept developed for the arab/muslim society to this exchange takes a certain type of mind infatuated with overgeneralizations of its own doing.

  32. oao says:

    here’s abu toameh:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1244371107342&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

    can anybody discern the elephant in the room he ignores?

    he is, of course, correct in his analysis. but implicit in it is the notion that the pals want a state in wb and gaza and their reaction will fail to get them there. this, of course, is false: they don’t want just a state, they want israel.

    if that is what they want, then if they fail, it’ll only be in their phased plan of getting wb and ghaza and get the rest from an improved position.

    but i don’t think they will fail in that either. that’s because they learned that the more intransigently and violently they act, the more the west will appease them and pressure israel.

    just take a look at hamas and what they got through genocidal talk and violence. right now alibama is pressuring israel to open the gaza crossings and allow cement and pipes. what mistake did they do refusing to change even their tone?

    abu-toameh doesn’t seem to get the stupidity of the west, culminating in the idiotic alibama admin. the best the pals can do is act on their instincts, and that’s what the PA did. just watch how they won’t fail.

  33. oao says:

    and more:

    http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2009/06/richard-cohen-almost/index.shtml

    cohen’s inference in the last part of the last paragraph from the first part is wrong. the right way to read the paragraph should be:

    if you, jews in israel, don’t give in to the pal demands as alibama demands, then don’t be surprised about and expect more anti-semitism.

  34. E.G. says:

    nodding.
    Ray & oao, C’mon guys! I’m off for a few days and already you two have yet another row?! Tz-Tz-Tz ;-)
    Ray, have you been to Israel? In Tel Aviv you’ll find even oysters (I suspect they come from Europe, though)! And plenty of oaos and noams to argue with, face to face, from dawn to dawn. The medium is one thing, the point is somewhat different. But it is at least as exciting an experience.
    I’m just back from there and it was funny to sense the mood first hand, and the reports and commentaries on local and foreign media. There’s much discrepancy between the three.
    And then, going to Ben-Gurion Airport, seeing the buildings on the hills overlooking it, one just realises the sense of “demilitarised”.

  35. Ray in Seattle says:

    Thanks for the report on your trip to Israel. Haven’t been there yet but hope to make it.

    Not sure what . .

    The medium is one thing, the point is somewhat different. But it is at least as exciting an experience.

    . . means. Did you take any pictures you could post?

    Well, I leave tomorrow AM for a few days to Weiser, Idaho for the US National Fiddle Championships. I don’t think I’ll be in WiFi range but I’ll provide a full report for your amusement when I return in a week ;-) Cheers

  36. E.G. says:

    Sorry Ray,
    no photos. And I’ve seen on the net pictures of the airport area specifically – it’s different de visu.
    What I meant by the medium-point remark was that indeed, the format of the discussion here is in some ways problematic (less natural than face to face). But oao made some points that make at least as much sense too (in my view).

    Mine wasn’t a report, but I’ll surely enjoy yours!

  37. Cynic says:

    E.G.’

    You should have elaborated a bit more on the food.

    And then, going to Ben-Gurion Airport, seeing the buildings on the hills overlooking it, one just realises the sense of “demilitarised”.

    Wouldn’t it be more impressive to say that the realisation hits one in the face?
    Assuming of course that the Erlangers, Cohens and ones realise whose buildings they are gazing at.

  38. Ray in Seattle says:

    OK – The jousting going on between me and oao occasionally, is the result of me being a psychological liberal and oao the opposite. I don’t dislike oao or think he’s a bad person for being a conservative. He does irritate me a lot at times and I know I irritate him as much but those are minor distractions in the big picture.

    The big picture here, as I see it, is the concept of the honor / shame paradigm in the context of the ME conflict and Arab / Muslim culture – as RL has presented it in this forum. For a year or so now I’ve been trying to integrate RL’s (and other writers’) views on this topic into my own belief system, trying to make it fit.

    I believe that the essence of the concept is correct but I think the framing is where I have a problem. Richard poses this as . .

    Arab / Muslim society is organized around the honor / shame paradigm while Western / Judeo-Christian society is organized around an integrity / guilt paradigm – and this can explain some of the seemingly insurmountable behavioral differences between those societies that lead to endless conflict and war.

    That’s a simplified summary that distills down a lot of Richard’s explanation but, insofar as I interpret it correctly, I think that’s incorrect. If I was a psychological conservative I could just say that it’s nonsense or crap and refuse to debate with anyone who offered such a unworthy idea. But, I’m not and I don’t think that. Instead, I’ll say that I think this is a very useful construct but there’s a better, more accurate way to place those elements into a coherent statement of the reality of East / West conflict.

    I’ll be trying to solidify my ideas on this over the next week so I’m putting all you conservatives on notice that I’ll be hitting you up with some ideas that will certainly irritate some of you.

    If you want to debate me on this I’ll be looking for good solid reasoning with evidence and examples in your comments. I’ll ruthlessly point out the lack of rigor and quality of argument for those who resort to insults or derision.

    There will be no points lost for not taking up the challenge but those who say I’m wrong but refuse to explain why for whatever made-up reasons will suffer deep humiliation for their cowardice ;-)

    So come on folks – this is about ideas. Let’s keep it civil and see what scary places this takes us – if you’re up to it.

  39. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Mommy! I forgot my F-16 and sophisticated ammo in Tel Aviv! And those security guys at the airport wouldn’t even let me take my Vitriol conserves on the plane!
    I’m scared! Just thinking about the possible humiliation drives me crazy so I guess that by next week I’ll be ready with some fake photos and minor offensive home-made weapons of mass devastation, just to avenge my cracked nerves.
    RL – he’s provoking me!!!!! I’m filing complaints to all Intl. institutions and media.

  40. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Ah, the food! My favourite Falafel booth was closed and I had no time to get one at another place :-( I wish I had the time and capacity to taste more of the variety… It’s abundant and delicious. Any cuisine or produce from all over the world is easily available, plus local variations on one or a few “themes”.
    But over here we’re more into food for thought.

    It’s not more impressive to say that the realisation hits one in the face. It’s flatly, plainly this. When one realises it, one is impressed.

  41. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Pity I did not know that you were here. There are some surprising eateries:
    A Basque restaurant La Plancha serves up a special Friday deal: a platter of five pinchos and two glasses of cava. The platter includes homemade Spanish sausage, tuna bruschetta, shrimps wrapped in cured ham and calamari cooked on the Plancha.
    Another place specifically for Friday brunch. Exemplary courses include Mediterranean calamari seared in sumac on tehina

    Back to almost on topic I just came across this tasty morsel :-) regarding part of Alibama’s speech:
    An Open Letter to President Obama

    However, it pains me to say this sir, but, while you said in your speech that you are a “student of history,” it is abundantly clear that, in these matters, you do not know history and thus, as Santayana noted, you are doomed to repeat it.
    …………………
    A student of American history, who is not trying to reconstruct it to fit a modern politically correct narrative, would state that tensions between America and Muslims began with the unprovoked, four-decades long assault by the Muslim Barbary pirates against American shipping in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I find it telling that you mentioned the Treaty of Tripoli in your speech but ignored the circumstances that led to it.

  42. oao says:

    Assuming of course that the Erlangers, Cohens and ones realise whose buildings they are gazing at.

    those people would not let anything interfere with their dogma. if anything would be effective, it has to be actually living amongst the pals for a while, not protected by anything. looks like they sense it, which is why they always stay in israel. mitchell, for example, has just settled in israel. why didn’t he settle in ramallah, if they are all like us?

    The jousting going on between me and oao occasionally, is the result of me being a psychological liberal and oao the opposite.

    wrong. i see myself a liberal. the liberalism of today is fake, however, which is why i look like conservatism
    (there is actually a thread in the database theory group which discusses my “change”, but it is not i who changed.

    but it would be more accurate to say that i am eclectic — taking what makes sense from (true) liberalism and conservatism.

    If I was a psychological conservative I could just say that it’s nonsense or crap and refuse to debate with anyone who offered such a unworthy idea.

    huh? why would a conservative dismiss that? many conservatives sense some fundamental differences between the west and islam (I refrain from using judeochristian), without a real knowledge of the nature of the difference, but that does not mean they dismiss the difference, as you seem to imply. i certainly accept the difference, even if i think it’s a necessary but insufficient explanation of the world.

    If you want to debate me on this I’ll be looking for good solid reasoning with evidence and examples in your comments. I’ll ruthlessly point out the lack of rigor and quality of argument for those who resort to insults or derision.

    you absolutely should. but the problem is you don’t, at least in our last argument. you just complained about my crap, but did not address why i said it was crap.

    anyway, all this does not apply, simply because in this instance you were being sarcastic without making it very clear and i just misinterpreted. why turn a misunderstanding into extending honor shame to this exchange. it’s silly.

  43. oao says:

    ah, yes, falafel.

    the best i know is in haifa. there is a street with dozens of booths and an amazing array of ingredients they shove into those pitas. you choose which.

    each time i have it in the US i miss those in haifa.

  44. oao says:

    btw, did you know that RL is in israel on sabbatical right now?

  45. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    What? You didn’t sense my presence?
    I had to give up an even more exotic dinner – a Glatt Kosher B’nei-Brack restaurant! It’s just put off, though.

    Actually, the most impressive feature was the relaxed bustling 7/24. Even the media speculating on Bibi’s speech and the “if he says this then scenario A and if he doesn’t then scenario B or C” going on for hours on the days before he spoke, and the more or less learned exegeses of the speech and reactions afterwards, seemed to have little effect on the liveliness and dynamism of the people.

    Thanks for Brigitte Gabriel’s open letter. I can’t say it’s delicious but it is a decent piece.

  46. oao says:

    unrelated, but could not help posting it:

    It’s 3AM
    http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2009/06/its-3am/index.shtml

  47. oao says:

    another unrelated item, but it’s too good evidence for my argument of the collapse of education and the fall of knowledge and reason:

    Get Them While They’re Soft and Yielding
    http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2009/06/get-them-while-theyre-soft-and-yielding.html#more

  48. Margie says:

    I found a lovely example of how Israelis can do no right in the Guardian’s Comment is Free columns where you can see these principles illustrated daily:

    Israeli supporter

    Perhaps if the United Nations met in Tel Aviv and Ramallah and the International Court of Justice met in Sderot there might be more honest awareness of the vulnerability of all human life and less talk

    Reply by Palestinian supporter

    I’d suggest that Israeli supporter’s idea be taken up, but that they also meet in Gaza, but he or she would object. Human life is only human if it’s not Palestinian, hence the uncompromising hatred of and opposition towards them in Israel.

    Besides, if the UN met in Gaza they would be anti-semites twice, once for meeting in Gaza, once for expressing horror at the destruction Israel has wrought there and the destitution enforced on the Palestinians.

  49. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Thanks for Brigitte Gabriel’s open letter. I can’t say it’s delicious but it is a decent piece.

    Well, I savoured her words and found a delightful taste of facts, fresh and integral as opposed to those distasteful transfacts.

    Yes, the land of milk and honey from glatt kosher to glatt treif.

  50. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Thanks for the Drei (AM) Bones.

    differences between the west and islam (I refrain from using judeochristian)
    Why do you refrain?

    Ray’s comment/invitation was provocative on many an aspect, sometimes intentionally caricatural. At least that’s how I read it.
    But he forgot to mention the rules by which the jousting should take place.
    I suggest the Falafel strategy: you take the North ground – Haifa alley – and me the South ground -Tel-Aviv (now inexistent) Bezalel shuk row of booths, and coordinate the advance of our chickpea bullet-throwing forces. No hot pickled pepper should be wasted! But no fallacy should be spared Tehina-spreading.
    Ray will be crying “My Theory for a Pickle!”

  51. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Transfacts. By Jove!
    Where’s that bottle I should raise for yet another brilliant expression?

  52. Eliyahu says:

    oao, if you were truly scientific about your history of science and learning, you would acknowledge the role played in that history precisely [davka] by religions, by rabbis, priests, ministers, even Muslim qadis [Ibn Khaldun was a qadi yet had some important insights into the workings of society, especially Muslim society. That's why some folks call him the first sociologist].

    Now, if you wait long enough I’ll explain to you the Jewish/Israelite features in Pythagoras’ rules for his special society [or cult, if you like] and elsewhere in his life story. Pythagoras did make important contributions to math, you agree, I’m sure, and I say that he was influenced precisely by early Judaism, that is, the early Jewish/Israelite religion.

  53. Eliyahu says:

    in #33 oao speaks of “the stupidity of the West.” Maybe it isn’t stupidity but simply policy. There could be a method to obama’s madness.

    The US foreign policy establishment has been catering to Muslims for years, just like the British foreign policy establishment [including A Toynbee and his RIIA]. The bolsheviks too took a pro-Muslim stance in the manifesto ["An Appeal to the Muslims of Russia and the East"] of Stalin’s Commissariat of Nationalities back in late 1917 a month or so after the bolshevik coup d’etat, and the Commies have been usually been pro-Muslim in international affairs since then.

    So if it’s policy, not stupidity, this news item from after The One’s glorious speech in Cairo fits in well:
    “Essam Derbala, leader of an Islamist group that tried an insurrection in the 1990s and in 1997 committed the massacre of Western tourists at Luxor [Egypt], has requested that al-Qaeda and the Taliban consider the offer of the president of the United States, Barack Obama, and suspend attacks on American civilians. The authoritative member of the Islamist group called Al-Gama`a Al-Islamiya, made the appeal for dialogue soon after Obama’s speech at Cairo where the American president said that he wanted a new beginning between Washington and the Muslim world.” [Il Sole-24 Ore, 7 June 2009]

    Isn’t that nice? He’s willing to “suspend attacks.” Now just what kind of “dialogue” can Obama have with these mass murderers?? And why, in any case, should Israel do anything to facilitate such a “dialogue”? What good could such a dialogue do for the American people? Are obama and company trying to humiliate the American people? I already know that they are trying to humiiliate Jews, Israelis in particular.

    But oao, why is this stupidity? Maybe it is policy. A very bad policy but a well thought out, well reasoned policy all the same. Stupidity has to do with the goals that one wants to achieve. If a pro-Muslim fanatic, pro-jihadist policy serves certain ultimate goals, then why is it stupid? The question is What are the ends of the policy? Don’t forget that it goes way back, in the case of the UK, it goes back to 1922 at least. Why was the UK pro-Muslim in 1922 as the bolsheviks were in 1917?

  54. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    Now, if you wait long enough I’ll explain to you the Jewish/Israelite features in Pythagoras’ rules for his special society

    Please don’t wait too long as I’d also like to know.

  55. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Where’s that bottle I should raise for yet another brilliant expression?

    My pleasure, and if it’s a Bushmills single malt I’ll second it! :-)

  56. Eliyahu says:

    Cynic, if RL will give me your email address, then I’ll send you something on this matter.

  57. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    As Alibama was conceived by a Muslim father, isn’t he considered to be a Muslim by the brotherhood?
    If so how come no Imam has emitted a fatwah against him for apostacy if his 20 year sojourn in the house of the Rev., Wright makes him a Christian?

  58. Richard Landes says:

    note from a reader:

    Who wants a two-state solution? President Obama, Secretary Clinton and a whole bunch of left wing uninformed or gullible people think that by giving Palestinian Arabs a sovereign state named Palestine, the Arab obsession with destroying Israel and murdering Jews will suddenly cease.

    In fact, historical experience has proven that these Arabs who moved into Palestine when the Jewish people started repopulating the area have no desire to live in peaceful coexistence with a sovereign state of Israel. Except for some Israeli-Arab’s, the large mass of Muslim Arabs in Gaza, Samaria and Judaea, dream of destroying Israel and the Jews within. Since Israel evacuated Gaza in 2005, removing all Jewish presence, these Arabs have fired more than 6,000 rockets into Israeli civilian areas, murdering and maiming many. The Arabs have produced little or no infrastructure necessary to create or maintain a sovereign state. They have created little to no economic sustenance for the population. Instead, they destroyed the economic infrastructure evacuated by the Israelis and purchased for them with Jewish dollars. They have taken the irrigation pipes from the previously very productive Israeli greenhouses that also employed Arabs, and used these pipes for making rockets with which to murder Israeli citizens. The Arabs and Gaza and the PLO under the misnomer of moderate, continue to incite hatred of Israel and Jews to all their people starting with toddlers. How can a document signed by one or two leaders end years of incitement to hatred to which these Arabs have been constantly exposed since birth?

    The result is that their hatred can only be erased with generations of positive education for living a civilized life with constructive aims. These Arabs frequently say that they will win because they love death whereas the Israeli Jews and Christian Arabs love life. The only two state solution that is currently feasible is Israel and Jordan. President Obama would do well to end appeasement of the Arab tyrants now.

  59. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Me too!
    RL – please join my email to Cynic’s.

  60. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    t’was something different, more bubbly.
    Is transfacts copyrighted?
    If it is, you’ll earn more than a Bushmills’ worth…

  61. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Is transfacts copyrighted?
    No. Didn’t have time as the heat of my fingers seared the keyboard.

    It was not premeditated m’lud.
    My visceral needs demanded that I react to the revisionist dagger thrust to excise my historical roots and shame me into dishonour.

  62. oao says:

    in #33 oao speaks of “the stupidity of the West.” Maybe it isn’t stupidity but simply policy. There could be a method to obama’s madness.

    1st, there can be both policy AND stupidity.

    2nd, policy can be rooted in stupidity. for example, policies can be anti-semitic/zionist, but they are certainly stupid in terms of the western interests.

    3rd, the elites may adopt bad policies because the masses are kept stupid and therefore can be manipulated and/or don’t rise up against the policies.

    the point being that policy and stupidity are not mutually exclusive. indeed, the feed each other.

  63. oao says:

    just as an example: it was recently exposed that the UK gives the pakistanis tons of student visas even when it is clear that the background info provided is crap and it is known to be crap.

    this is policy, but it is also stupidity. and note that it has nothing to do with the jews.

  64. oao says:

    If so how come no Imam has emitted a fatwah against him for apostacy if his 20 year sojourn in the house of the Rev., Wright makes him a Christian?

    it’s ok as long as he is perceived as benefitting muslims. but just you wait until, in a pig’s flying momment, he does something they don’t like.

  65. oao says:

    the reader states the obvious.

    The result is that their hatred can only be erased with generations of positive education for living a civilized life with constructive aims.

    which is exactly what the west prevents. in fact, the west itself is becoming devoid of education and living a civilized life. and that’s not just because of islamic immigration and lack of inteegration — read theodore’s dalrymple’s writings on the decay and deterioration of british infidel society.

  66. E.G. says:

    Noble Cynic,

    Thy honour is well set and not a malfeasant word could ever go as deep as thy august roots, nor cast any drop of shame upon them.

  67. Eliyahu says:

    to Cynic #60,

    oao is probably right in #68 about why the imams don’t criticize or threaten obama for being a murtad. As long as he is perceived as serving their interests.

  68. Margie says:

    Who wants a two-state solution? President Obama, Secretary Clinton and a whole bunch of left wing uninformed or gullible people think that by giving Palestinian Arabs a sovereign state named Palestine, the Arab obsession with destroying Israel and murdering Jews will suddenly cease
    ————————————–

    At present most of the people of Israel want a two-state solution or a three-state solution. The Palestinians either make themselves a Palestinian state, given the unlikely possibility that people who could not make peace with us since Oslo will be able to make peace among themselves. Or a three state solution in which Yehudah and Shomron become one state and Hamas either dissolves or vanishes in some other way and Gaza becomes another state or they are absorbed into Jordan and Egypt respectively.

    We know that they will manage to mess up whatever solution they get and live in hatred and misery and that it will be blamed on us again. But at present all we want is a solution!

  69. Eliyahu says:

    I note that Hamas above accuses Netanyahu of being racist. As with so many other statements and accusations coming out of Arab and Muslim sources, this one has to be decoded with the help of a knowledge of Muslim/Arab history. It is not merely projecting their own racism on the Other, the Jews, nor is it merely instrumentalizing the moralistic term racism. The headline in RL’s post reads:

    Hamas: Demand to Recognize a Jewish State – A Racist Position

    Far back in Muslim Arab history, when Persian Muslims sometimes objected to Arab supremacy in Islam, they –and other conquered peoples– were accused of shu`ubiyyah. This term is sometimes translated as racism. It refers to the nationalism of the conquered peoples, shu`ub. It is considered outrageous for these conquered peoples, even if islamized, to raise any nationalistic demand against Islamic unity or even to hold onto any national pride. Further, since Jews are condemned to oppression, humiliation and servitude under the Islamic dispensation –more so than other dhimmis– it is doubly outrageous to the Islamist and the pan-Arabist minds that Jews have any national dignity whatsoever. So the Hamas may very sincerely believe that it is impertinent shu`ubiyyah [translated "racism"] on the part of Jews to make any demands about anything, particularly nationalist demands which mean taking territory away from Muslims. Muslims traditionally see Jews as the most degraded of dhimmis, as having been deprived of their national status and rights and pride long ago. Hence Zionism in any form is an outrage against Allah, etc. It is racism.

    This shu`ubiyyah notion is something like the French liberal distaste for “communautarisme” [communalism], a charge also often made against Jews. But France has found that it cannot enforce this anti-communautarisme on Corsicans, Basques, Breton nationalists, or the Muslims in the banlieues. Further, France is willing to give these peoples equality within the state, up to a point, whereas real hardcore Muslims are of course unwilling to give equality to any non-Muslim.

    The main problem today is that Westerners refuse to investigate the Arab-Muslim meaning of this term and many others and what they mean to the Muslims. Hence, because so many Westerners are all too ready to believe the worst about Jews/Israelis, they are only too happy to accept the Arab/Muslim usage of terms such as “racism” or “oppression” or “arrogant” or “resistance” etc., in their Western meanings and connotations, thus misinterpreting the Arabs/Muslims but flattering them mightily.

  70. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    Thanks for that little tid-bit. Funny, I never heard it used shu`ubiyyah and I was subjected to plenty from jumped up little imams.
    But then again my ear is not that attuned.

  71. oao says:

    a must read from martin kramer:

    Kissed to death by America
    http://sandbox.blog-city.com/kissed_to_death_by_america.htm

  72. Cynic says:

    the classic AIPAC-style narrative: “The Arabs won’t accept Israel and want to destroy it;

    Obama doesn’t get it

    The Arab states have not been maintaining the refugee problem for more than 60 years in order to renounce it.
    ………………
    Over the years, the notion of “return” in the Arab world has turned into something that is above any discussion. Like religion. When Mahmoud Abbas visited Beirut in 2005 he met with refugee representatives and promised that they will return to their homes and villages, as if they still exist, and as if Israel doesn’t exist. And this is the heart of the matter: For the Arabs, this is a metaphysical matter, larger than life, whereby the refugees are supposed to return not to Israel, but rather, to the year 1948, to the moment of departure.

  73. oao says:

    The Arab states have not been maintaining the refugee problem for more than 60 years in order to renounce it.

    i have been arguing this very point here again and again. it is so damn obvious. particularly now, when the world, including the US, has bought their narrative lock stock and barrel. will they renounce them now, when obama, via carter, drops the quartet conditions for talking to hamas?

    whoever thinks that — and alibama does — ought to have his head examined as having undergone a lobotomy.

  74. oao says:

    When Mahmoud Abbas visited Beirut in 2005 he met with refugee representatives and promised that they will return to their homes and villages, as if they still exist, and as if Israel doesn’t exist.

    ah, but it’s much better that they don’t exist: they’ll get what israelis built. that’s the factor that feeds their ROR better than anything else. didn’t described here how, in 1967, arab villagers from arounf kiryat tivon who came shopping there would point to various buildings and say “that’ll be mine”?

  75. oao says:

    let me provide further evidence that alibama is an utter idiot: just when hamas is at risk of losing its sugar daddy, here come alibama and carter and offer to talk to them without the quartet conditions.

    could they hope for a better and better timed saving of their ass? yet again. and defeating the very same PA that the west claims it supports.

    what i see happening is the west/US forcing a replacement of the PA govt with essentially a Haas govt (which was obviously more effective in the true pal cause than the “moderates”) and then forcing israel to deal with (give in) to hamas.

  76. oao says:

    Fayyad Calls for PA State, Draws Fire from Hamas
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/132012

    see what i mean?

  77. E.G. says:

    oao,

    they’ll get what israelis built.

    Perhaps that’s one difference between Israeli Arabs and UNRWA-Arabs. When one has seen the Gaza-strip greenhouses destroyed, one is less sure they want the Israeli infra-structure.

  78. Eliyahu says:

    oao, your last paragraph in #79 is probably right. That is, the real hard core Judeophobes in the West might want to get rid of the PA/Fatah which have not been able to defeat Israel so far and give the leadership to Hamas, which seems more determined and effective in The CAUSE.

    Don’t forget though that Hamas was enjoying a cozy set up in the US back in George Bush I’s time, before prez Clinton. Arab outfits in the USA like Holy Land Foundation were raising funds for Hamas and CAIR was helping Hamas. Sami Arian met one of the presidents or presidential candidates, if I remember rightly. And last but not least, Musa Abu Marzuk [Marzook?], one of the top Hamas leaders was living in a comfortable suburban home in one of the those northern Virginia suburbs where government workers live. His neighbors said that he and wife were very nice. He wasn’t living in a neighborhood, say, in Detroit or Paterson NJ where Arab immigrants live. He was living in a bedroom community for US govt workers. What was he doing there? Why was he so close to the center of power in DC?

  79. oao says:

    When one has seen the Gaza-strip greenhouses destroyed, one is less sure they want the Israeli infra-structure.

    sorry, nope. those were given to them by the west. does not count. when they will TAKE it themselves…

  80. E.G. says:

    oao-
    Not when, if.

  81. [...] Augean Stables » Flushing out the Honor Madness: Palestinian …Below are a series of responses from Palestinian leaders that display all the elements of an honor-shame culture under conditions of humiliation which needs to be fixed by shedding blood — at once childishly violent in rhetoric, … [...]

  82. oao says:

    Not when, if.

    i was describing how THEY think.

  83. Bert Nowak says:

    Iridescent stupidity of those gone mad. Yes you, the cadre of zion can’t help it. All the while stroking your bone of historical conditions, shifting in your own virulent swill.
    No truth like an old truth……
    “The Zionist movement created the Israeli state. The latter is a persuasion less than one hundred years old. Its essential goal was and is to change the nature of the Jewish people from that of a religious entity to a political movement. From Zionism’s inception the spiritual leaders of the Jewish people stood in staunch opposition to it.”

    Totalitarian thought brings you to this point and nothing will bring you home. For over 100 years you have lived to demonize peoples and their places to make them your own. It’s your sin not theirs.

    Empire

  84. [...] sum player whose response to Jews playing positive-sum games with him was to answer, as one of the rioters in the 1936-39 pogroms: “No one invited them, and I’d rather be master in poverty than share in wealth.” [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>