Palestinian Statehood: The Cognitive Egocentrist’s Dream Solution

Working on my book, I have not had time to post at the blog (or to respond to some of the more interesting threads). So I post this piece, partly because it’s so important, partly because I don’t have the time to fisk the deeply dishonest piece it refers to, by Malley and Agha, which reeks of condescension both for the readers of the NYRB and for the Palestinians whose childish reasoning they present without a hint of criticism… all of which disguises their demopathic agenda.

They don’t want a state
Sever Plocker
Published: 07.08.09, 17:54 / Israel Opinion

Researchers increasingly argue that Palestinians uninterested in statehood

Do the Palestinians want a state? This question sounds like a provocative one. Isn’t it patently clear that the Palestinian national movement aspires to realize its goals by establishing a Palestinian state? Isn’t it patently clear that the ethos of political sovereignty has guided the dreams and struggles of the Palestinian people for ages?

Well, no. It’s not patently clear.

More and more Mideast affairs researchers are today willing to respond to the question about whether the Palestinians want a state with a “no.” Some of them offer a hesitant “no,” while others offer a resounding “no.”

In a June 11 New York Review of Books article, written by Hussein Agha and Robert Malley, they two prominent experts argue the following: “Unlike Zionism, for whom statehood was the central objective, the Palestinian fight was primarily about other matters…Today, the idea of Palestinian statehood is alive, but mainly outside of Palestine…A small fraction of Palestinians, mainly members of the Palestinian Authority’s elite, saw the point of building state institutions, had an interest in doing so, and went to work. For the majority, this kind of project could not have strayed further from their original political concerns…”

This inverts my understanding. (Please, readers, correct me if I’m wrong.) Many inhabitants of both the WB and the GS wanted statehood and peace; the leadership never did. When Arafat said “no” at Camp David, the younger members of his delegation wept (Dennis Ross anecdote). Arafat never used his militant credentials to sell the idea of a two-state solution to his people (really to his honor-group of Palestinian and Arab alpha males), but to reassure them that this was the two-phased solution to wiping out Israel.

The two experts sum up by arguing that the notion of a Palestinian state is perceived as a foreign import, and as a convenient outlet for foreign elements who interfere with the Palestinian people’s independent wishes. They point to the “transformation of the concept of Palestinian statehood from among the more revolutionary to the more conservative.” Moreover, Agha and Malley argue that in the past, when Yasser Arafat seemingly endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state and even threatened to declare its establishment, he did not adopt an unequivocal stance and did not make his intentions clear. Since Arafat’s death, the notion of statehood lost the remaining popular support it enjoyed.

So it’s the West’s fault for wishing the Palestinians well that the two-state solution has failed. Agha and Malley are channeling the Dominating Cognitive Egocentrist‘s projections: “I assume “they” are plotting to destroy and enslave me, because that’s what I’m doing to them.”

The message conveyed in the article is greatly commensurate with the argument presented in the new book published by Benny Morris, the leading historian of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The book, titled One State, Two States (Yale University Press, 2009,) details the notion of “two states for two people” starting with the early stages of Zionism and until today. The conclusion is as follows: The Palestinians never adopted the notion of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state existing alongside Israel, regardless of its borders; similarly, the Palestinians have rejected the notion of a joint bi-national state.

There’s a huge difference between the Malley-Agha formulation — they grew disenchanted with the notion of a Palestinian state cause it seemed like a western import — and the Morris formulation which, I think, is empirically far sounder — they never wanted a state.

After analyzing the official documents of Fatah, the PLO, and the Palestinian Authority, as well as statements made by Palestinian leaders, Professor Morris concludes that from the very beginning, the Palestinian national movement views Palestine as an Arab and Muslim state in its entirety.

Arafat was the only prominent Palesitnian leader who appeared to modify his original position and aspire for the “two-state solution.” In his letter to Yitzhak Rabin dated September 9, 1993, Chairman Arafat recognized the State of Israel’s right to exist in peace and security. However, argues Morris, those were empty words, written solely for the pupose of signing the Oslo Accords.

In practice, Arafat’s position on the issue of Palestine’s partition remained vague and kept on oscillating, while he rejected any pratcital partition deal, including the format proposed by former President Clinton at Camp David. This could be interpreted (and this is indeed how Prof. Morris interprets it) as the Palestinians reluctance to realize their soviereignty in any acceptable form. By now, this has been complemented by Hamas’ complete rejection of Israel and of a Jewish presence in Palestine.

The article written by Agha and Malley, associated with the Left, and Morris’ book, on the Right, convey deep pessimism.

This is an astonishing inversion. Agha and Malley write as apologists for a malignant nationalism that wants to destroy another people’s sovereignty, Morris writes as a disappointed proponent of liberal nationalism, and they’re left and he’s right? Now there’s a pretty piece of unthinking folly.

The Palestinians will not agree to either divide or share the country. They continue to cling to the revolutionary dream of “national liberation,” and until this unrealistic liberation materializes, they prefer to exist as a national rather than political entity; one that has no obligations and is always seen as a victim, in its own eyes and in the eyes of the world.

We, who live here within a troublesome reality absent of solutions, can only hope that the learned experts are wrong.

Good luck. I recommend thinking about the hard empirical evidence, rather than runnin’ on empty hope, running into the night.

196 Responses to Palestinian Statehood: The Cognitive Egocentrist’s Dream Solution

  1. Valerie says:

    Having read Morris’s earlier books detailing every Israeli sin, I considered him just another self-loathing western left/liberal. I either read him entirely the wrong way or he’s just had the gauze lifted from his eyes.

  2. Eliyahu says:

    RL, Sever Plutsker writes: The article written by Agha and Malley, associated with the Left, and Morris’ book, on the Right, convey deep pessimism.

    On which you comment:
    This is an astonishing inversion. Agha and Malley write as apologists for a malignant nationalism that wants to destroy another people’s sovereignty, Morris writes as a disappointed proponent of liberal nationalism, and they’re left and he’s right? Now there’s a pretty piece of unthinking folly.

    What this all proves is that notions like “left” and “right” have no real meaning anymore. They are not consistent. These two bodies of public opinion have no enduring principles; they just represent interests, prejudices, passions, and the usual lack of knowledge on both sides, usually worse on the side of the “left.”

    Sever Plutsker [your source spelled the name with a "c" pronounced "ts" in Polish] can write what he did because today, the Arab cause –including Islamic jihad– is defined as “left” ipso facto. Israel is now defined as “right.” However, this also opens up the road for old “ultra-rightists” to join hands with Arab nationalists, Islamic jihadists, and old Communists, even Islamo-communists like Carlos the Jackal, the notorious terrorist of the 1970s. This is exemplified by Jacques Verges, an old “anti-imperialist” Commie who defended the Nazi Klaus Barbie in court, by Carlos who was quite friendly with the old Swiss Nazi Francois Genoud, and by the defense team of Yousef Fofana, the chief murderer of Ilan Halimi. Fofana is due to be sentenced tomorrow for leading & masterminding the kidnapping of Halimi, for torturing him for three weeks and for tormenting his family by having them listen to his cries of pain while tortured, over the telephone.

    The article from Il Foglio [in Italian] describes the courtroom strategy of Fofana’s defense, comrades of Carlos and Jacques Verges. Carlos, by the way, was an old Commie, a red diaper baby in fact, who studied in Moscow and has since converted to Islam. Fortunately he’s in jail. He has advocated an Islamo-Nazi-Commie alliance for years, using the term “Islamic revolutionists.”

    The Il Foglio article well demonstrates the foolishness, deceptiveness, falsehood, of the whole Left-Right notion which is one of those false ideas keeping people from thinking reasonably. What we ought to do is to urge everyone to stop using the false left-right notion. Likewise, we should urge stopping the use of the “palestinian people” notion which Benny Morris seems to have stopped believing in:

    after analyzing the official documents of Fatah, the PLO, and the Palestinian Authority, as well as statements made by Palestinian leaders, Professor Morris concludes that from the very beginning, the Palestinian national movement views Palestine as an Arab and Muslim state in its entirety.

    This was obvious from the PLO charter and arafat’s speeches and Morris should have acknowledged it years ago.

  3. Eliyahu says:

    The article from Il Foglio that I linked to mentions Roger Garaudy as a “leftist” convert to Islam, like Carlos. But it does not go far enough. Garaudy was the chief ideologue of the French Communist Party back in the fifties and sixties. He is now a Holocaust denier and Muslim.

    Again, we are witnessing the frightening phenomenon of a merger between Commies and Nazis and jihadists. In the USA too walt-mearsheimer have been taken up by “neo-Nazis” and “leftists.”

  4. oao says:

    This inverts my understanding. (Please, readers, correct me if I’m wrong.) Many inhabitants of both the WB and the GS wanted statehood and peace; the leadership never did.

    It’s probably true that some of the pals would have accepted their own state in WB and GS. but i suspect that a vast majority of them — particularly those in the camps — do want to destroy israel. the deep indoctrination alone that they undergo in kindergartens, schools and “universities” guarantees that.

    moreover, they might have been more willing to accept their own state early on after 1948 and perhaps 1967, but now, when they see israel delegitimized and america dumping it and the successes of hamas and hezbollah and the nukes of iran, what is the chance that they will accept?

    a point to realize is that the leadership is both the driver but also the prisoner of its own policies and indoctrination — even if they wanted to accept, they probably couldn’t, as they would be terminated.

    This is an astonishing inversion. Agha and Malley write as apologists for a malignant nationalism that wants to destroy another people’s sovereignty, Morris writes as a disappointed proponent of liberal nationalism, and they’re left and he’s right? Now there’s a pretty piece of unthinking folly.

    i often claim here that a lot of this is due to ignorance and stupidity and i am taken to task for it e.g. by eliyahu that it’s actually malice and that these people know what’s going on.

    well, i agree that there is a lot of malice. but it is also true that there is huge ignorance and stupidity, and this is an example of it. plocker does not know much about the subject to be able to do an intelligent review of these books.

  5. oao says:

    eliyahu,

    re l-r continuum, it’s true that it does not apply substantively to the conflict. however, there are two important points about this issue:

    1. westerners have a knee-jerk instinct to apply the l-r to everything, which is an indication that they don’t really comprehend what’s going on. they project.

    2. it is possible to talk about the WESTERN left and right positions on the conflict, which is proper.

  6. oao says:

    btw: arafat never saw the state as the ultimate goal, but just a tactic in the phased strategy. and he was VERY clear about this, even once in a while to western audiences.

    the notion that the state lost its popularity after his death is sheer nonsense. they actually adopted the phased strategy of arafat.

    the best documentation of all this and a must read is efraim karsh.

  7. Eliyahu says:

    # # # # # # # #

    oao, don’t agree with you. In the late 1940s, post-WW2 period, much or most of the US Left was pro-Israel. This was true of the Communists, Nation magazine, “democratic socialists,” etc. The pacifists were mainly against Israel just as they had been in favor of “peace” with Nazi Germany. The Trots too were neutral or anti-Israel. Liberal politicians too were mainly pro-Israel.

    The hard “right” called Ben Gurion and Menahem Begin “Communists.” Publishing houses like Regnery and Devin-Adair were anti-Israel and pro-Arab. The oil industry was mostly openly pro-Arab in regard to the conflict with Israel. You can see some of this but not all in I L Kenen’s Israel’s Defense Line, in one of Owen Lattimore’s books, in A B Magil’s Israel in Crisis [Magil was a CP commie and his book was published by International Publishers, the CP publishing house], in The Yahoos by Mike Newberry [1964], etc.

    Now, there has been a major shift in attitudes among “right” and “left.” Of course, bear in mind that many of the Republicans of today were Reagan Democrats or their children, the children of blue collar unionized workers. As they prospered out of the old big city working class neighborhoods of yesteryear they often changed their party, and often for good reason, for rational interests, as they saw it. So what the “Western left” may believe or say today is not what it was saying 50 or 60 years ago. It is interesting that “leftists” today say things about Israel and Jews that were said by Judeophobic Christian Socialists in the 1930s [I am aware that Charles Peguy, an early Christian socialist, was not anti-Jewish].

    Now, the Christian Socialists of the 1930s and Father Coughlin, and his ilk, were not then considered “left.” Nor were the Nazis. Or maybe I’m wrong. Anyhow, Alain Besancon insists that the Nazis were considered “leftists” in the 1930s. After all, they called themselves “socialists”, “national socialists,” to be precise. They were also a workers’ party, NSD Arbeiter Partei. They said so themselves. Of course, somebody can call himself anything, even the Savior or the Messiah or whatever he likes. So the Nazis could call themselves a “socialist workers party.” But do others have to accept one’s self-designation??? Or a party’s self-designation?? But where and how does one draw lines and make distinctions?? Compared with today’s “socialists” and “leftists”, why couldn’t the Nazis legitimately call themselves “socialist”??

    IN the American context, what is the meaning when Pat Buchanan allies with “leftists”?? How do walt-mearsheimer differ from anti-Zionist “paleocons”? If you read that Il Foglio article that I linked to above, you can see that a French old “gauchiste” [Alain Soral] went over to LePen. Why not? So, oao, please explain the difference between “right” and “left,” not just in France but in the US.

    Alain Soral, passato dallo stalinismo al lepenismo — oao, Explain this please.
    * * * * * * *

  8. sshender says:

    I began reading and immediately went on red alert: this Malley dude sounded too familiar to just be a coincidence, and sure enough I remembered him as the head revisionist of the 2000 Camp David talks or as he referred to it then “The Tragedy of Errors”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/14380

    The single most important book on Camp David revisionism – The Truth About Camp David: The Untold Story About the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process – is based on a large part on his testimony.
    He appeared on many documentaries and has published quite a few articles on the Israeli-Arab conflict ever since, all of them highly critical of Israel and apologetic to the Arabs.

    Surely, little has changed.

  9. sshender says:

    Oddly enough, the second book under the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section on Amazon was none other than Monsieur Charles Enderlin’s “Shattered Dreams”. As we say in hebrew:
    מצא מין את מינו

  10. Ray in Seattle says:

    Eliyahu, thanks for deconstructing some of the left / right descriptions of ME aspirations and politics. I have always puzzled over such terms which seem to be freely used by different authors without any mention of whether they mean psychological, philosophical or political or some combination. I’m still far from understanding it but this helps.

  11. Ray in Seattle says:

    RL or anyone, If the people want a state (peaceful I assume) but the leadership consistently represses that desire then why does Israel allow that leadership to exist and even arm and enable it (only on the WB now).

    As the occupying power couldn’t Israel establish a Pal government there that speaks for the people?

    I’m not disagreeing with your premise here. Just trying to understand something that has always puzzled me.

    it’s not easy at all. this is a harsh honor-shame culture where mothers feel they have to kill a raped daughter in order to appease community opinion. anyone who favors peace with israel is considered a collaborator, and that goes well beyond merely the leadership. this is a herculean task, and it would help if the western MSNM were honest about it.

  12. Ray in Seattle says:

    Following up on #10, If your premise is true couldn’t they establish a more peaceful Pal government by holding and overseeing truly free elections. (Perhaps that’s not really possible.) But if you’re wrong it seems to me they might face the same outcome as they did in Gaza with an an even more anti-semitic rejectionist government coming to power (i.e. Hamas).

  13. Joel says:

    “…the frightening phenomenon of a merger between Commies and Nazis and jihadists..”.

    Lets give this new phenomenon a name. Call it’Amalek’.

  14. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    As the occupying power couldn’t Israel establish a Pal government there that speaks for the people?

    Israel is not an occupying power. The “Palestinian Authority” is an autonomous body, democratically elected by the Arabs of former Palestine residing in the territories that are administered by Israel since 1967. Since the Oslo accords in 1993, more and more parts are under PA administration.

    The previous military government of the territories did not interfere or deal with politics, especially not internal ones.

  15. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG says: Israel is not an occupying power.

    Well, if they’re not why doesn’t the PA (or Hamas) tell them to get their asses out? I think you are calling upon legal technicalities and ignoring the reality. There must be a better explanation than this.

    If you believe that then aren’t you saying that a peaceful solution could exist by that route (free supervised elections) but Israel won’t pursue it because that would be seem as overstepping their legal authority on the WB viv a vis the PA? This just doesn’t make sense to me.

  16. oao says:

    and sure enough I remembered him as the head revisionist of the 2000 Camp David talks or as he referred to it then “The Tragedy of Errors”

    efraim karsh has an extensive criticism of previous workk by malley and agha on camp david and the spin they put on the result.

    If the people want a state (peaceful I assume) but the leadership consistently represses that desire then why does Israel allow that leadership to exist and even arm and enable it (only on the WB now).

    ha. israel wanted to get rid of hamas, a much clearer objective than fatah and was not permitted, do you really think the world would allow them to eliminate the whole leadership?

    a more pertinent question is why, if there is such discrepancy, don’t the pals eliminate their leadership? the answer is, of course, the pals are arabs, so look and see if the arabs are terminating their leadership in ANY arab country, regardless of how much they disagree with them.

    but of course, the disagreement is at best only with respect to corruption, not with their israel policies.
    and even if they were to terminate the current band, who exactly will replace them? the pals, like all arabs, have never developed decent leadership, it’s not in their culture.

    As the occupying power couldn’t Israel establish a Pal government there that speaks for the people?

    1st, israel did, immediately after 1967: a local, moderate leadership. then the idiots rabin and peres went and brought arafat from tunis, who immediately eliminated them and even permitted hamas to flourish. oslo was a fata israeli mistake from which it cannot and will not recover.

    2nd, what happened when hamas was elected? did the world support israel bringing it down or did they scream “respect democracy”? any attempt now to bring about another leadership — who? — would be interpreted as an uncle tom one and not accepted. hell, even abbas is seen like that by many.

    But if you’re wrong it seems to me they might face the same outcome as they did in Gaza with an an even more anti-semitic rejectionist government coming to power (i.e. Hamas).

    bingo. abbas is hanging in via IDF. take them out and he won’t survive a week — hamas will take over.

    The “Palestinian Authority” is an autonomous body, democratically elected by the Arabs of former Palestine residing in the territories that are administered by Israel since 1967.

    sort of. see my reference to karsh and read him.

    The previous military government of the territories did not interfere or deal with politics, especially not internal ones.

    they dealt pragmatically with the local leaders and developed some sort of pragmatic leadership. oslo killed that.

  17. Ray in Seattle says:

    Let me try to clarify my question:

    (I think) RL is saying that ( significant majority of) the Palestinians historically and currently on the WB at least, would choose peace with Israel and prosperity over never-ending war and rejection of Israel’s existence – given the chance.

    (I would think so too if I hadn’t been studying Arab culture and history so much these last couple of years. Because I have though, that premise seems possibly cognitively egocentric to me.)

    My question is, if RL’s premise is valid, why doesn’t Israel (and/or the West) exploit that somehow. Supervised free elections is just one possibility that came to mind.

    But, it seems there should be some way to do take advantage of this. And if there is actually no possible way to allow Palestinians to realize their peaceful aspirations, if their corrupt leaders are really in such tight control of the minds and words of their powerless subjects, shouldn’t there be some way to effectively bring this to the world’s attention – to find some Pals to speak even anonymously of their desires for peace. And then, shouldn’t this be the message that supporters of Israel should be shouting about (and providing solid evidence for) from every rooftop?

    (There could well be something here that I just don’t see.)

  18. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Well, if they’re not why doesn’t the PA (or Hamas) tell them to get their asses out?

    They did. And Israel did go out.
    Israel (IDF) only went (or goes) back into these autonomous territories when major security problems arise (e.g., eliminating or imprisoning one or more terrorist).

    I think you are calling upon legal technicalities and ignoring the reality.

    I’m afraid you don’t really know the legal technicalities involved in the IDF’s activities in the territories.

  19. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao #15: RL and so far EG are saying that my views (and yours I think) are wrong about that. I still think they could be right and I’m wrong. I’ll keep waiting for a good explanation. Meanwhile I will say that your views expressed here on #15 generally make more sense to me.

  20. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG said I’m afraid you don’t really know the legal technicalities involved in the IDF’s activities in the territories.

    You could be right. That’s why I said “I think” – leaving open the possibility that you or someone else would enlighten me. You have not.

  21. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Supervised free elections is just one possibility that came to mind.

    NO. NEVER.
    Israel (and Israelis) is attached to democracy. Either it’s free or it’s not. Nothing between.

    And if there is actually no possible way to allow Palestinians to realize their peaceful aspirations, if their corrupt leaders are really in such tight control of the minds and words of their powerless subjects, shouldn’t there be some way to effectively bring this to the world’s attention – to find some Pals to speak even anonymously of their desires for peace.

    Khaled Abu Toameh of the Jerusalem Post does.

  22. E.G. says:

    Ray # 19

    The IDF is bound by Intl. law and by Israeli law (that’s sometimes more severe vis-à-vis military actions). It is further handicapped by all kinds of rights groups/NGO’s that serve on the ground (e.g., at checkpoints).

  23. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG, I said Supervised free elections is just one possibility that came to mind.

    You said, NO. NEVER. Israel (and Israelis) is attached to democracy. Either it’s free or it’s not. Nothing between.

    Your response totally confuses me. If it’s important to your premise please restate it.

  24. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Israel will not interfere with PA elections. Because if these are organised, they need to be authentically free and follow democratic rules. At least to an Israeli’s mind.

    Previous elections were monitored by Intl. observers.

  25. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG said Khaled Abu Toameh of the Jerusalem Post does.

    I have read quite a bit of his stuff. I never thought he was saying that a majority of Pals want peace with Israel and that the reason they can’t get it is that their leadership is in opposition and holds them in tight check – preventing any popular movement in that direction – which is what I think you are saying.

    Can you refer me to some articles?

    But even if he does promote that view – he’s a single voice. Why doesn’t Israel and the US and other peace-seeking states make it their policy to shout this loudly and prove it with a major information campaign. If it’s true it should not be that hard to prove it beyond any doubt – it seems to me.

    Again, that RL takes this position (maybe I misinterpreted it) makes me think I’m missing something important here. I’m still looking for it.

    i’m not saying the vast majority or even the majority, just many palestinians would prefer to get on with their lives and not be the sacrificial victim on the altar of arab honor. but from that to voicing it, to pushing out not just the leadership, but the street that prefers hatred to trying to live a constructive life — that’s much harder. you can’t just think in terms of a corrupt leadership. this is a culture that’s in the throes of a shameless drive to take revenge. if it means dressing up as a woman, or parading your victimhood in front of your ancient enemies to get them to take your side out of pity — anything is permissible in getting back at israel. when that attitude has its talons in the culture’s imagination — tv, school, media, sports, politics, religion — then it’s almost impossible to fix. certainly impossible with simple solutions like you suggest. – rl

  26. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG #23: Thanks. By supervised I just meant by some trusted authority. Doesn’t have to be Israel. But I think that the campaign leading up to the election would have to be free from violence and intimidation. That’s where I think the IDF would have a legitimate role.

    But again, if the pal leadership intimidates the people preventing an open and free election and the people really want peace (don’t want Hamas) – it seems that that is the issue. That’s what, if it were known to be true, would sway world opinion in favor of Israel and the “peaceful Palestinians”). Don’t you think?

  27. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Yes, Toameh is one of few voices (there are also “Arabs for Israel” and some other brave individuals).

    PMW does a good job too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc-7GK6F4RI

    It dawned upon me that when you wrote “supervised” you actually meant “monitored”, not “set” (like in popular democracies). But no, the IDF is out of there and an army has no role to play in democratic electoral processes.

  28. oao says:

    i’ve claimed here many times that it’s over for the west and that what we are witnessing with respect with the ME (israel, pals, iran) etc. is a reflection of that.

    leading the western collapse is that of the US, reflected in the election of alibama — via affirmative action — as president. and he behaves just as you would expect a beneficiary of affirmative action to do.

    here’s an excellent analysis of the path the US is on due to alibama and what its consequences will be (they are already here if one pays attention).

    MUST READ:

    Obama’s tyrannical ambition
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/07/023937.php

    The servile temptation, part 2
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/07/023999.php

  29. Ray in Seattle says:

    I’ve stated where I find a problem with the premise stated at the start of this thread (or at least my possibly wrong interpretation of it). I’ll stop commenting on that for now and read others’ opinions for a while.

  30. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Another remark.
    If you think that someone should monitor/supervise the electoral process for the PA – because they’re unable to ensure it by themselves? – then it means that someone should always be there to ensure that the peaceful democratic state that must be created is indeed of that nature. You’re more demanding than Bibi!

  31. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG, thanks for the Youtube link. I don’t doubt that the PA seeks to justify armed struggle.

    The part of the premise that I question is that a majority of the people want peace rather than armed struggle. I think a majority seek Israel’s destruction rather than peace with Israel.

    OK – now I listen.

  32. oao says:

    speaking of the media, some deplore the bad PR by israel. I always question that: good PR would not make any difference, one of the reasons being that the media would either ommit or distort israel’s positions.

    here’s an example:

    Media Coverage? Israeli Policy? You be the Judge
    By Barry Rubin
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/07/media-coverage-israeli-policy-you-be.html

  33. oao says:

    and more:

    Misunderstanding Syria: How the Media Leaves out the Important Stuff
    By Barry Rubin
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/07/misunderstanding-syria-how-media-leaves.html

    and in both these cases there is also a lot of ignorance and stupidity involved. agendas with malice do not negate them, in fact the former may well be induced by the latter.

  34. oao says:

    will the culture producing this produce decent leadership?

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/132319

    and these are israeli arabs.

  35. oao says:

    and here’s how western policy props up and prevents this leadership:

    Arab Writer: Obama Focus on Settlements Benefits Hamas
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/132314

  36. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    It’s a stratified society. A rich and educated elite, and a poor brainwashed populace, with most of the thin middle-class layer that benefited from the “occupation” (i.e., those who worked in Israel and made a good living) Dwindled and scattered either to exile or back to the poor (see: Intifadas).
    The masses’ encounter with the 20th century took place in 1967. They were very backward till then: wood ploughs with donkeys, stones to grind wheat… or just idling in camps in not-very-humanitarian conditions.
    So you now have a 3rd or 4th generation of people who know that they don’t need to do anything for their basic vital needs (fed and lodged and medically taken care of mainly by UNRWA/Israel). And brainwashed into believing that their choice is either to fight in hope to gain all of those nice 21st century Israeli things, or to keep living in their humiliating situation.

  37. nelson says:

    oao & elyahu,

    generally (and methodologically) speaking it is safer to atribute to ignorance and stupidity anything that can be blamed on them rather than to malice

    this conclusion would pass Ockham’s Razor test and, besides, ignorance and/or stupidity pressupose a less organized, less energy intensive, more enthropic system

  38. oao says:

    generally (and methodologically) speaking it is safer to atribute to ignorance and stupidity anything that can be blamed on them rather than to malice

    i’ve stated this myself more than once.

    however, in the case of israel/the jews there is much incontrovertible evidence that there is animosity that goes beyond ignrance and stupidity. as i argued, the latter induce the former, but the former cannot be denied. the sheer disproportionate focus on israel relative to the atrocious behavior all over the globe attests to that.

    i’m with oao on this one, nelson. i think that malice where the jews are concerned has too long a history — the “longest hatred” — to ignore, esp now as things deteriorate in places like europe. occam’s razor as you wield it, cannot explain that role of this hatred, and, as oao points out, it visible presence in the obsession of the media et al.

    i’ll grant you, it’s a form of compliment — we ask (so much) more of you jews… — but when you fold in the moral envy (and hence the irresistible appeal of schadenfreude), you get diffused but motivating emotions.

  39. oao says:

    And brainwashed into believing that their choice is either to fight in hope to gain all of those nice 21st century Israeli things, or to keep living in their humiliating situation.

    a large part of the brainwashing is due to islam. and the humiliating situation is one of honor; shame if they don’t choose one of the 2 options.

    on top of brainwashing and honor/shame–which are the internal factors — you’ve got the world supporting and encoraging those 2 choices, and giving every indication that if they just go on like this, they’ll get everything.

    iow, the world is turning what would otherwise be nonrational behavior into rational.

  40. oao says:

    abu-toameh has written a piece for the Hudson Inst. where he argues the obvious: that alibama’s focus on the settlements are serving the interests of hamas, induce abbas to do nothing and destroy the so-called peace process — whatever is left of it.

  41. E.G. says:

    oao,

    iow, the world is turning what would otherwise be nonrational behavior into rational.

    First Ray becomes more “Zionist” than Bibiyahu, now you become more “Rationalist” than von Neumann-Morgenstern?!
    We’ll end up being more Catholic than the Pope! ;-)

    Of course humiliation is linked to honour-shame. And the “rights” groups chorusing it echo deep-seated atavisms. I guess Islam is piggybacking on these ancestral fears and instincts.

  42. oao says:

    First Ray becomes more “Zionist” than Bibiyahu>/i>

    let’s not exaggerate (i know you were being facetious)

    now you become more “Rationalist” than von Neumann-Morgenstern?!

    become? i’ve never been anything else. i mean, that’s what my thesis was all about, and it proved that when it comes to voting people are not rational. i left both academia and business because i always was rationalist and would not change. how could you miss that?

    We’ll end up being more Catholic than the Pope! ;-)

    i doubt it — it’s not a growth field.

    I guess Islam is piggybacking on these ancestral fears and instincts.

    it was developed within an arab culture, it is an arabic religion.

  43. Ray in Seattle says:

    “Ray” has not become anything different than before I made my first comment here. “Ray” believes that:

    a) The pre-partition immigration of Jews into the stateless Palestinian territories was a legitimate and admirable expression of self-help and determination to make the best of a terrible situation – as was the immigration of thousands of Arabs, even though their situation was not as critical. It was people acting freely to better their lives.

    b) British policy during this period was often deplorable, politically and antisemitically motivated and typically biased against the Jews in deadly ways.

    c) The agreement by Israel to the UN Partition in 1947 was an admirable decision placing peace at a higher value than “getting it all”.

    d) The decision by the Arabs / Pals in 1947 (and every chance they’ve had to make a decision since) was a decision to choose war over peace and had no moral justification by Western standards which I believe are superior to Arab standards by any measure – in terms of providing peace and security to non-warlike people.

    My views on this have nothing to do with favoring Jews over Arabs or being a “Zionist”. It is about favoring peaceful liberal democracies willing to follow the rule of law over theocratic war-loving dictatorships that deprive their own people of basic liberties. That doesn’t make me a Zionist. It makes me a liberal who prefers peace over war and human happiness over death, torture and destruction.

    nice articulation of the position. what one might call, “the obvious.” so why are liberals so hostile to israel when it’s a no-brainer from their point of view? -rl

  44. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    It was tongue-in-cheek, as oao realised.

    But part of what you state (in 41, but not only) is Zionist-compatible.
    That’s no shame!

  45. E.G. says:

    oao,

    and it proved that when it comes to voting people are not rational.

    When it comes to many (most if not all) things in life people are not rational. You certainly haven’t missed H. Simon.

  46. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao (I’m smiling at that #43)

    As I’ve been saying for some time now – rationality is greatly over-rated as a driver of behavior. For decisions that will have a significant effect on our well-being we will follow our emotions, not our reason. The exception being for decisions-areas where we (emotionally) have learned to trust our reason. And even then it is that (emotional) trust that we give our rationality, that affects our behavior choice, not rationality by itself.

    Voting is perceived by those who take the trouble to do it as something that affects their well-being – and therefore voting decisions are made by the resolution of strong emotional factors in the mind. That’s why you don’t see much intellectual content in campaigns, especially for the higher offices. Any candidate who runs for office and who doesn’t try to push the most powerful emotional buttons available to them is wasting his or her sponsors’ money. Any attempt at a “rational” sell will be met by glazed eyes, dumb stares and a search for the remote. Usually they know this or they would never get their party’s nomination.

  47. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG says: “But part of what you state (in 41, but not only) is Zionist-compatible. That’s no shame!”

    Do I appear to you as someone who would be ashamed of my views? I ask smiling. If my views are Zionist-compatible then good for the Zionists!

  48. oao says:

    Ray” believes that…”

    are those all emotionally held beliefs, or are they accurate based on the facts? :)

    When it comes to many (most if not all) things in life people are not rational. You certainly haven’t missed H. Simon.

    i never said otherwise. why else would be humanity in the state it’s in. all i am saying is that reason is better than any alternative, IF we would only stick to it.

    i went for voting because of the limitations of what can be done within a thesis. and at the time emerged the economic approach to politics — the rational/collective/public choice theory — and i wanted to test it, with the expectation to reject it, which i did pretty thoroughly.

    I am familiar with simon’s muddling through (which is not emotional as per ray).

  49. oao says:

    As I’ve been saying for some time now – rationality is greatly over-rated as a driver of behavior.

    you may not realize it, but i don’t disagree on that. indeed, if people were rational we would not be in the mess we are.

    but you gotta distinguish between rationality being overrated (a) as a driver of behavior and (b) as beneficial HAD IT BEEN a driver of behavior. i don’t agree with (b), i am not entirely sure what your position is on (b), my sense is that you do.

    I’m smiling at that #43

    that is no good reason, as despite our agreement on non-rational behavior, it does not mean you’re correct in what you claim it means.

  50. oao says:

    Here’s evidence of nonrationality with huge, and probably irreversible consequences.

    Growing Worries about Our Pied Piper

  51. nelson says:

    Israel is doubtlessly the most striking example I know of self-help, of a people beaten, almost exterminated (I’ll not use the word “humiliated”), but a people that, instead of endlessly complaining, doing nothing practical in the meanwhile and swearing revenge or perpetual hatred, opted, in spite of its very long memory, to bet on the future and go ahead.

    Many of us tend to forget how rare a reaction the Jewish one to the Holocaust was. On the other hand, the Palestinian reaction to what they call the Nakhba was the exact, the most extreme opposite. And, ever since 1948/49, the Palestinian reaction became, all over the worlf, the paradigmatic, the right, the preferential one.

    Self-help, individual and (true) collective (but voluntary) initiative is the model behaviour through which the US has been created. This, even more than other liberal values, religion, representative democracy and so on, may explain what used to be American popular sympathy towards Israel.

    It also explains the left’s animosity against Israel and the US. The kind of behaviour that both countries eventually became the model of is preciely what the left most deeply hates. — How do you dare to overcome your problems by yourself and through hard work? Don’t you see that you are a victim, someone oppressed and explored and, unless you first kill your oppressors and confiscate all they own, you’ll never have anything? How do you dare to take your life and future into your own hands: don’t you see that only the State and the Party can do it?

    By building their own country without even the help of the “international community”, without even becoming dependent on charity and NGOs, without spending 365 days a year weeping over the Holocaust and blowing up buses or subway stations in Germany or elsewhere in Europe, the Jews set a very, very bad example, an example that, if followed, would mean the end of all leftist movements, parties, groups, of all international organizations, of the UN and so on.

    Worse: the Jews proved that even in the Muslim Middle East, even in a small oil-less patch of land, a prosperous and free country could be built — and quickly. If that is so, how could their neigbours justify their own, shameful failure? Israel’s existence is clearly a tragedy for the Palestinians and the other Arabs/Muslims simply because it shows what they could have done had they wished to and had they been able (or willing) to change their mentality.

    Whatever contingent political factor lead to the break between Israel and the left, it was anyway inevitable because the Jewish state has until now been the practical demonstration that the left’s way is the wrong one and that the leftists, in the best of hypotheses, are basically misguided idiots.

  52. oao says:

    nelson,

    Self-help, individual and (true) collective (but
    voluntary) initiative is the model behaviour through which the US has been created.

    here’s a pertinent para from the VDH link I posted:

    “Fourth, people often fail, not just because of the bogeymen “they” who “raised the bar,” but also due to their own actions. But too often in the world of Obama, max out on your credit card and it’s the fault of predatory banks. Default on your mortgage and you were tricked into buying more house than you needed. Choose to buy a cell phone or TV rather than make a monthly payment on a private catastrophic-health-insurance plan, and it is because you were neglected by government. Do not pay taxes, get a tax credit — but then still blame those “who do not pay their fair share.” In contrast, Americans sense that the world of debt and trust will not work without responsibility and personable culpability — and that often our problem is not just to be found in “them” — the duly chastised and arrogant Lords of the Universe on Wall Street — but sadly in “us” as well.”

    so you see, but when US was created there was individualism and a certain equality of opportunities, which is what drove the success. unfortunately, that leads to huge inequality of outcomes which may be fine per se, but the top corrupts the system and prevents it from working the same way as when it was created. capitalism has a self-destructive seed just as communism has. the latter fell first, now it’s capitalism’s turn. alibama’s appearance indicates that.

    there is no universal trend. there are periods of various systems which come and fall in a sufficiently long run.

  53. oao says:

    Israel’s existence is clearly a tragedy for the Palestinians and the other Arabs/Muslims simply because it shows what they could have done had they wished to and had they been able (or willing) to change their mentality.

    now couple that with islamic indoctrination which says that allah will ensure muslims are succefful and dominate the infidels, particularly the sons of pigs and monkeys and see what you get.

    but generally you put your finger on the core of the matter.

  54. oao says:

    one other curious item: during its creation and through a long portion of its existence israel was governed by a socialist system, with the founding fathers inspired much by the soviet system from which they came (stalinism would not be emulated due to its genocidal antisemitism).

    so socialism was not enough of an impediment to success. a critical factor was that the jews had nobody to rely on and they knew it without any doubt. so they either saved themselves or died. the pals have just the opposite.

    note also that peoples who have to either save themselves or die often die. that’s why the jews alone survive from antiquity.

  55. nelson says:

    thanks, oao

    i’d say another self-destructive characteristic of capitalism is the creation of legions of losers

    the game may have been fair, but many losers simply won’t admit that they lost because they were or played worse than the winners

    this breeds resentment and envy, creating an ideal target group for demagogues

    this is the main theme of Erich Fromm’s Escape from Freedom in which he argues that the freedom to choose, if it is not to founder on the rocks of resentment, must involve high levels of discipline and self-criticism. otherwise, when choices you as a free agent made go wrong, you scapegoat.

    and, though i’ve nothing against income disparaties, when these grow beyond a certain point, it becomes tempting as well as easy for some of the richest to buy the vote of the poorer, promising them some measure of (actually unfair and self-destructive) redistribution

    there’s probably a reason for the fact that in small and relatively homogenous countries capitalism and democracy tend to do better — probably because of voluntary solidarity with people who are seen more or less as members of one’s extended family

    this has better chances of working in a country the size of Finland than, for instance, in the UK, and a large part of the relatively rich/democratic countries are actually small nations (the US has always been the exception)

    for a study of social solidarity, it is interesting to take a look at how the Finns reacted when, after the Winter War, some 500 thousand (1/6 of the population) of them left Russian occupied Karelia: the whole country, though in dire straits and impoverished by a lost war, mobilized to help their countrymen turned into refugees

    nice comparison. has anyone elaborated on that in an article?

    now, compare this with how well the Lebanese, Syrians, Egyptians etc, welcomed the Palestinians around 1948 (and ever since)

  56. sshender says:

    Nelson, I wholly enjoyed reading your summary in #53 – It’s dead on!!!

  57. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Thanks a lot for the Abba Eban interview. I join your recommendation, 51 years later it is highly instructive.

    Here’s an “Open letter to the members of the
    HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL FACT-FINDING MISSION ON GAZA CONFLICT” by Ben-Dror Yemini of Maariv

  58. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Rationality is greatly over-rated as a driver of behaviour in theory. There is ample empirical evidence that refutes that theoretical premise. But that does not necessarily mean that affect replaces cognition. It sometimes, probably often, interferes with cognitive processes. Yet in many domains, people do want and seek to behave rationally. They (we) just don’t do it very well.

  59. Cynic says:

    RL or anyone, If the people want a state (peaceful I assume) but the leadership consistently represses that desire then why does Israel allow that leadership to exist and even arm and enable it (only on the WB now).

    Ray,

    Firstly because that’s what the US wants – going back to the 80s it was the US (Baker-Botts & co.) that went along with Europe and the Soviets and declared Arafat the only legitimate leader of the Palestinians which forced Israel to swallow a large frog;
    then under Clinton the CIA was used with Tenet at the helm to provide training and weapons supplied through Israel to Arafat’s thugs;
    and once more under GWB the same occurred.
    What is it that somebody said about Insanity? “Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results”?
    Of course those politicians and bureaucrats (State Department, British FO; Quai d’Orsay etc) are not insane but merely following an agenda which with hindsight appears to be a policy of being complicit with Clean Hands.

    Pressure is exerted in the form of blackmail and earlier on in this century Israel was threatened with withdrawal of any US support in the security council when the rest of the Quartet was aiming for UN sanctions because of Israel’s fight for security (the security fence/wall and targeting the heads ) against Arafat’s terrorist Intifada.

    (Now again apparently, from what I’ve heard discussed “locally”, it is being used by BO against Netanyahu to squeeze concessions;)

    One must bear in mind that before Arafat sprayed taquiya on the Whitehouse front lawn, there were Palestinians (moderates?) who were coming to some sort of agreement with Israel to become self-governing etc., but with the entry of Arafat and his convoy of thugs into Gaza the killing of those Palestinians started with the resulting consequences.

    tangential thoughts
    And with all the CIA involvement US citizens on their way to deliver Fulbright scholarships to Palestinians were killed; and still it seems that they are none the wiser.
    Is it any wonder after this and Khartoum, etc., people think that US citizens in the service of their country who fall victim to foreign policy collateral damage are written off as Foggy Bottom shahids?

    Then again just observing the latest Pelosi/CIA spat one is left wondering if perhaps insanity is part of the foreign policy witch’s brew.

  60. oao says:

    But that does not necessarily mean that affect replaces cognition.

    bingo. indeed, simon’s muddling through is a good example.

    rationality requires knowledge and ability to reason. these two must be developed. it used to be the task of education. that did not guarantee rationality, but gave it a chance. in its absence one should not expect rationality.

  61. oao says:

    Then again just observing the latest Pelosi/CIA spat one is left wondering if perhaps insanity is part of the foreign policy witch’s brew.

    pelosi has always been an idiot and she’s not alone in congress. one wonders how somebody so stupid could be elected a leader of congress.

    the insanity is not hers, but her election. but then all american institutions — private and public — are so incompetent and corrupt that nothing can save the country.

  62. Cynic says:

    Let me try to clarify my question:
    (I think) RL is saying that ( significant majority of) the Palestinians historically and currently on the WB at least, would choose peace with Israel and prosperity over never-ending war and rejection of Israel’s existence – given the chance.

    Ray,

    I was a bystander of the “daily scene” and witnessed Jenin through the 90s and into Arafat’s Hades.
    The Arabs were doing business with Israelis and were reaping the financial rewards and social progress.
    Israelis were flocking to Jenin, it being so close, to buy, eat and repair stuff. Palestinians were riding around Israel going the length and breadth of the country taking in all the sites.
    When the violence started, in Afula in 1994, a large number of Jeninites, I won’t say a majority, thought that they could carry on cashing in on both sides of the coin. A few Israelis who ventured into the place were killed and their trade dried up completely. They did not stop and say: “Hey, were losing out!”

    (It was the people of the surrounding areas and Afula who took it into their own hands to erect a fence, privately, which even Sharon objected to at the time.)

    October 2000 saw the detonation of the horror bomb and also saw the rioting in Umm al-Fahm in favour of Arafat, Arab town in Israel, and the destruction of their own assets (e.g. gas station equipment).
    Being on the main highway to the North they were a favourite stop for meals and shopping etc., but all commerce with the Jews stopped because of their behaviour. Yet they cried that the Jews, who they cursed uphill and down dale, whose buses and cars they stoned etc., were discriminating against them.
    Buses on route to the north were bombed both by individuals and car-bombs so much so that the buses did not stop in Umm al-Fahm and passengers rode with armed guards (Wells Fargo?).
    Things appear to be back to what they were before but the point I want to make is that for all the commerce and relative peace the zero sum game is still in play. Their cleric is the one RL posted on
    Studies in Demopathy: Inside the Haifa U. Muslim Apartheid Speech

    Just like Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Umm al-Fahm, one is dealing with a culture which while it is nice to take advantage of the better things in life it is far more exhilarating to suffer the bitter things with honour.
    To admit that one had to sweat to get somewhere is not half as honourable as making the dhimmi pay for it.
    At every turn they will twist things to portray honour and deny the shame.
    In a caustic discussion with people at work someone pointed out that they were not able to produce something and with much pride the rejoinder was that they did not have to break their heads but used the kafir (in those terms) to do it.
    It is pointless arguing with such intellect.

  63. Cynic says:

    Previous elections were monitored by Intl. observers.

    E.G.,

    Khaled Abu Toameh had a column in Jpost way back in September 1996 (if memory serves) on the election that Dhimma Carter monitored for Arafat.
    Toameh was in Abu Dis when the lights went out and the ballot box disappeared.

  64. Ray in Seattle says:

    Cynic, Thanks for your comments describing Arab mentality. Since you live there I place much credence in your first-hand experience. What you describe – a culture where honor-shame considerations always trump any desire to improve one’s conditions by self-help and hard work – confirm my impression gained second-hand through reading and online discussions like this.

    I find that to be different from RL’s thesis in this thread (I think) – that average Palestinians really want peace with Israel and to build their own prosperous state and are prevented by ruthless leadership who keep them in check using violence or the threat of it.

    i agree with cynic, except that he has a tendency to conflate the actions of terrorists — bombing buses, shooting cars — with the inhabitants of the town. there are, i’m sure, plenty of arab residents of um al fahm and jenin who know who’s responsible for their misery. (few people are that stupid.) but — and here’s the honor-shame rub, it’s not merely fear of their leaders that keeps them silent, but fear of their neighbors. so if i say “many prefer peace,” that hardly means they’ll say it.

    I suspect that deep down, Palestinians know from looking around the Arab world, that their culture will never produce any significant wealth for the common people or political autonomy such as Israeli-Arabs enjoy – and so they take up the profitable game of blaming Israel – at best in hopes that world opinion will force Israel to make concessions and the West, through guilt as Israel’s historic sponsor, will continue to subsidize their economy through aid and UNRWA. At worst they probably have fantastic dreams of great looting and big homes to occupy if some day a bomb drops in Tel Aviv and millions of Israelis die and/or escape to the US and Europe. I don’t think this is a reasoned view but an emotional one – a cultural consensual internalized agreement. (Perhaps it is not so fantastic and I agree that Obama has made it at least a bit less so, as others have asserted.)

    in their mind, the europeans/west are dhimmi and should pay for their material well-being. the basic principle of the elites that dominate prime divider societies is “take, not make.”

    I have seen little evidence that the underlying repressed desire of average Palestinians is to live in peace with Israel and build economic prosperity through education and hard work. I see their leadership as the only kind that could survive there and I suspect average Pals understand that at the deep non-conscious level – and so they make the best of what they can, as we all do.

    every once in a while you see stories about palestinians who work for israelis and claim that they do it so they can feed their families in dignity (ie by the sweat of their brows). that’s a very strong indicator of moral autonomy.

  65. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says, pelosi has always been an idiot and she’s not alone in congress. one wonders how somebody so stupid could be elected a leader of congress.

    She is not stupid nor is she an idiot. She has well above average intelligence. She simply has a different set of political identity beliefs than you do. The emotional force of those beliefs guide her behavior choices, her political decisions and direction, in a different direction from yours. Because your identity beliefs are so ideological this enrages you.

    I am not defending her from you but I only point this out as a missed opportunity by you (and much of the RW) to provide reasonable alternative political views at this time of need. The hateful and vicious views toward liberals and Dems held by folks like you fueled the attempted impeachment of Clinton, the campaign of vicious lies against Gore, the heavy-handed gloating on the right over the unprecedented SC decision that put Bush in office and the take-over of that admin by the neo-cons, etc. These realities and others like them created such a deep resentment against Republicans and their values from much of the left that virtually any Dem who ran this term in the ruins of the Bush economy, was who was not a convicted child molester or serial killer, was bound to win.

    In that environment even a progressive left (not liberal left) black candidate with Muslim childhood roots and no proven political record had a good shot and won. That was unfortunate IMO but if you violently shock the US electorate – as Republicans started doing in 1992 – it will oscillate and swing back again. I said that when Gingrich was selling his “Contract with America” and when he said that people who think like me were responsible for acts like Susan Smith drowning her children. I saw this coming at the time and warned against it.

    I now truly wish we had a better Dem candidate in office than Obama (especially as Obama’s approach to Israel is revealed). But folks like you, through your tribal hate of the left and your take-no-prisoners policy of total political destruction starting in 1992, not only made this possible, but inevitable. And you didn’t do it from reason. It’s the result of the same kinds of zero-sum tribal hatreds that Palestinians hold for Jews in the ME. It’s the same honor-shame “my tribe against your tribe” mentality that has nothing to do with rationality that you express in so many of your comments.

    Both the left and the right have values and views that are appropriate and useful for solving certain kinds of problems. But both the left and the right can harbor ideological (tribal) emotions that are anathema to the democratic process. It takes a rational non-ideological mind to see the difference and promote the former while renouncing the latter.

    i think you can make your largely cogent comments without also participating in the culture wars you decry. you need not conflate people who (understandably if perhaps not justifiably) think pelosi is an idiot (as in “useful idiot” a category which includes geniuses like George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell and J-P Sartre) with people who went after Billary in the late 1990s. we have to seek the common ground here. it’s critical. -rl

  66. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG says, “Rationality is greatly over-rated as a driver of behaviour in theory. There is ample empirical evidence that refutes that theoretical premise. But that does not necessarily mean that affect replaces cognition. It sometimes, probably often, interferes with cognitive processes. Yet in many domains, people do want and seek to behave rationally. They (we) just don’t do it very well.”

    Thanks for discussing this with me. My views on this describe a possible way that emotion and reason might affect human behavior choice – the mechanics of it.

    Whether I am right or wrong about those mechanics is not really significant to our discussions here it seems to me. We all seem to agree that both reason and emotion participate in human behavior choice. The question of whether emotion neurologically replaces reason or interferes with it or both, is just an interesting side issue for me. I think we agree on the essentials.

    Using reason to understand reality is a difficult task at best but especially so when strong emotions are flowing – which will always be the case when any behavior decision or conclusion that significantly affects our well-being is being considered.

    One result of the view I have adopted on the mechanics is that I now see that we should be very cautious when ascribing our own emotion-laden conclusions to cold reason and our opponent’s to blind passion. Our emotions will always try to tell us that we are right – no matter the evidence. And we will very much want to believe them.

  67. oao says:

    She is not stupid nor is she an idiot. She has well above average intelligence. She simply has a different set of political identity beliefs than you do.

    nonsense. perhaps she has a set of beliefs similar to yours and therefore she cannot possibly be stupid.

    i am not discriminating against the dhimmicrats: the repugs are just as stupid. between them, the corporations and the gullible ignorant public the US is being destroyed. just watch.

  68. oao says:

    They did not stop and say: “Hey, were losing out!”

    as ray would say “their beliefs in killing the joos are emotionally stronger than their beliefs in a better life”. no kidding? this clarifies it.

    sharon said it best to condi: they’re murderous and treacherous.

  69. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says, “nonsense. perhaps she has a set of beliefs similar to yours and therefore she cannot possibly be stupid.”

    To the contrary. My assessment is based on my belief, tested by reason, that no-one who is below average intelligence is likely to reach the heights of power in either party due to the many inter-party adversaries they must overcome over the years to get to that position, where one major mis-step can end a career.

    Exceptions might be having a father who’s footsteps, money and party machine paves your way – like with Bush and McCain. I don’t see that in Pelosi’s case and although her family is not poor I have never seen her say something that seems particularly stupid.

    But the main problem with your statement is that I apply my views equally to the left and the right and so the test of ideology is somewhat negated. I have never characterized anyone here or any Republican as being either stupid or an idiot. OTOH it’s hard to find a comment where you don’t include such hateful opinions.

    i really think a word like insulting wd be preferable to “hateful” — it’s largely a word used by politically correct people who consider any criticism of islam to be hate-speech, the same people who ignore genuinely hateful islamic speech. i’m not saying that describes you, ray; i’m just saying that when i see someone use “hateful” in a context i consider to be rhetorical overkill, that’s the associations it sets off. -rl

    Back to the topic, I don’t consider Arabs or Palestinians as being stupid or idiots either. They hold cultural beliefs that lead them to behavior that is very self-destructive. But they often display intelligence and even cunning when executing that behavior. Like Pelosi and McCain, the fact that they are still there says a lot.

  70. oao says:

    My assessment is based on my belief, tested by reason, that no-one who is below average intelligence is likely to reach the heights of power in either party due to the many inter-party adversaries they must overcome over the years to get to that position, where one major mis-step can end a career.

    i dk whether to laugh and cry. there is a huge difference between the shrewdness of running a campaign and the smarts required to legislate and govern. indeed, most politicians can’t tell the difference and continue to do their jobs as campaigning and politicking, with some disastruous consequences. alibama is an excellent example.

    But the main problem with your statement is that I apply my views equally to the left and the right and so the test of ideology is somewhat negated. I have never characterized anyone here or any Republican as being either stupid or an idiot.

    well, somebody who believes there’s no truth and everything is emotional does not have a notion of stupidity and ignorane — it’s all different beliefs, equally “true”.

    and i guess i am taking all your pronouncements as emotional rather than true.

    beware, ray, picador at work. :-) rl

  71. oao says:

    steyn is great as always:

    and somewhere in there he refers to alibama, pelosi and barney frank, the smart ones.

  72. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says “well, somebody who believes there’s no truth and everything is emotional does not have a notion of stupidity and ignorane — it’s all different beliefs, euqally “true”.”

    It’s hard to believe you could mis-characterize my carefully explained views so completely.

    I have never said there is no “truth”. In fact I explicitly said there is an objective truth – the true nature of the universe and everything within it – aside from our interpretation of it.

    What I did say is that the human ability to perceive that truth is greatly limited both by computing power and the ancient mammalian system of emotional computation – aided by reason – whereby we arrive at behavior decisions and conclusions.

    Beliefs are not all equally true. I only maintain that we should be cautious when claiming that we alone know what those truths are and our opponents don’t – especially when strong emotions are present in our minds.

  73. Ray in Seattle says:

    Here’s an interesting article by Robert Fulford in Canada’s national Post about Khaled Abu Toameh.

    Fulford writes:

    He (Toameh) believes the so-called “peace process,” begun with the Oslo Accords of 1993, has been a tragic failure and holds little promise of success. Over 16 years, the peace process has brought war — and plenty of it. It has disillusioned both Arabs and Jews — Arabs because they haven’t acquired the independence and honest self-government they wanted, Jews because security has become more elusive than it was two decades ago. Even so, the United States and others believe the virtue of the peace process is self-evident.

    It’s hard to tell here whether this is Fulford’s view, Toameh’s view or some synthesis wrought by the author. The first problem I have with it is that he seems to be saying that all Arabs want independence and honest self-government. This seens to me a bit similar to the self-evident phrase that people in hell want ice-water.

    Even so, independence and honest self-government is not quite the same thing as living in peace with Israel. I wonder if those Palestinians who do want a better government and civil structure (I’m sure there are many) might see that as a more effective platform from which to fight Israel’s existence politically or perhaps even militarily. Any opinions on this from the Israeli voices here?

  74. oao says:

    you expressed yourself in many posts in many threads and at least at one point i recall you said there is no objective truth. if i confused you with somebody else, i am sorry.

    my argument on this is that there can be incorrect interpretations of reality and that they can be minimized by an education which induces appreciation of knowledge and trains the mind’s ability to reason independently and critically.

    you otoh are entirely focused on the emotional obstacles to that and do not much care about what increases or diminishes them. but that is understandable given the collapse of education and the general absence of knowledge and ability to reason. under these circumstances emotions do play a large part.

    here i think you’ve gone on to attacking a straw man. as i understand ray, his point is that emotions prevent us from paying attention to reason or empirical reality because we don’t want to know or believe what the evidence and logic suggest. e.g., condaleeza rice, george mitchell, hbo, don’t want to know that the key players in the palestinian population don’t want a state, and they therefore refuse to pay attention to the abundant evidence that they don’t. straw men don’t help.

    but even that is different than the quasi-tautological equation of behavior with emotional belief, which cannot be falsified.

    as to the politicians, looks like there is some difference between dhimmicrats/lefties and repugs/righties: State of the Nation: Anti-Semitism and the economic crisis.

  75. oao says:

    It has disillusioned both Arabs and Jews — Arabs because they haven’t acquired the independence and honest self-government they wanted

    abu-toameh is right, but how exactly did the peace process prevent the pals from developing honest self-govt? the israelis built that BEFORE they had a state, because they were a nation with a constructive culture.

    the pals, otoh, were NEVER a nation, they were an invention to use as a weapon against the jews. they were a bunch of arabs, most of whom migrated to the area to benefit from development by jews. and there is NO HONEST LEADERSHIP IN ANY ARAB SOCIETY. this says something about the lack thereof of pals.

    nelson explained the whole thing quite well. only when the world stops deluding themselves about some “plaestinian people”, will they stop expecting them to develop a civilized society and accept peace.

  76. oao says:

    The first problem I have with it is that he seems to be saying that all Arabs want independence and honest self-government.

    this is the standard western projection on the arabs/muslims. bush and alibama both bought it.

    Even so, independence and honest self-government is not quite the same thing as living in peace with Israel.

    i strongly suggest you do yourself a favor and read as much as you can by efrain karsh. his documentation of the history of the conflict is the most detailed and best i’ve seen.

  77. oao says:

    you cannot read karsh and still believe that the pals really want a state.

  78. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says: “but even that is different than the quasi-tautological equation of behavior with emotional belief, which cannot be falsified.”

    I do not equate behavior with emotional belief – which of course is easily falsified as illogical, not tautological. One is actions of organism in nature. The other is a mental state – that may or may not be associated with behavior.

    My view is that emotional brain states drive behavior. Those emotional states arise from other brain modules and mental states including instincts, habits, mood, reason beliefs and others. Brains evolved to provide all those inputs. Evolutionarily advanced brains have more modules and a wider range of emotions. Emotional states are simply the means to carry that information.

    Notice I include reason as a source. I believe reason, planning, etc. often provide creative candidate behaviors for humans. Our brain gives those candidates an emotional score – so it can compete with other candidates coming from other sources such as belief. Based on experience – brains that are not too creative will give a lower score to reasoned candidates than brains that have had practice and training (education) in solving those types of problems. It’s really a pretty effective and amazing system.

    In adult humans, I suspect that beliefs account for the majority of the emotions driving our everyday behavior. We use reason, especially for figuring out the many non-emotional problems we encounter every day, like how to get to the grocery story if there’s a detour. But where strong beliefs are controlling our emotional states, such as when choosing a presidential candidate to vote for – then we’re more likely to use our reason to justify those beliefs (and behavior) rather than examine them.

    I would like to find some day I’m on the right track here but it would not bother me a lot to find out I’m way off base either. What I’d like to do is focus on the emotion states that drive Pal / Arab behavior and how or if they are different from ours. These would seem to be found in the strong cultural beliefs that I think everyone accepts are a major driver of their behavior. It seems to me like an interesting area to explore in some depth and I think that’s what this forum is about.

  79. Ray in Seattle says:

    Rather than argue over how brains work, I said,

    What I’d like to do is focus on the emotion states that drive Pal / Arab behavior and how or if they are different from ours. These would seem to be found in the strong cultural beliefs that I think everyone accepts are a major driver of their behavior. It seems to me like an interesting area to explore in some depth and I think that’s what this forum is about.

    I think that all human groups and societies are held together – if they are held together – largely by honor / shame emotions which are emotions we experience as the result of the approval or disapproval of our behavior by what we perceive as “our culture”.

    I believe evolution has given these emotions great power to guide our behavior because more cohesive societies are significantly more successful at protecting their members, taking resources from other societies and therefore spreading their genes to future generations.

    How different societies experience honor / shame emotions such as how we acquire them when we’re young, what experiences we have to internalize them or make them part of our personality (our identity), what token behaviors and responses we attach to them, etc. – all these seem particularly interesting to me as a way to look at the I/P conflict and East / West conflict generally.

    It just may be that fundamentalist societies that successfully attach honor / shame emotions to a very strict regimen of approved behavior, even if the members of those societies experience much less happiness and freedom in life, and even if many members of that society die violent deaths at an early age, are better equipped to win the evolutionary game by their ability to more than make up for that by displacing other more wealthy societies, taking their resources, killing their children and impregnating their women.

    Maybe Mohamed’s business plan was the right one and our is just an 18th century elitist delusion on the grand scale of things. just something to think about.

    this is more or less what Ibn Khaldoun would say were he alive today. the solidarity he called asabiyya. on the other hand, the arabs are involved in pathological forms of this solidarity, including the sacrifice of palestinians on the altar of arab honor. we shd be able to defeat such shameless behavior, if we weren’t so stupid (in the sense that nancy pelosi is stupid). rl

  80. oao says:

    whatever.

  81. nelson says:

    Ray,

    you talk about “the take-over of that admin (Bush’s) by the neo-cons”

    as the term “neo-con” seems to have multiple meanings, some positive, some negative, even some neutral, but as it has been in many instances used as a term of abuse, I’d be grateful if you could elaborate a bit more on it

    i’d actually like to know the following

    1) what is neo-conservantism?
    2) who are the neo-cons (followers of a doctrine? an ideological or political group)?
    3) if there are/were such a thing as well-defined neo-cons, what were their intentions, were they implemented and how, how influent were they during the first and the second Bush administration?
    4) in what areas was their influence strongest?
    5) what did they accomplish or tried to accomplish?
    6) what kind of/and whose interests did they represent, if any?
    7) were these interests legitimate or not? good or bad for the US, and why?
    8) who and what interests competed with them/theirs?
    9) what does it mean, precisely, to take an American administration over?

    I imagine that you don’t ignore that in some, actually many, circles “neo-con” is an euphemism for a sinister, conspiratorial cabal of rightwing, ultra-zionistic (whatever this means), Likudnik Jews who, in the interests of some Israeli faction or, in more extreme cases, of “world Jewry”, has been working exactly to take over, first, the US, then the whole planet, enslaving mankind

    I’m not saying this is the way you think, but a short phrase as the one you wrote comes, independently of your wishes, already charged with too many meanings; thus, for the sake of the discussion, some clarity would be quite wellcome in this case

  82. oao says:

    nelson,

    this was a knee-jerk comment of a lefty — a highly emotional one in accordance to his own theory … er … excuse me, explanation.

    unnecessary and premature response. nelson asked an excellent question in a poised manner. this is just oil on the fire. -rl

  83. oao says:

    i tried to post some links to efraim karsh’s articles but the system rejected them. i asked RL to post them for me.

  84. Eliyahu says:

    Ray, thanks for the kind words.

    oao, don’t agree with you about right and left regarding Israel historically. In the late 1940s, post-WW2 period, much or most of the US Left was pro-Israel. This was true of the Communists, Nation magazine, “democratic socialists,” etc. The pacifists were mainly against Israel just as they had been in favor of “peace” with Nazi Germany. The Trots too were neutral or anti-Israel. Liberal politicians too were mainly pro-Israel.

    The hard “right” called Ben Gurion and Menahem Begin “Communists.” Publishing houses like Regnery and Devin-Adair were anti-Israel and pro-Arab. The oil industry was mostly openly pro-Arab in regard to the conflict with Israel. You can see some of this but not all in I L Kenen’s Israel’s Defense Line, in one of Owen Lattimore’s books, in A B Magil’s Israel in Crisis [Magil was a CP commie and his book was published by International Publishers, the CP publishing house], in The Yahoos by Mike Newberry [1964], etc.

    Now, there has been a major shift in attitudes among “right” and “left.” Of course, bear in mind that many of the Republicans of today were Reagan Democrats or their children, the children of blue collar unionized workers. As they prospered out of the old big city working class neighborhoods of yesteryear they often changed their party, and often for good reason, for rational interests, as they saw it. So what the “Western left” may believe or say today is not what it was saying 50 or 60 years ago. It is interesting that “leftists” today say things about Israel and Jews that were said by Judeophobic Christian Socialists in the 1930s [I am aware that Charles Peguy, an early Christian socialist, was not anti-Jewish].

    Now, the Christian Socialists of the 1930s and Father Coughlin, and his ilk, were not then considered “left.” Nor were the Nazis. Or maybe I’m wrong. Anyhow, Alain Besancon insists that the Nazis were considered “leftists” in the 1930s. After all, they called themselves “socialists”, “national socialists,” to be precise. They were also a workers’ party, NSD Arbeiter Partei. They said so themselves. Of course, somebody can call himself anything, even the Savior or the Messiah or whatever he likes. So the Nazis could call themselves a “socialist workers party.” But do others have to accept one’s self-designation??? Or a party’s self-designation?? But where and how does one draw lines and make distinctions?? Compared with today’s “socialists” and “leftists”, why couldn’t the Nazis legitimately call themselves “socialist”??

    IN the American context, what is the meaning when Pat Buchanan allies with “leftists”?? How do walt-mearsheimer differ from anti-Zionist “paleocons”? If you read that Il Foglio article that I linked to above, you can see that a French old “gauchiste” [Alain Soral] went over to LePen. Why not? So, oao, please explain the difference between “right” and “left,” not just in France but in the US.

    “Alain Soral, passato dallo stalinismo al lepenismo”

    oao, Explain this please. While we’re talking about stalinists becoming lepenists, we ought to go back to the late 30s-early 40s when many socialists in France wanted peace with Nazi Germany. When the Vichy govt was set up in France, many of its officials were socialists, Communists [stalinists], Trotskyists, pacifists, etc. Others belonged to pre-war French nationalist and Judeophobic outfits.

    During the war, in the USA, there were very big movements of Hitler sympathizers and/or of those who wanted peace with Hitler. Think of America First and the Committee for Peace Now [yes, the phrase "peace now" was used then --as now-- by those who wanted peace with Nazis. Check the NYTimes index for the years 1942-1944 for articles about the American Peace Now, set up by a Norwegian (suprise, surprise) who was a German agent]. So I say that the labels “left-right” or “pacifist” or “peace activist” do not describe different policies from warmonger or terrorism facilitator. I don’t say that “extremes meet.” I see ideologies and political movements as more of a 3-dimensional universe.

    Cynic, I can confirm that before the first so-called “intifada,” Arabs were traveling freely throughout the country. They came to the beach in Netanya and the zoo in Jerusalem. They was no segregated beach in Netanya, although the libel of Israeli “apartheid” might lead one to think that. The limits on their movement came into practice in 2 stages. First, in 1988 when the first intifudi began; then in 1994 with the setting up of the “palestinian authority.” Even today, despite renewed terrorist attacks, plenty of Arabs come to the shopping malls in Jerusalem. They shop [yes, they have money], they eat and dine at restaurants, sometimes run by Arabs, they try on clothes. “apartheid” is just a smear word as applied to Israel [that's what jimmy c does]. Israel never had apartheid or the jimcrow of the US South of fifty years ago. The limits of today are not on Israeli Arabs [citizens] but on Arab residents/citizens of the Palestinian Authority. If they want a separate state, why do they want to come to ours??

  85. nelson says:

    About left and right.

    In any normal society, whether traditional or modern, politics plays only a small role in most people’s lives and, thus, the members of the hard left and the hard right tend to be a minority of activists who see everything or almost through politicized lens.

    That’s one thing that both hard ends of the spectrum have in common: the disproportionate importance politics plays in their lives and thought.

    Another coincidence is that, unlike your regular politicians or parties, they want to impose their worldview on the majority. They are not satisfied with conquering power, much less in sharing it with others: they want to mobilize large sectors of the society either to get power or immediately after getting it.

    Their ambitions also go much further than those of the regular politician who may be satisfied with privileges, money and other personal gains, because (besides, of course, usually desiring all this) they actually want to change the daily life, the atitudes and the worldview of their subjects.

    In this sense, both the hard right and the hard left are deeply revolutionary, though we habitually distinguish between those who place their utopia in the future (“true” revolutionaries) and those who place it in an imaginary past (reactionaries).

    I’d also say (that’s my own definition) that we jump from hard left and right to extreme left and right when, to all the above, their movements associate a genocidal plan or, at least, wish, when there are whole categories of people who, by definition, cannot be changed and must thus be exterminated (the bourgeois, the kulaks, the rootless cosmopolitan intellectuals, the inferior races, the decadent or degenerate artists and so on).

    It’s difficult, at this point in history, to clearly recognize whether there’s some fundamental difference between hard right and left because, after all, in many verifiable instances they eventually resembled each other much more than any other movement, party, group, political philosophy etc. in recent history.

    Let’s anyway say the hard left preaches and, up to a point, desires a complete egalitarianism of results and of much more, while the hard right believes in a kind of natural order where certain nationally, racially, religiously or historically defined categories of people must occupy the top of a power pyramid.

    What has changed in the left in general since at least WW2 is the following: earlier its members looked for a mass constituency mainly among urban industrial workers (though Maoists, for instance, have always defended the peasantry as a revolutionary class). The fact that in the last half century, due to economic growth, the so-called Western proletariat started to think and behave as the middle-classes, leaving the unions and so on forced the left to search for other potentially “revolutionary” groups. Herbert Marcuse, for instance, believed he had found them in the excluded/oppressed social minorities that an earlier generation of Marxists would have called the (proto-fascist) lumpenproletariat.

    But what happened is that, eventually, the left managed to find its constituency exactly in the class that has grown most rapidly: the state bureaucracy.

    With the welfare state in Europe and as a consequence of the New Deal in the US, the State became the main employer: there are whole new categories/groups/professions of which it is usually the only employer: the education guild, those who work in the socialized health systems etc.

    In the meantime, a new right has also emerged. If there’s in the world today an extreme right-wing group with mass potential and a growing influence everywhere, I’d say that is political Islam or Islamism.

    If, in WW2, there was conflict between hard left and right, that wasn’t because the left wanted it, but because the right saw the left as an existential threat. Even so, the left put appeasement aside only when the homeland of socialism was attacked.

    Maybe it was only a historical accident that there existed such a thing as socialism’s homeland then. How would the left have reacted either if there were no such homeland or if it weren’t attacked? All I can say is that there’s no such thing for the left to defend nowadays.

  86. Ray in Seattle says:

    Nelson, re: neocons,

    I didn’t realize this was such a highly charged term but I can see that now. I do recall some writers linking Zionim and “the neocons”. I never took that seriously myself having had so many discussions (online and in person) with Jews about politics and Israel and finding as wide a range of opinions on politics and Zionism as with non-Jews. So I don’t connect “Jews” or “Zionists” with “neocons” when I use the term or think about it. For me the only connection is that Bush II generally supported Israel and so the far left tried to connect “neocons” and “Zionists” to discredit him.

    Since I try to mentally distance myself from politics in these discussions (it usually creates great confusion and distraction away from the more interesting topic) I would not be a good source for answers to your list of questions.

    But, in my comment I was trying to show the great anger that Republicans created by their actions esp. since 1992. The term “neocons” came to common use I think soon after Bush II became pres and was used to derisively describe his team of advisers and some of his cabinet and staff. I wasn’t aware of any “Zionist” connection at the time.

    Having been a member of DU (www.democraticunderground.com) in those days it seems to me that Bush and neocon hatred came first. Then leftists / progressives infiltrated and turned DU into the largely anti-Israel, subtly antisemitic forum which it is today. I was kicked out of DU BTW over a year ago now I think, for my outspoken opposition to anti-Israel antisemitic comments there.

    BTW that was great post a couple of days ago. I appreciate both the content and the skillful writing.

  87. nelson says:

    Ray,

    thanks for your answer.

    As I said, unfortunately, in many circles, “neo-con” became an expression not dissimilar to cosmopolitan or rootless-cosmopolitan in Stalinist Russia.

    I was actually curious not about the neo-cons but rather about what you think they are/were. Even in my country, where we are as isolated as possible from some discussions, people with whom I mainly agree tend sometimes to use that expression rather automatically.

    As far as I myself can tell, neo-cons were/are mostly a rather disparate collection of individuals who have some things in common.

    First: they used to be leftists (usually Trotskyites, that is, internationalists)who didn’t side with the USSR during the Cold War, and were close to the thinking of such politicians as “Scoop” Jackson.

    Second: they were and fought against the so-called paleo cons, that is, people who could be found in such organizations as the John Birch Society; they weren’t paranoid, meaning that they didn’t see a commie spy beneath every bed, inside every progressive or even every misguided or well-intentioned leftist; but neither did they ignore that there were, in the US and elsewhere in the West, many real Soviet spies as well as many more useful fools (like those who preached the unilateral nuclear disarmament of NATO). One of their main bones of contention with the paleo cons, however, was the question of American isolationism: they were against it.

    Third: during the first Bush and the Clinton administrations, the neo cons backed American intervention in the Balkans; they also backed the US during the first Gulf War. In this and many other things, they differ from the left in that they see America’s role in the word as progressist, as a force for freedom, democracy and the implementation of human rights.

    Fourth: throughout the Bush administrations, they saw the conflict between the US/West and the Islamists as a global and existential one. According to them, for instance, 911 wasn’t some kind of common crime to be dealt with by the national or international justice, but an act of war. Totalitarian Islamism and liberal democracy couldn’t exist side by side in the same planet.

    Fifth: they were indeed pro-Israel, not because of racial or ethnic solidarity, but rather because they saw Arab nationalism and Muslim supremacism as dangerous forces of totalitarian reaction and, in the limit, as genocidal movements.

    That’s more or less my conclusion after having read extensively the magazines where those called neo cons write, after having read their texts, interviews with them and so on, always trying to compare all this to what their enemies atribute to them.

    I think it’s fair to add that any influence they may have had during the second Bush’s first administration, an influence limited to foreign policy, didn’t survive into his second term, when Condoleeza Rice and the State Dept took foreign policy making over (or, rather, back).

  88. Ray in Seattle says:

    Nelson, Your comment offers much for me to consider and one quick question: Where do you live? Israel? You might have mentioned it before and I missed it.

    Also, although I consider myself a liberal, I doubt my philosophical / political orientation would align neatly with what most people think of as liberal. I guess I am pretty much libertarian on the social issues such as abortion and separation of church / state. I am certainly not pacifist but I prefer peace to war – believing the best way to have peace is to be very willing and capable of defending yourself from attack or intimidation.

    I need to think about your discussion of neocons. Already I see things I didn’t understand. I have read some of their articles and have no trouble finding ideas I generally agree with. William Krystol (I assume he’s one) has some interesting things to say, for example, but I’m no expert on neocon writing or ideas.

    One problem I have with politics is that if you adopt a political label as part of your identity then you will be compelled to adopt the beliefs of those who share that label – the doctrine of the identity – else you cause confusion. I hope my preference for the liberal label here does not cause such confusion – although I can see it has. I don’t take it (or any such labels) very seriously. If anything, I think I keep it here because oao despises liberals so much and feeding his passions elicits such interesting responses – even if many real liberals (esp. politically oriented liberals) would call me an imposter.

    (oao, pls don’t take offense at that. I respect you and your ideas even though I disagree with most of them. If I didn’t I would not respond to you at all.)

    Nelson, Thanks again for your attempt to bring me up to speed on this. I have much to learn.

  89. Ray in Seattle says:

    I find most articles at Huffpo worthless – but Franz de Waal is a liberal scientist who has published there at times. He has an interesting article today that relates to some of the topics in this thread. And it’s a good read too.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frans-de-waal/sotomayers-empathy-not-fo_b_230102.html

  90. oao says:

    oao, don’t agree with you about right and left regarding Israel historically.

    i did not say “historically”. i was referring to now.
    anyway, I was making a distinction between the substance of the conflict and the l-r — the latter does not indeed apply to the former — and the l-r continuum in the west and its attitudes towards the conflict. whether or not the left and the right switched positions is irrelevant to this distinction.

    In the late 1940s, post-WW2 period, much or most of the US Left was pro-Israel. This was true of the Communists, Nation magazine, “democratic socialists,” etc.

    yes, in general because the israel was founded on socialist principles by soviet bloc emigres and it was thought it’ll be an ally.

    Now, there has been a major shift in attitudes among “right” and “left.”

    yes, because the left has lost in the west (alibama is bringing it back) and it had to find another justification for itself and they found it in the 3rd world: capitalism oppressing the poor undeveloped countries — israel the pals among them.

    Explain this please … many socialists in France wanted peace with Nazi Germany.

    dk much about the circusmtances of vichy, but left and right extremes often meet, as it was with stalin and hitler. if you come to think of it, there isn’t much difference between them.

  91. oao says:

    (oao, pls don’t take offense at that. I respect you and your ideas even though I disagree with most of them. If I didn’t I would not respond to you at all.)

    what makes you think i don’t respect YOU?

    i tend not to respect some of your arguments, which are problematic, i think because you don’t have certain background and knowledge.

  92. oao says:

    I read te Waal. he lost me very quickly when he wrote:

    Simply put, then, Obama is looking for a mammalian candidate, whereas the Republicans would be perfectly happy with a fish or crocodile.

    what crap. do limbaugh and davis represent conservatives? does he mean the LEFT — alibama???? — has empathy? satomayor? pls give me a break.

    teaching the hungry to fish is more empathy than giving them fish; improving the education of the poor is more empathy than lowering the standards of jobs to get them in.

    there is there a difference between empathy and relieving of responsibility, which creates huge problems, witness the USSR, today’s britain and the US following in its path.

  93. oao says:

    eliyahu, i replied to your comments but the system rjected the post.

    i asked RL to post it for me.

  94. oao says:

    btw, i did not mch care for bush, part. his 2nd 4 years (which i also believe to be illegitimate), i think that both iraq and afghanistan were blunders (the latter proves to be as much a quagmire as it was for the british and the soviets) that cannot be won.

    but here’s some stuff that should be recognized:

    http://sandbox.blog-city.com/linkblog/jump/?i=511160

  95. oao says:

    here’s obama’s empathy:

    “What you need to know is that Barack Obama is a wolf in “pragmatist” clothing: Beneath the easy smile and above-it-all manner — the “neutral” doing his best to weigh competing claims — is a radical leftist wedded to a Manichean vision that depicts American imperialism as the primary evil in the world.

    You may not have wanted to addle your brain over his tutelage in Hawaii by the Communist Frank Marshall Davis, nor his tracing of Davis’s career steps to Chicago, where he seamlessly eased into the orbit of Arafat apologist Rashid Khalidi, anti-American terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and Maoist “educator” Michael Klonsky — all while imbibing 20 years’ worth of Jeremiah Wright’s Marxist “black liberation theology.” But this neo-Communist well from which Obama drew holds that the world order is a maze of injustice, racism, and repression. Its unified theory for navigating the maze is: “United States = culprit.” Its default position is that tyrants are preferable as long as they are anti-American, and that while terrorist methods may be regrettable, their root cause is always American provocation — that is, the terrorists have a point.”

  96. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, “i tend not to respect some of your arguments, which are problematic, i think because you don’t have certain background and knowledge.”

    There is a difference between disagreement with and respect for – an argument. They are not mutually exclusive. Any argument that is honestly made is worth respect – even if you disagree with the premise or the beliefs that lie behind the premise.

  97. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, your #96 is a real treat but I don’t have time now for much more so let me take this part:

    “teaching the hungry to fish is more empathy than giving them fish; ”

    It doesn’t help much to teach the hungry to fish if commercial fishing interests have, through investment in political campaigns, elected Republicans to office who have decimated commercial fishing limits and regulations and have allowed pollution of inshore fisheries and estuaries to the point that there are no fish for the hungry to catch – and where the few they might catch would cause cancer if consumed in large enough quantities.

    In that case perhaps using some tax money to buy a few cans of sea-caught Tuna every year for a hungry family is actually the only form of empathy available.

  98. oao says:

    EU’s empathy:

    Solana wants UN to establish ‘Palestine’
    EU diplomat: Security Council should set deadline for talks, push forward with unilateral solution.
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443786047&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  99. Cynic says:

    Nelson,

    Anyhow, Alain Besancon insists that the Nazis were considered “leftists” in the 1930s. After all, they called themselves “socialists”, “national socialists,” to be precise. They were also a workers’ party, NSD Arbeiter Partei. They said so themselves. Of course, somebody can call himself anything, even the Savior or the Messiah or whatever he likes. So the Nazis could call themselves a “socialist workers party.”

    “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
    (Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by Toland, 1976, p. 306)

    “Private property” as conceived under the liberalistic economy order was a reversal of the true concept of property [wrote Huber]. This “private property” represented the right of the individual to manage and to speculate with inherited or acquired property as he pleased, without regard for the general interests… German socialism had to overcome this “private”, that is, unrestrained and irresponsible view of property. All property is common property. The owner is bound by the people and the Reich to the responsible management of his goods. His legal position is only justified when he satisfies this responsibility to the community.

  100. oao says:

    maybe this answers RL’s titular question of this thread:

    http://www.israellycool.com/2009/07/12/the-day-in-israel-sun-july-12th-2009/

  101. oao says:

    There is a difference between disagreement with and respect for – an argument. They are not mutually exclusive.

    no, they’re not, but they are not one and the same thing either.

    there are arguments with which i disagree, but which i respect. some of yours i don’t and i don’t have to.

    It doesn’t help much to teach the hungry to fish if commercial fishing interests have, through investment in political campaigns, elected Republicans to office who have decimated commercial fishing limits and regulations and have allowed pollution of inshore fisheries and estuaries to the point that there are no fish for the hungry to catch – and where the few they might catch would cause cancer if consumed in large enough quantities.

    i would have to assume that this is true, which i don’t have enough knowledge of, and i doubt you have either.
    but even if i assume it is true in its totality — hardly likely — to infer from this lack of empathy is just bs. the logical leap is absurd.

    the problem with you lefties is that you instinctively and automatically assume that the govt in some shape or form is the solution to societal problems. if you were more selective and evidence-based, you might have some tracking. but that’s what you inherently believe and that has been proven hugely wrong, yet you refuse to learn.

    if you recall, i explicitly said that capitalism has its own self-destructive seeds. it leads to inequalities so huge that destroy whatever democracy is there, and thus society itself (one reason the west is doomed). but govt is no solution for that, because it is itself part of the same society and it is either driven by the rich, or as corrupt/incompetent as them.

  102. oao says:

    In that case perhaps using some tax money to buy a few cans of sea-caught Tuna every year for a hungry family is actually the only form of empathy available.

    it is never “a few cans of tuna”. it is a bureaucracy to decide who gets it and how much, which perpetuates itself and grows, costing well beyond that tuna; it changes the relationship between individuals and the govt — they are now dependent and, therefore, manipulable and controllable, and it diminishes their motivation to fend for themselves.

    that you ignore these destructive consequences does not mean that they do not occur.

  103. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao re#105,

    It must be comforting to have such a clear consistent view of reality. I envy you that.

  104. oao says:

    They are not mutually exclusive.

    indeed. but they are not one and the same either. there are arguments which i disagree with but i respect. some of yours aren’t. but that does not mean i don’t respect you.

    It doesn’t help much to teach the hungry to fish if commercial fishing interests have, through investment in political campaigns, elected Republicans to office who have decimated commercial fishing limits and regulations and have allowed pollution of inshore fisheries and estuaries to the point that there are no fish for the hungry to catch – and where the few they might catch would cause cancer if consumed in large enough quantities.

    well, i don’t know enough about the subject to know if this is true, and i suspect you dk either, it’s more your “belief” that it’s true. but let us assume it is true:

    1st, this does not imply lack of empathy, a leap of logic which is absurd.

    2nd, the problem with you social lefties is that you assume the govt is some sort of neutral, competent agency which corrects social injustice.

    but if you recall i argued that capitalism has its own self-destructive seed: it creates huge inequalities which end up destroying freedom and democracy. the govt is a part of the same society and a derivative of the corporations and the rich (and i include corrupt unions). so it won’t correct injustice, but exacerbate it.

    In that case perhaps using some tax money to buy a few cans of sea-caught Tuna every year for a hungry family is actually the only form of empathy available.

    this is not exactly a libertarian position is it?

    it never is just “a few cans of tuna”. it is a corrupt and incompetent bureaucracy to decide who gets what, which perpetuates itself, gets increasingly intrusive, and costs well beyond the tuna.it has destructive effects. the most important of which is that individuals become dependent on the state and therefore manipulable and controllable by it for nefarious purposes. it also diminishes the motivation to fend for oneself and thus eschew responsibility. liberals delude themselves that the govt is a solution by ignoring these effects.

    I have quite a few examples of govt at work i just came up today without any effort, but the system here does not let me post multiple links, so i’ll post just a couple:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/AustinHill/2009/07/12/the_$750,000_government-employee_pampering_scandal

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1199132/NHS-recommends-pupils-orgasm-day-reduce-risk-heart-attack-stroke.html

    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/07/czar-palooza.html

  105. oao says:

    sorry for the double post, the system is bad today.

    It must be comforting to have such a clear consistent view of reality.

    what’s the alternative? inconsistent view?

    don’t envy me: watching the world from the perspective of consistency is a highly painful endeavor.

  106. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao re: #106,

    By no means do I ignore those destructive consequences. I think you are correct in calling them out although for me such questions public assistance for the poor are complex (a liberal failing) and I never really know if my views on any part of it is right or wrong.

    I was only pointing out something that you did ignore in your simplistic and patronizing comment about teaching poor people to fish – assuming, I suppose, that because they’re poor they wouldn’t know as much about it as rich folks.

    *************** A side issue re: fisheries mgmt:

    FWIW, I have followed fisheries mgmt issues since that year in the mid-sixties that I spent on a commercial salmon boat. I’ve been an avid fly-fisherman since the mid ’70s and I’ve been a longtime member of Trout Unlimited. None of that makes me an expert or makes my views on any of this correct. It just shows that I’ve had a hands-on interest in such things over many years. Nor does your lack of such experience make you wrong.

  107. oao says:

    perhaps a bit of background: i was born and raised until 13 in one of the harshest members of the soviet bloc (romania) where people’s individual initiative was completely killed in subservience to the govt.

    you only have to take a look at romania now to see the consequences of that. it is a klepto-state where the only purpose of the govt is to rob, it fulfills no other function and yet everything is accepted without as much as a word. the govt can sell the most absurd crap to people.

    when friends of mine immigrated to israel from romania, they did not have any concept of looking for work. rather, they sat and expected the govt to provide it.

  108. oao says:

    for me such questions public assistance for the poor are complex (a liberal failing) and I never really know if my views on any part of it is right or wrong.

    may i ask how old you are? i suspect much younger than me. that would explain some of it.

    i also suspect that, having lived in the US you have not had the experience of strong govt interference, so you’re not directly familair with significant consequence.

    finally, it fels like you don’t have a rigorously trained eye in observing socetal and human behavior and 30+ years of systematically doing it.

  109. oao says:

    None of that makes me an expert or makes my views on any of this correct. It just shows that I’ve had a hands-on interest in such things over many years. Nor does your lack of such experience make you wrong.

    you probably know more than i do, which is nothing. and it would not surprise me if at least some of what you say is true — indeed, that’s what i would expect in a corporate welfare state.

    but you’ve been looking at these things from a certain liberal perspective and, as i said, you have not experienced the the consequences of turning the govt loose on these matters.

    in fact, it’s the govt that allowed these things to happen in the first place, which rests my case.

  110. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, thanks for the background. You say,

    “may i ask how old you are? i suspect much younger than me. that would explain some of it.”

    Maybe so. I’m only 67.

    oao: “finally, it feels like you don’t have a rigorously trained eye in observing societal and human behavior and 30+ years of systematically doing it.”

    It would be hard to refute or agree with that since it’s both a subjective and relative statement.

    To at least remove the subjectivity, it’s my impression that most of the megalomaniacs in the history of the last couple of centuries believed the same as you, that they possessed a . .

    “rigorously trained eye in observing societal and human behavior”

    . . and they claimed that particular expertise to justify their philosophical and political views. This would include such notables as Hitler, Stalin and Marx. So pardon my skepticism as to granting you some special credibility based on such claims.

  111. oao says:

    To at least remove the subjectivity, it’s my impression that most of the megalomaniacs in the history of the last couple of centuries believed the same as you, that they possessed a . .

    this is to REMOVE objectivity?

    . . and they claimed that particular expertise to justify their philosophical and political views

    well, the problem is that you cannot judge whether their claims were valid. if you could…

    it also seems that you don’t recognize that their philosophy and political views were CONTRARY to mine — more power to govt/corporations/religion, which is my concern and which did most damage in history — and that they sought that power and used it, while i never did.

    i dk whether to laugh or cry.

    but i must admit i was surprised that you are actually older than me, but still without consistency. that’s a more serious problem than i thought.

  112. oao says:

    this is just wonderful — empathy dhimmicrat govt at its best:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjeJnjUGnIA

    not for the poor illegal immigrants and gang members, but for themselves, to produce 20 million new sure dhimmicrats.

    god help america and i am an atheist.

  113. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, you often say: “i dk whether to laugh or cry.” in response to someone’s post.

    As your elder I suggest that you always laugh when faced with this choice. It has nothing to do with their comment but laughing feels much better than crying.

    You said, “this is to REMOVE objectivity? ”

    No, I said, “To at least remove the subjectivity

    I’ve noticed that you have many strong (negative) opinions of others but also that you often barely take time to read their comments and understand them.

    At the same time I’ve noticed that you voice many glowing appraisals of your own mental skills, judging yourself more intelligent and possessing superior background and knowledge than many others on this forum as well as more astute than many well-known writers and authors.

    The other thing I noticed is that the only thing these people whose intelligence you berate so unpleasantly have in common is that you disagree with their views. You often base these appraisals on ridiculous evidence such as your (wrong) belief that you’re older than me, for example.

    Have you ever wondered how it is that all the “ignorant” people and the “stupid” people and the “idiots” of the world happen to have opinions that you disagree with? Isn’t that an amazing coincidence? Or do you think that’s just the inevitable outcome of your having such a superior brilliant mind?

    I’m just askin’ ;-)

  114. oao says:

    As your elder I suggest that you always laugh when faced with this choice. It has nothing to do with their comment but laughing feels much better than crying.

    boy, i wish. but you see, despite your envy, i also have my problems.

    You said, “this is to REMOVE objectivity? ”
    No, I said, “To at least remove the subjectivity”
    …you often barely take time to read their comments and understand them.

    perhaps you did not understand my response, to which the difference, whatever it is, is irrelevant.
    but maybe i am so dense to not see it.

    I’ve noticed that you have many strong (negative) opinions of others but also that you often barely take time to read their comments and understand them.

    for somebody who impugns other inability to comprehend you you’re quite quick to see negatives in others. throwing stones again?

    At the same time I’ve noticed that you voice many glowing appraisals of your own mental skills, judging yourself more intelligent and possessing superior background and knowledge than many others on this forum as well as more astute than many well-known writers and authors.

    yes, i do have a decent opinion of myself, because i trained myself to justify it. but there are others here whose comments i respect even hen i disagree with them. you’re just not among them.

    The other thing I noticed is that the only thing these people whose intelligence you berate so unpleasantly have in common is that you disagree with their views.

    if you read carefully — after all, it is you who accuse me of not doing so — you’ll find instances where even though i agree with others, i correct their knowledge or reasoning. iow, the issue is not agreement or disagreement, but the knowledge and ability to reason that are behind the arguments. is not enough to agree, it’s also why.

    there are two political subjects that i think i know something about: the ME and the left-right continuum.
    and given what i know, i find many westerners and particularly americans rather naive and, to put it politely, not very knowledgeable.

    what they really lack is real life in the ME and under a truly left regime, which is why, for example, you lack consistency. and i really don’t have much tolerance for that.

    i have no doubt that were you to gain the necessary experience, it would resolve your consistency very fast. when we do, perhaps we can disagree politely. but not until then.

    I will let the notion of what is an explanation if not a theory alone, because that is a gap in your education too.

  115. Cynic says:

    Well, back to the original thread:
    They don’t want a state

    Maybe this latest “testament” from Fatah will help
    Fatah: “Our Goal Has Never Been Peace”

    4. Muhammad Dahlan, senior PA official, recently stressed that Fatah adamantly refuses to recognize Israel, and that even Palestinian Authority recognition is to have better standing internationally in order to receive foreign aid:

    There are 4 interviews on video.

    But the foreign aid will arrive come what may, as long as it takes, to arrive at a final solution.

  116. Cynic says:

    oao,

    Now with your book review link from #119 and my link above please read this following post
    Interview with Dr. Alon Liel, former Israeli ambassador to South Africa
    and explain to me where I’m going wrong.

    Liel, a strong critic of the Bush Administration, laments the policy of looking at the Middle East as a region of terrorists and allies – “Cowboys and Indians”. Israel were the good guys and Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah the bad. The approach was to help good guys beat the bad guys.
    Dr. Liel doesn’t see Hamas, Hizballah and co. as good guys, but he thinks the Bush administration should have learned from Israel’s historical approach which was to see itself surrounded by enemies where everyone is a bad guy until they will one day become convinced that they are good guys.

    Now I’m completely mixed up. Who has been drinking the Kool-Aid?

  117. Eliyahu says:

    Cynic, this Liel character is one of Shimon Peres’ henchmen, one of his liege operatives. Like Yossi Beilin and many other harmful influences on the Israeli body politic. Like the Bourbons, these jackasses never learn.

    The quote from Liel is vintage Peres. It has the authentic bouquet of asininity. Yes, it smells like an asinus, a jackass.

  118. Eliyahu says:

    oao, why don’t you stop riding Ray? He has some interesting ideas, I think, about how emotion trumps reason.

  119. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    Thanks for the info. I’d never heard of him. Amazing how those commenting cannot contest his statements.

    An amusing apect which should have been discussed was
    this
    Dr. Liel was amused at how things have changed. When he was ambassador, the official Jewish leadership vehemently objected to the Oslo process and tried to convince Israel that what they were doing was wrong.

    How right the leadership was and now even with hindsight the Dr. can’t see how wrong he still is.

    I tried to comment there but the submit button was grayed out.

  120. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Interesting ideas but not validated.

    That’s why I object making psycho-socio-genetic-motivational analyses of political or MSM individuals: we cannot validate any hypothesis we may put forward to explain a person’s behaviour.

  121. Cynic says:

    So the Nazis could call themselves a “socialist workers party.” But do others have to accept one’s self-designation??? Or a party’s self-designation?? But where and how does one draw lines and make distinctions?? Compared with today’s “socialists” and “leftists”, why couldn’t the Nazis legitimately call themselves “socialist”??

    They also behaved as socialists.

    “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.”
    from Hitler’s May 1st, 1927 speech.

    Socialism = NAZI or… Hitler was a socialist

    “The concept of personal liberties of the individual as opposed to the authority of the state had to disappear; it is not to be reconciled with the principle of the nationalistic Reich,” said Huber to a country which listened, and nodded. “There are no personal liberties of the individual which fall outside of the realm of the state and which must be respected by the state… The constitution of the nationalistic Reich is therefore not based upon a system of inborn and inalienable rights of the individual.”
    ……..
    “The higher interests involved in the life of the whole,” said Hitler in a 1933 speech, “must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual.” Men, echoed the Nazis, have to “realize that the State is more important than the individual, that individuals must be willing and ready to sacrifice themselves for Nation and Fuhrer.” The people, said the Nazis, “form a true organism,” a “living unity”, whose cells are individual persons. In reality, therefore — appearances to the contrary notwithstanding — there is no such thing as an “isolated individual” or an autonomous man.
    ………….
    “Private property” as conceived under the liberalistic economy order was a reversal of the true concept of property [wrote Huber]. This “private property” represented the right of the individual to manage and to speculate with inherited or acquired property as he pleased, without regard for the general interests… German socialism had to overcome this “private”, that is, unrestrained and irresponsible view of property. All property is common property. The owner is bound by the people and the Reich to the responsible management of his goods. His legal position is only justified when he satisfies this responsibility to the community.
    …………….
    Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation’s economy. The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary; what counts is the issue of CONTROL. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property — so long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.

    Starting to sound familiar?

  122. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG, Thanks to you and oao to so consistently validate my views on belief and emotion.

    If you go to the home page for this forum you’ll find listed there topics of interest and links to discussions of same.

    These include in-depth “psycho-socio-genetic-motivational analyses” of topics such as:

    * Moral Equivalence
    * Cognitive Egocentrism
    * Demopaths & Dupes
    * Pallywood: A History
    * Eurabia
    * Civil Society vs. Prime-Divider Society
    * Game Theory and Social Emotions
    * Judeophobia: Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism,
    * Islamophobia and Criticism of Islam
    * Paradigms and the Middle East Conflict
    o PCP 1 and 2
    o Honor-Shame Jihad (HJP)
    o PCP vs HJP
    * Self-Criticism
    * Palestinian Suffering

    # Essays on Judeophobia

    * Conceptual Background
    * Medieval (Prime Divider)
    * Modern (Civil Societies)
    * Arab-Israeli Conflict
    * “Post-Modern” Anti-Semitism: Cognitive Egocentrism, Moral Schadenfreude, and “Progressive” Anti-Zionism

    I think you’ll find my ideas and discussion preference consistently within that area.

    I see no links there to discussions or analyses of why conservatives are smart and liberals are “idiots”, “stupid”, “ignorant” or lacking proper educations or critical thinking skills.

  123. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    psycho-socio-genetic-motivational
    Thank goodness you didn’t write: PSGM. I would have thought it had something to do with “genetically modified” :-^)

    As it is I tend to see all politicians as “genetically defective”, and a lot of journalists, in so far as their behaviour differs from the mainstream population.

    No, we cannot validate our psycho-socio-genetic-motivational analysis about those individuals but we the powerless have to proffer some hypothesis to save ourselves the shame of admitting that we are wrong in our appraisal of our own situation in deference to the judgment of “our betters”!

  124. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    The topics you list refer to phenomena, analysed at group or “statistical individual”level. There is a difference between this kind of analysis and the one elaborated on specific individuals.
    Furthermore, I don’t think RL refers to the processes or behaviours he observes, describes, and labels, as models or theories.

  125. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    I was tempted to use smsish but since I promised to comply to your request, I kept my word.

    As I wrote above or on a neighbouring thread, we all have our lay theories, about a lot of things. They don’t help us form a more reliable or reasonable behaviour, but do help us feel like having some control over our lives. Sometimes even over the lives of others.

  126. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG says, The topics you list refer to phenomena, analysed at group or “statistical individual” level. There is a difference between this kind of analysis and the one elaborated on specific individuals.

    This is getting boring. All my interest of these things is at the general level. I may use examples to illustrate. Almost all oao’s discussion is berating individuals he disagrees with, like me. Almost all your discussion is pointless but since I’m not paying for bandwidth I usually ignore it.

    EG: Furthermore, I don’t think RL refers to the processes or behaviours he observes, describes, and labels, as models or theories.

    Spare me the absurdity. Technically that’s what these are including all of RL’s essays on those listed topics. I have repeatedly said that I’m happy to just call my ideas “views”. Why not just admit that you despise me and my “views” and stop pretending that you have some “intellectual” objection? I could care less but I’d at least respect your honesty. I don’t respect this fatuous crap.

  127. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Why would you like me to admit something I don’t think or feel?

    I don’t agree with some of the “views” you post which, I’m sure, you too think is legitimate, and I don’t understand some others, and already assumed full responsibility for my mental limitations. I certainly disagree with the constant direction of discussions towards your preoccupations, your person etc., at the expense of dealing with the subject under consideration. Of course I hardly appreciate the tone of your last post.

  128. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG, That’s strange. In #127 you had a completely different objection. Some pseudo-academic crap about the difficulty of validating “psycho-socio-genetic-motivational analyses”.

    Now it’s my “pre-occupation” wth the psychological and cultural factors underlying the I/P conflict. Maybe I’m wrong but I thought that’s what this forum was about. Based on the content of your and oao’s comments – are you sure you guys aren’t looking for the “Free Republic”?

  129. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    … we all have our lay theories, about a lot of things.They don’t help us form a more reliable or reasonable behaviour, but do help us feel like having some control over our lives. Sometimes even over the lives of others.

    That’s why Schadenfreude is so important to the powerless of this world as they are comforted that at least something/someone?? is on their side :-)

  130. E.G. says:

    No Ray,

    I have no objection (au contraire) to discussing psychological and cultural factors relevant to the ME and the conflicts in there.
    I object to analyses of specific persons to which non of us has access. And I object to drawing the discussion to deal with a commentator’s concerns and/or personal interests rather than with the topic (i.e., off topic preoccupations).

    I’m truly sorry you have not acquired the standards that would have permitted you to distinguish academic from pseudo-academic discourse. But it’s not too late. Even at your venerable age.

  131. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Yes, some divine entity does justice!

  132. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    …or sometimes a mortal envoy of that divine entity does the job.

  133. oao says:

    Now I’m completely mixed up. Who has been drinking the Kool-Aid?

    i assume it’s a rehtorical question.

    i came to us to study in 1978 and participated on several occasions as a lecturer for israel to jewish communities in the chicago area. if i am not mistaken liel was doing that too and i think we met once. did not impress me then. was clearly political, you could tell.

  134. oao says:

    Cynic, this Liel character is one of Shimon Peres’ henchmen, one of his liege operatives. Like Yossi Beilin and many other harmful influences on the Israeli body politic. Like the Bourbons, these jackasses never learn.

    yep, now that you say that, i recall that was clear then. and beilin was also involved and it was known he was peres’ man.

  135. oao says:

    oao, why don’t you stop riding Ray? He has some interesting ideas, I think, about how emotion trumps reason.

    you’re not suggesting i should stop arguing with comments i disagree with, do you?

    it is he who keeps complaining at a personal level, so i suggest you encourage him to stop and just deal with the substance, like everybody else.

    he has more or less one idea which he applies everywhere, which is pretty trivial and an almost tautological explanation. and he is free to push it here as i am free to question it.

  136. oao says:

    How right the leadership was and now even with hindsight the Dr. can’t see how wrong he still is.

    cynic, i just read a monograph by karsh on oslo, where he brings some evidence that rabin was not convinced to his end that arafat was to be trusted, but continued with it because “there was no other partner”.

    the real author and believer in oslo was peres, whom rabin (and many others) hated for being an asshole. he still is.

  137. oao says:

    Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property — so long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.

    just read a book about the concern that built the ovens at the concentration camps. it was built by its owners from stealing patents from its european victim states and there was symbiosis between the owners and the state: the former got filthy rich by implementing what the latter wanted, including sclavery and extermination.

    it worked fine. and practically none of the owners was punished at nurnberg. some became big shots in german economy.

  138. oao says:

    EG, Thanks to you and oao to so consistently validate my views on belief and emotion.

    well, at least one manages to validate them, with 2 cases in an internet exchange. who can argue with that?

    These include in-depth “psycho-socio-genetic-motivational analyses” of topics such as>/i>

    i don’t see them as that. but even if they are, they are SPECIFIC and as factors in behavior can be falsified.

    This is getting boring.

    tell me about it. when i said that, i was criticized for trying to stifle. i guess some are allowed and others not. and what do you know — it depends on agreement and disagreement.

  139. oao says:

    http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2009/07/abbas-goes-to-e.php

    somehow this escapes the world and even some israelis. denial is not a river in egypt.

  140. oao says:

    EU Policy on the Peace Process: Where’s The Adult Supervision?
    By Barry Rubin
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/07/eu-policy-on-peace-process-wheres-adult.html

    Imagine this will happen: won’t israel be required “under international law” to give up all security measures to respect a UN member sovereignty?

    what the europeans want to do — and intentionally so — is to create a UN member which has no justification at the expense of an existing and recognized member.
    this is what happens when you disregard consistency.

  141. Cynic says:

    oao,

    rabin was not convinced to his end that arafat was to be trusted, but continued with it because “there was no other partner”.

    Shamir was told in no uncertain terms and Rabin had no choice but to accept that the world had rammed Arafat down their throats.
    By now you should know the references that Eliyahu and I have already made to this in previous posts.

  142. Cynic says:

    oao,

    Do you have a link that you could provide to the Karsh monologue you mention above? Please.

  143. Cynic says:

    oao,

    Maybe you can get Totten in his post that you linked to in #149 above, to include links to the videos that I linked to in #124, for some of those commenting to disabuse of their ignorance.
    I tried posting there but it requires registering which one is told about only after submitting.

  144. Ray in Seattle says:

    Hmmm, seems some passions have been aroused. That’s not a bad thing. One reason I keep commenting here, despite the inability to have a friendly reasonable discussion, is because it is a reliable, safe and easy source for evidence of the nature of humans in group conflict. I prefer real discussion to this, which is more like an online game. But games can be fun, especially if there are things to be learned. Some of the things to be learned here are how social conflict coalitions are formed among males and how they are defended and maintained through honor / shame emotional forces.

    Males are psychologically suited for conflict and are drawn to it. When conflict looms, males tend to form coalitions around a single alpha “leader” whom beta males voluntarily defer to. RL has explained this previously.

    The leader needs to have some qualities that they can admire such as having shown brutality against his enemies in the past and must have a strong desire to be seen as a leader and defend his position against other contenders – and against interlopers.

    Different human cultures have different details but psychologically they are similar – even in Chimp societies. However he becomes the alpha male he must be able to defend his status from other males who will want to reduce him. He must be ever watchful because some of the beta males are always waiting for their chance.

    One common behavior among primate males is territory marking behavior. Sometimes it’s pissing or shitting on physical boundary markers. Sometimes in human groups it’s doing that symbolically. But primate survival is always about the control of resources. Male tribal members can help mark the group’s territorial range but also within the tribe the leader marks boundaries for movement, access to females and food and for the behavior of members which must be deferential toward the alpha. These rules are enforced by punishment by the alpha that is designed to humiliate, sometimes physically but always emotionally. Even Chimps respond by showing shame emotions when they are punished that way and by basking in “honor” when they are “noticed favorably” by the alpha. Such punishments and rewards feed directly into limbic sources of emotions of insecurity and security – causing effective learning that enhances overall group cohesion and survival.

    I noticed yesterday that a very interesting behavior occurred in this forum and in this thread. Eliyahu complimented me, in a roundabout way, on my ideas. He said that they were “interesting” and that the alpha male should maybe stop “riding me”. The alpha male, inside a long series of consecutive comments (marking territory after being gone for a while) responded by showing Eliyahu again how interlopers are to be treated – not with compliments but with intolerance and humiliation. Eliyahu seems to have learned his lesson.

    I’m somewhat new to the group, I’m not Jewish and I have expressed liberal sympathies. That makes me a classic interloper. It is the alpha male’s job to enforce cohesion and one way to do that is by insistent, sometimes obsessive attacks, on interlopers. That’s the riding you see. It doesn’t really bother me but it does add some emotional charge to the process which helps keep me interested.

    I’ve seen this treatment to newcomers (interlopers) several times now since I started hanging around here a few months ago. As new commenters are drawn to RL’s content and drop by – the alpha male of the comment section and his beta’s swing into coordinated action. Most interlopers get tired of the barrage of insults and lack of civility and leave, which I’m sure is what is intended. (You guys expended some real energy at first trying to make me leave and that’s what caused me to see that some interesting things were going on here.)

    That’s a bummer for anyone who’s looking to have an open and honest discussion on RL’s topics. But I stay around anyway just because it’s so darned interesting on this other level. The group social behavior here illustrates the very ideas RL writes articles about and in a very compelling way. Just remember, “oao” stands for omnipotent absolute overlord of the comment section ;-) and you can’t go wrong.

    Also, remember that while you are participating in the game (playing your role) it will feel exactly as if you are directing your behavior using reason and rationality with no emotions involved. That’s the really interesting part.

  145. Ray in Seattle says:

    Eliyahu, When I said you learned your lesson I didn’t mean that you started treating me with intolerance and humiliation. I only meant that you did not respond to his reply that effectively explained how I was to be treated – with continued disdain. I thank you for the comment but the alpha male can’t allow such crossing of the boundaries he’s established. It will eventually lead to his abdication.

  146. Eliyahu says:

    Ray and others, I believe that we should treat each other with respect on this blog. Of course, we are going to disagree. But we ought to do it without personal insults. I don’t learn anything about the important issues when one of us insults another. Of course, there are real fools and trolls. But you are not one, neither is oao. So I hope that we can stay on honest debate, even with major disagreements.

  147. Ray in Seattle says:

    Eliyahu, Thanks for that. I agree and that’s my goal.

  148. oao says:

    I only meant that you did not respond to his reply that effectively explained how I was to be treated – with continued disdain. I thank you for the comment but the alpha male can’t allow such crossing of the boundaries he’s established. It will eventually lead to his abdication.

    you’re incapable of comprehending that the disdain is for what you say, not for you.

    but given the nonsense you just spewed — and which you also don’t comprehend is worse than what you complain of me — the disdain from now on will be of you.

  149. oao says:

    eliyahu,

    ray is the only one here who keeps whining about lack of respect and that cannot be allowed without response, which i am reluctant to do for the very reason you describe, but which i am forced into.

    as to respect: muslims should be respected, but not islam. all of my comments were about ray’s comments, not about him. i don’t have to respect comments.

    until now i respected him by trying to explain all this, but from now on i am gonna justify his alfa male comment and disdain him.

  150. Ray in Seattle says:

    Oh Oh! Now “the oao” doesn’t respect me. I guess now he’ll really get abusive. This could get interesting.

    As long as you keep up the insults and abuse (of me or anyone else) I’ll keep analyzing your motives oao. I’m happy to resume polite discussion of the topics whenever you are. Disagree with my ideas all you want, but do it in a civil way.

  151. E.G. says:

    People complaining of being victimised while de facto aggressing others is hardly a novelty. Claiming one thing and doing another, talking about honourable aims and acting in despicable manners… it’s become a common societal phenomenon.

    The technique of marketing “oppression”, “repression”, and “suffering” and “mistreatment” and “abuse” is known as selling well the helpless status/label. Its effects – making hearts melt and tears of compassion flow – are guaranteed. Duping is easy.

    It’s apparently harder, in our “Western” societies, to hold fantasy-marketers accountable, both for their self-inflicted situation and for their Bubbe-Maises.

  152. oao says:

    Oh Oh! Now “the oao” doesn’t respect me. I guess now he’ll really get abusive. This could get interesting.

    i thought i was abusive until now.

    to disdain is not to abuse.

    As long as you keep up the insults and abuse (of me or anyone else) I’ll keep analyzing your motives oao.

    see what i mean, eliyahu? he wants to force me to respect his comments. he does not realize that respect must be earned.

    so if anybody is distracting from substance it’s he, not i. kindly address your complaints to him.

  153. oao says:

    eliyahu,

    not also that i took the toruble to explain more than once the background to my disrespect for american left, but he ignored that and keeps the responses personal using arm-chair psychology.

    note also his “i am not jewish”. why do you think he used that? i betcha he’s gonna explain that differently than i would.

    which reminds me: there was an iddish description of the israeli left: “fin herzl a leck and fin marx a schmeck” (from herzl a lick and from marx a smell). it’s sort of applies to the western lefties.

  154. oao says:

    Do you have a link that you could provide to the Karsh monologue you mention above? Please.

    cynic, having some difficulty locating it, will get back to you when i find it.

    in the meantime RL has not responded to my request to post the karsh links here.

    Maybe you can get Totten in his post that you linked to in #149 above, to include links to the videos that I linked to in #124

    i used to communicate with him and post on his blog comments, but we parted company after I criticized him a few times.

  155. Ray in Seattle says:

    Re #163: Now the lieutenant takes to the field lamenting the terrible state of a society where some are, “Claiming one thing and doing another, talking about honourable aims and acting in despicable manners…”.

    Do you think I’m guilty of that, EG? Don’t you even have enough courage to say that – instead leaving it implied? Underhanded things like that cause me to not respect you. See how it’s done? It’s called honesty – something I’ve seldom seen in your comments. Then again, that kind of slipperiness is a valuable skill for someone in your position – so close to the real power.

  156. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Why on Earth do you think I was referring to you?

    I was talking about the Arabs of former Palestine, their propaganda, and those falling for it. See: Palestinian Statehood: The Cognitive Egocentrist’s Dream Solution.

  157. Ray in Seattle says:

    Re: #164-165 Eliyahu, it seems you are the man – the only one here to even slightly acknowledge my ideas. See what it earned you? The hot seat. You are subtly being asked to declare your support for the existing order – or risk your immunity.

    I note for all the entertainment value of these comments. oao constantly refers to the most personal (identity) beliefs of those he identifies as enemies – as “nonsense” and “crap” as well as telling the person that they “lack critical thinking, logic and reasoning skills” and lack “the minimum education” to be able to reach worthy conclusions such as his. He then reminds constantly that others who hold similar views are “idiots”, “stupid” and “ignorant”.

    Then, insulting everyone’s intelligence he looks to heaven pleading that he’s only disdaining someone’s ideas not the person who has them, for whom he holds “complete respect”.

    But oao, I don’t accuse you of dishonesty or cowardice in the same way as EG. You are a true ideologue and like all ideologues you have a consummate ability to believe you own bullcrap.

    You don’t have to appeal to Eliyahu. Just do what you wish. I enjoy confronting bullies. When you act like one I’ll let you know – along with my psychological speculations as to why you do it. The “alpha male” is an interesting framework but I’ve got better.

  158. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG says, “Why on Earth do you think I was referring to you? I was talking about the Arabs of former Palestine, their propaganda, and those falling for it. See: Palestinian Statehood: The Cognitive Egocentrist’s Dream Solution.”

    It’s interesting that there’s no way to falsify that claim, isn’t it? If it was true it wouldn’t be necessary to ask.

  159. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Can’t you make a more subject-related, fact oriented contribution?
    This site is not about you, your feelings, your views or your judgements of other contributors’ contributions (which are usually subject and fact oriented).

  160. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG, If it bothers you so much why do you spend so much time writing comments about it. I suggest you try to “make a more subject-related, fact oriented contribution”.

    And it’s not about me. It’s now about you (and oao).

  161. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG: And it’s about bullying and abuse and personal insults that you and others engage in here (not just toward me). When that stops I’ll have no need to talk about it. It’s really about this becoming a better place to have a discussion (for everyone).

  162. E.G. says:

    Well, I did – and you once more misinterpreted it, taking it as directed towards (against) you.

    It is definitely not about me or oao or whoever. Neither is this forum about group dynamics. It’s about the Arab-Israeli conflict. Kapish?

  163. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG says, “Neither is this forum about group dynamics. It’s about the Arab-Israeli conflict. Kapish?”

    It’s so nice to hear from the guy in charge. Or at least the 2nd in command.

  164. E.G. says:

    לדעתי, אין לענות לתגובותיו של ריי אלא אם הן לעניין

  165. Richard Landes says:

    Response to Nelson #53

    Israel is doubtlessly the most striking example I know of self-help, of a people beaten, almost exterminated (I’ll not use the word “humiliated”), but a people that, instead of endlessly complaining, doing nothing practical in the meanwhile and swearing revenge or perpetual hatred, opted, in spite of its very long memory, to bet on the future and go ahead.

    I’ll use the word humiliated, since that’s the explicit aim of both Muslim laws about Dhimmi, and Christian doctrines whereby the suffering and degradation of the Jews stands as proof of Christian truth. For over 2000 years the Jews have been systematically humiliated by their neighbors, and now that they are free and can walk upright, their neighbors feel humiliated.

    Many of us tend to forget how rare a reaction the Jewish one to the Holocaust was. On the other hand, the Palestinian reaction to what they call the Nakhba was the exact, the most extreme opposite. And, ever since 1948/49, the Palestinian reaction became, all over the world, the paradigmatic, the right, the preferential one.

    Nice point. The reaction is rare, it’s also the quintessence of progressive values — love of life, foregoing vengeance, positive-sum…

    You also point out an interesting contrast: despite the magnitude of the Holocaust — 6 million murdered — the Jews did not dwell on violent revenge. On the contrary, given the survivors I know, their revenge was having healthy families. Despite the incomparably smaller magnitude of the Naqba — thousands killed, hundreds of thousands of refugees, when just in India, the numbers were millions of dead and tens of millions of refugees — the Palestinians have nursed their grievances and desire for violent vengeancee, and refused to move on.

    Self-help, individual and (true) collective (but voluntary) initiative is the model behaviour through which the US has been created. This, even more than other liberal values, religion, representative democracy and so on, may explain what used to be American popular sympathy towards Israel.

    Agreed. It’s a cultural link that transcends mere interest. Which is why Walt-Mearsheimer don’t have a clue. For them, alliance with Israel, alliance with Arabs… same, same. So why side with the puny, solitary guy when you can get so much more from 22/3 countries?

    It also explains the left’s animosity against Israel and the US. The kind of behaviour that both countries eventually became the model of is preciely what the left most deeply hates. — How do you dare to overcome your problems by yourself and through hard work? Don’t you see that you are a victim, someone oppressed and explored and, unless you first kill your oppressors and confiscate all they own, you’ll never have anything? How do you dare to take your life and future into your own hands: don’t you see that only the State and the Party can do it?

    By building their own country without even the help of the “international community”, without even becoming dependent on charity and NGOs, without spending 365 days a year weeping over the Holocaust and blowing up buses or subway stations in Germany or elsewhere in Europe, the Jews set a very, very bad example, an example that, if followed, would mean the end of all leftist movements, parties, groups, of all international organizations, of the UN and so on.

    Sarcasm aside here, I think this gets at a key issue. If civil society is the existence of voluntary organizations that protect people from the intrusions of the state, then the Jews are the ultimate in generating civil society. If civil polities are governments committed to intruding as little as necessary, in governing for the people, then Jews showed a remarkable ability to shift from civil society to polity in 1948. Perhaps what infuriates the left about Israel is that it doesn’t need it’s charity, it needs its respect. Much better to condescend and help “poor” Arabs.

    Worse: the Jews proved that even in the Muslim Middle East, even in a small oil-less patch of land, a prosperous and free country could be built — and quickly. If that is so, how could their neigbours justify their own, shameful failure? Israel’s existence is clearly a tragedy for the Palestinians and the other Arabs/Muslims simply because it shows what they could have done had they wished to and had they been able (or willing) to change their mentality.

    Israel is the only plot of land in the world that was bottom of the “third (undeveloped”) world in 1900, and top of the first world a hundred years later. And, as Nelson points out, without any serious natural resources. Add to those handicaps, the profound hostility of its neighbors, and modern Israel is nothing short of a sociological miracle. The neighboring Arabs have the choice of recognizing that they’re in third grade, sitting next to an advanced graduate student, or screaming shamelessly about their lost honor. Not a pretty choice. And given the proclivity of “progessives” for condescension, they would rather give credence to the Arabs’ cries for vengeance as calls for justice, than draw attention to how grotesque and embarrassing it all is.

    Whatever contingent political factor led to the break between Israel and the left, it was anyway inevitable because the Jewish state has until now been the practical demonstration that the left’s way is the wrong one and that the leftists, in the best of hypotheses, are basically misguided idiots.

    I’d put it differently. I think you’re taking as a definition of the left, one of their more degraded conditions. I think Israel is the embodiment of everything the left is about, and their hostility has more to do with moral envy. After all, the only two progressive (egalitarian) revolutions to not sink into totalitarianism are the USA and Israel, and the former did not live surrounded by violent nations bent on the extermination of the people. Given that “outside threats” are the standard leftist explanations for the authoritarianism of progressive revolutions (French, Russian, Chinese, Cambodian, Cuban, Nicaraguan…), that makes Israel the most extraordinary leftist movement in the modern history of the left.

    So in a curious way, the left finds itself in somewhat the same relationship to Israel as the Arabs. Israel puts the lie to the justification for continuing to espouse secular millennial dreams by excusing those who (predictably) turned them into nightmares that killed hundreds of millions of people in the last century. So they throw their weight behind a “national” movement that has already demonstrated its enormous talents for tyranny and contempt for human life — as a way to world peace, no less. Envy. Antizionism is the left’s evil eye.

  166. oao says:

    e.g.

    ani maskim

    I suggest you try to “make a more subject-related, fact oriented contribution”.

    but don’t you love this? unbelievable.

  167. oao says:

    Which is why Walt-Mearsheimer don’t have a clue.

    Not only them — a vast majority of westerners.

    Perhaps what infuriates the left about Israel is that it doesn’t need it’s charity, it needs its respect.

    my guess is that it’s a partner in capitalism with the west/us which is successful and violates their dogma that that involves oppression of somebody (here, pals). because if there is no oppression than the dogm fails and this is dogma 2.0, if it fails they’re left with nothing.

    The neighboring Arabs have the choice of recognizing that they’re in third grade, sitting next to an advanced graduate student, or screaming shamelessly about their lost honor.

    there are not a people!!! never were. so there is no cohesion and national loyalty. look at how they treat and kill each other.

    I think Israel is the embodiment of everything the left is about, and their hostility has more to do with moral envy.

    no question.

    After all, the only two progressive (egalitarian) revolutions

    not really. israel is actually the only one, but it’s americanized now too.

  168. Eliyahu says:

    Anti-Zionism is the anti-imperialism of fools

    When the USSR was collapsing in the early 1970s, I worked for a rather unimportant, obscure social sciences journal. I also took part in Israel’s “back door” diplomacy with the USSR, then with Russia and some other ex-Soviet states [the Commonwealth was in there somewhere], and I was kept up to date on developments in those places [I don't know Russian]. As an editor, I used to think about what we ought to try to publish and looked over other journals. I was –and still am– amazed that there was very little scholarly discussion about what was going wrong, what went wrong, why couldn’t the old USSR hold out, what happened, what brought it down, and similar questions. The Soviet Colossus had sat astride a good part of the world and its population for some 80 years. Now, it fell yet nobody seemed very interested in explaining why. The fall was taken for granted. It was yesterday’s news. Just another news event.

    So really, the great Soviet failure has not much been studied or analyzed –as far as I know– till now. Without widespread study of that subject, the whole subject of the Left and its meaning is ignored or studied superficially.

    Now on Israel and the post-WW2 world, including the USSR.
    1) hatred/contempt/disdain for Jews has been an element of most of the Left since the Left’s inception in the late 18th century-early 19th. Especially in those strains of Leftism that go back to the Kantian-Hegelian tradition. The Kant-Hegel contempt for Jews can be traced back to Luther and from him through medieval prejudice against Jews on the part of theologians/philosophers who pretended to rationalism [the Jews were not rational, they believed, because the Christian dogmas had been proven by Reason and the Jews continued to reject them]. Marcion too seems an influence on Luther as well as on Voltaire who commiserated with Marcion in his Dictionnaire Philosophique. I find Marcion’s influence even in Marx who was heavily indebted to Kant-Hegel. Now, the Kant-Hegel legacy is found not only on the Left but on parts of the Right. And indeed, there has often been little distance between Right and Left concerning the Jews. Further, since Hegel wrote that a nation could not play a role in history a second time, then a strict Hegelian has to be anti-Zionist. Since Israel defied that Hegelian dogma, then cognitive dissonance is caused, often leading to anger and hatred. To the extent that the Left is Hegelian, then this applies to the Left.

    2) The Germans were not the only ones who wanted the Holocaust. King George VI even communicated his hope to the UK govt that Jewish refugees not be allowed to go to Israel, then governed as the mandated territory of “palestine” by the UK. British policy during the war and the Holocaust worked to prevent Jewish escape from the Nazi-fascist domain. Arabs were allowed to massacre Jews in Baghdad in 1941 [the Farhud]. Refugee ships were sent back or stopped or sunk [Patria, Struma, St Louis, etc]. The Jewish requests to bomb the death camps, crematoria, and RR tracks to the camps were rejected. The Germans were not the only participants in the genocide, not to mention their collaborators. Now, Vichy France collaborated too of course. France acknowledged this collaboration, how sincere the French politicians were I don’t know. But the UK never admitted any wrongdoing, any hardness of heart, any lack of sympathy, any improper conduct, any suppression of information about the mass murder. And official British “scholarly” agencies like the royal inst of Int’l affairs produced anti-Israel, pro-Arab propaganda.

    Now, after WW2, the fact of the Holocaust caused a certain sense of unease, even guilt or remorse, among many Europeans and other Westerners. In order to combat that feeling, those who wanted Judeophobia to continue, looked for ways to continue viewing Jews as eternally guilty, especially Israel as the symbol of Jewish resurgence. In Britain in particular, sophisticated psywar/cogwar experts worked up a host of arguments and themes and images to incriminate Israel and Jews once more, as of old. The palestinian people notion was one product of that effort.

    Apparently, it was easy to persuade the Left to take up these psywar/cogwar products, particularly the “palestinian people” notion which fit into “anti-colonialism” which somehow replaced anti-capitalism. It is curious that nowadays the anti-Israel policies of the empires and capitalist states [UK, EU, etc] receive backing among the so-called Left, which hated Jews anyway for its own reasons. So we now face a congruence of Leftist-Western capitalist hatred for Jews and Israel, with all sorts of excuses of course, the “human rights” libels being among the shallowest, the most transparently dishonest. It seems to me that the Left, or what is left of the Left today, is mainly a body of opinion manipulated by psywar/cogwar experts and techniques, by communications media, by small group organizing experts, etc.

    So I don’t believe that the Left’s Israelophobia can be explained separately from the policy of major powers and groupings of powers, small and large, like the EU. The UN has long been in the Judeophobic/Israelophobic mode. The UN and its minions are beneath contempt. Everybody knows that major human tragedies, genocide, and so on, take place often without any effective UN intervention on the right side. Yet Israel is regularly accused and smeared.

  169. oao says:

    one missing factor: the pals have enabled the EU to go back to their anti-semitism and put the jews back in their place. jews have been dhimmis in EU too, and israel has given them an opporunity to raise their heads, which must be as unbearable to a societal failure such as EU as much as it is to the societal failure that is the arab ummah.

  170. oao says:

    cynic,

    here’s the link to the karsh PDF:

    http://www.biu.ac.il/Besa/karsh.pdf

  171. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    As usual, fascinating post/comment.
    My sole semi-objection: who’s been reading Hegel in the past 30 years or so? Most if any read at best “readers’ digest” party-sponsored/approved highlights… Er, “selected chapters” (same for Kant, Marx, Heidegger etc.), if not pre-digested exegeses.

  172. E.G. says:

    Anyway, the Arabs of former Palestine seem very comfortable striving for independence while waging physical and media war on Israel, funded by the EU, the USA, the UN, and some Arab countries.

  173. oao says:

    striving for independence

    i wonder what will happen to them if israel disappeared and they got their intended independence. would love to see the conflicts developing from that.

  174. oao says:

    i just came across this:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/132428

    now:

    1. serves him right. but i betcha he’ll find some way to rationalize what they are doing to him, not learn the truth about the pals.

    2. note who is pushing for the boycott — it’s not the politicians. proves all those who claim that the pals want peace and co-existence and only fatah/hamas are haters fools or liars — probably both.

  175. Cynic says:

    oao,

    Thanks for the link.

  176. [...] a previous post, there was much discussion of the elusive (some would say imaginary) phenomenon of Palestinian [...]

  177. E.G. says:

    And I just came across this:

    “Palestinian Authority (PA) senior official and head of its negotiations department, Saeb Erekat, has said in a detailed interview with an Arabic newspaper that no Jews should be permitted to stay in a Palestinian state, that Palestinians have an “absolute right” to the eastern half of Jerusalem and that, as Israel’s negotiating positions have weakened and been concessionary over the years, the Palestinians should agree to nothing now and allow Israel to concede still more.”

    http://www.zoa.org/sitedocuments/pressrelease_view.asp?pressreleaseID=1666

  178. Eliyahu says:

    EG, in response to your #191:

    The maniacal White House peacemonger is now supposed to be considering imposing a time limit on negotiations between Israel and PLO for “peace” and erecting a Panamanian state. If no agreement ensues, then oBambi and his whiteskinned Euro buddies, will IMPOSE one on the parties. That shows real concern to achieve peace. O, but one thing, how come neither the USA nor the Euros have demanded that the PLO/Arabs fulfill their Road Map commitments in re disarming militias and stopping the Nazi-like propaganda in the PA media, schools, mosques, etc????

    Au lieu d’etre pacifistes et gens epris de la paix, eperdus de la paix, montrant un engouement exemplaire de cet etat beni, ils sont des fauteurs de guerre.

    If the EU and Obambi really want peace then they might stop the billions of dollars, euros, yen, etc that go to the palestinian authority and hamas.

  179. oao says:

    as Israel’s negotiating positions have weakened and been concessionary over the years, the Palestinians should agree to nothing now and allow Israel to concede still more.”

    i saw that. evidence of alibama’s policy success. but you wanna bet that everybody will ignore that same as they ignored everything the arabs say?

  180. oao says:

    If no agreement ensues, then oBambi and his whiteskinned Euro buddies, will IMPOSE one on the parties.

    there is nothing euros would love more than imposing the peace on those damn joos and shut them off for good.

    schadenfreunde, schmadenfreunde, if they do this they deserve to be under sharia. i can’t think of a better response.

  181. Eliyahu says:

    EG, Lenin for one read Hegel. Somebody even published Lenin’s Notebooks on Hegel. Not all of Hegel is false. Some of it is interesting. Anyhow, the Communist following, the herd of party members, did not have to read Hegel. The propaganda that was directed to them conveyed some of Hegel’s ideas [which Marx had already adopted] which had been absorbed by the party leadership. Hegel could have shaped or influenced the thinking of the leadershipt.

    Of course, we are dealing today with a really “new” left. The Left today is mainly a manipulated body of public opinion. And probably the more ignorant they are the easier to manipulate them, to mold their thinkiing. Many or most of them could hardly read the Communist Manifesto, let alone Hegel.

  182. oao says:

    And probably the more ignorant they are the easier to manipulate them, to mold their thinkiing.

    thank you.

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