Gaza flotilla – some alternative views

Martin in the Margins writes:

“The lack of comment on the Gaza flotilla incident from progressive pro-Israel voices has allowed knee-jerk anti-Zionists to dominate online reaction – well, Twitter, anyway. I guess most people are waiting for the dust to settle and the full story of this awful tragedy to emerge. It’s almost certain to be less straightforward than the ‘Israel-murders-harmless-aid-workers’ narrative that’s currently doing the rounds. In the meantime, here are some useful alternatives to the dominant narrative.”

Updates as I come across them:

59 Responses to “Gaza flotilla – some alternative views”

  1. david Says:

    actually, the only “story” going around is that put out by the IDF. The Israeli government are holding all the other witnesses. Isn’t that convenient.

  2. luny Says:

    A question regarding
    https://engageonline.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/violence-against-israeli-speaker-is-not-an-isolated-incident/

    Why should the ambassador of Israel receive better treatment than the activists on the free Gaza boat when he abuses the Democratic rights of the UK to defend his regime?

  3. Absolute Observer Says:

    Actually, you will find that Press TV’s video and coverage is being used as the main source. Hence, the Guardian’s lead quote from its journalist.

  4. Absolute Observer Says:

    “Reporting for Press TV, an Iranian state-run channel, one said: “We are being hit by tear gas, stun grenades. We have navy ships on every side and helicopters ahead. We are being attacked on every side.”

    From the Guardian.

    Now, Press TV, I am sure they tell the truth about Israel. After all, I can see no reason not to trust Holocaust Deniers to give an accurate account of a state they wished to see “wiped off the face of the earth”. Do you?

  5. boycottisraeltoday Says:

    It is a total lie that Israel commandos met armed resistance (which included knives, slingshots, etc), bare in mind that when this news was circulated (by Israeli PR) no witnesses had spoken to the media or at least had not got over the shock of this pirate like attack on their convoy in International waters (which happens to be illegal).

    Now, witnesses have come forward and spoken about their experience and boy do they tell a different story. The following quote I took from BBC website (and a link to this is provided at the end) from Norman Paech a German pro-Palestinian activist, he was on board one of the ships, he said:
    “German pro-Palestinian activist Norman Paech said he had only seen wooden sticks being brandished as troops abseiled on to the deck of the ship. Personally I saw two-and-a-half wooden batons that were used… There was really nothing else. We never saw any knives. This was an attack in international waters on a peaceful mission… This was a clear act of piracy,” he added.

    To me its very clear, Israel has a habit of confusing reality with ‘information over-flow’ where many different versions of the same story are talked about by many different people from one side, this then conflicts with the real story and leaves the view totally confused hence less attention is given to the story over all. This is exactly what Israel PR and spokes-people have been saying. I could swear when I was monitoring this story as it happened (and monitored it for another six hours or so) I could have wrote down 6 to 8 different stories which was told by Israel spokes-person.

    The fact of the matter is this – Israel has committed a crime on many fronts not to mention the choking of the entire Palestinian population, the information black-out, the killing of innocent Palestinians – activists and many more, Israel has conducting crime on a mass scale and now it needs to answer to the world. Israel cannot handle responsibility and has no justice but a state ruled with mobs, murderers and terrorists.

  6. zkharya Says:

    Says Boycottisraeltoday:

    ‘The IDF talks of gunfire, but apparently the guns in question were taken from soldiers during the confrontation, not precipitating it, according to the IDF spokesperson’s statement: “According to reports from sea, on board the flotilla that was seeking to break the maritime closure on the Gaza Strip, IDF forces apprehended two violent activists holding pistols. The violent activists took these pistols from IDF forces and apparently opened fire on the soldiers as evident by the empty pistol magazines. ” All of this begins with the Israeli tactics used to raid the ships.’

    So you admit, at least, that ‘peace’ activists began firing first.

    Well, that’s a start.

  7. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    One really has to admire the calm, reflective tone of commenters above, such as http://boycottisraeltoday.wordpress.com/ (ie, boycottisraeltoday – a website of that name, and check out the list of reports to confirm their neutrality); david; & luny – the latter a most appropriate nom-de-comment, as I will continue to note.

    david misses the “facts” that have been reported by the Turks, the BBC, boycottisraeltoday just above, spread across the front pages of many newspapers (and inside them as well), so that rather undermines his assertion that “The Israeli government are holding all the other witnesses. Isn’t that convenient.” Well, it would be if, by some miracle, so many claims about what _really_ happened weren’t coming out from other decidely anti-Israel (or at least far from pro-Israeli) sources. Does rather undermine david’s implied neutral stand on this issue.

    As for luny…the problem is not starting, but knowing where to stop. I’ll confine myself to this: “Why should the ambassador of Israel receive better treatment than the activists on the free Gaza boat when he abuses the Democratic rights of the UK to defend his regime?” There are so many things wrong here. Firstly, it was the Deputy-Ambassador (actually, luny, accuracy really _does_ matter); secondly _she_ was physically threatened by a mob, when all she was attempting to do was respond to a legitimate invitation to talk – since when was freedom of speech an abuse of “the Democratic rights of the UK…”? I suppose the abuse of the democratic rights, etc, was the refusal to allow the mob to attack her? Thirdly, does luny therefore unilaterally decide that diplomatic immunity extends only to those regimes he likes?

    One point that won’t have got through his thick head is that Israeli diplomats are accompanied by armed security people at all times when out in public (I’ve seen the bulge under the left side of the jacket when a former Israeli Ambassador came to address the Board of Deputies some 20 years ago. In Manchester, it must have been a difficult decision _not _ to draw the pistol and defend the Deputy Ambassador with deadly force. And who do you think the UK authorities would have blamed? The secutrity guard? Not likely.

    It’s not worth considering a detailed response to boycottisrael today, when they start off with an untruth: “It is a total lie that Israel commandos met armed resistance (which included knives, slingshots, etc), bare [sic] in mind that when this news was circulated (by Israeli PR) no witnesses had spoken to the media or at least had not got over the shock of this pirate like attack on their convoy in International waters (which happens to be illegal).”

    Actually, no it’s not illegal to carry out this action – at least not in principle – in international waters. No-one suggested that the US blockade of Cuba was illegal back in 1963. It might have been politically unwise, desperately dangerous and much else, but not even Kruschev and the Soviets suggested that it was illegal. Unlike most of the posters here (and I’m pretty sure “boycottisraeltoday”), I was a student at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and I protested the US actions, because I was scared stiff (like so many others) that the cold war was about to get terminally hot. And, according to Seth Freedman, on CiF and linked to above, the IDF men _were_ met with violence.

    How about a considered critique of his article?

    No takers? Why am I not surprised?

  8. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    I need to add that the action to stop the Gaza convoy is much more likely to be an illegal act if carried out in _someone else’s_ national waters (ie, inside the 3 Mile (or whatever it is) limit: that, for sure, is an infringement of international law.

    boycottisraeltoday needs to consult a _competent_ international lawyer and not rely on gut instinct.

  9. Inna Says:

    “It is a total lie that Israel commandos met armed resistance ..”

    Well, no-one is denying that there are Israeli soldiers in the hospital right now, and that two are in critical condition. I suppose it’s possible that these soldiers decided to take this opportunity to try to commit suicide. However, it is also possible that they were hurt (and maybe killed–like I said two are in critical condition meaning that they may die) by the people on the boat.

    Which do you think is the more likely scenario?

    Regards,

    Inna

  10. Absolute Observer Says:

    I heard the interview with the German guy. On the one hand, he made claims about what happened on the upper deck despite not being on the upper deck. Later in the same interview when asked what for him was an awkward question, he said he could not answer since he was not on the upper deck.

    This story came from a “witness” who, as he admitted, witnessed nothing of the matter at hand (Or, maybe he was really a plant by the clever Zionist PR machine – why not? in this atmposphere of mob lynching, it seems people are willing to believe anything – providing, of course, it paints Israel as evil, evil, evil.)

  11. David Miller Says:

    Everyone knows where I stand on the Israel/Palestine debate; but my heart sank when I heard this news. The fact of the matter is that Israel took the poisoned bait and will pay the PR price for it! This was never going to end well for them no matter what they chose to do; but in my view, sending in crack combat troops to confront ‘innocent’ aid workers was not a good first choice. Knowing that armed confrontation was a distinct possibility, they should have taken all possible measures to prevent it rather than encourage it by this foolish response. And in the end, the blockade will need reviewing as Israel desperately has to regain some moral high ground even if it risks more breaches of security in the process.

    • Jonathan Romer Says:

      David,

      You’re absolutely right about the magnitude of the propaganda fiasco, regardless of the facts, details, and rights and wrongs of what happened. To my mind that’s a matter of incompetence among the people charged with planning the interception. They should pay a price, and lessons should be learned.

      The problem seems to have been insufficient force, not too much. By sending in too few commandos with too little materiel to take control under the conditions they might face, they increased the likelihood that they would be met with violence and that they would have to start firing live rounds to protect themselves. The smear of IDF blood-lust is a transparent lie.

  12. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Come now, Inna, you know what boycottisraeltoday’s response to your rhetorical question is going to be, and it’s not the one that fits the truth. Truth and their political and ideological views match only by coincidence and chance, because the ideology blinds the fanatic to truth – or to anything but their own “truth”.

    BTW, why isn’t there a similiar stream of vilification when the US forces accidentally (either through carelessness or faulty intelligence) kill 3 or 4 times as many innocent Afghanis? Is it because the action isn’t committed by the Jewish state? Surely not?

  13. Absolute Observer Says:

    David Miller,
    Agreed – every word.
    However, the fact that Israel made a big mistake on all levels does not explain the feeding frenzy and language of the mob, so-called “critics of Israel”. “Rage”, “mass murder”, “Israel’s 9/11”, cartoons of Israelis as nazis, etc..

    In other words, that the events that took onboard the boat was so “brutal” so “viscious” so “evil” that Israel – and only Israel – should be shunted and excluded from the world of nations, made to suffer, etc and so forth.

    What next, the claim of deicide?

    The nexus of rational cause and effect that should, and does, govern affairs of politics have here been stretched to breaking point.

    • David Miller Says:

      The point I’m making is that Israel’s only real option is to reveal the agenda of the ‘peace’ activists on the ship and elsewhere for what it really is, a sham and cover for extremism. Instead, their armed forces played right into the extremists’ hands turning the spotlight on themselves and their actions in the process. I am well aware of the oozing, loathsome, visceral hatred of Israel that is behind all this, but Israel has to rise above such irrational behaviour and attitudes and devise a strategy aimed at neutralising them. Showing pictures to a largely sceptical audience of what happened on board and what they found there is a feeble strategy at best.

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        To which must be added that we need to examine carefully the claims and footage allegedly showing the weaponry found on boards the ships of the Gaza flotilla.

        If true, this will start to unravel the activists’ story and show why they daren’t have voluntarily put into an Egyptian or Israeli port. Their only rationale for refusing both to put into port and to resist IDF examination of the cargo was because of what would be found.

        2 days ago, I posted a comment (reproduced further down this thread) in reply to david recalling a comment I posted in response to a demand that we all roll over and admit the IDF had committed human rights against Gazan civilians during Operation Cast lead. As reported by reservists and widely repeated…

        “And then, lo and behold, more evidence emerged, This was all hearsay, and not one of those who told the story had actually seen any of the events they described so graphically. Was there an apology, an embarrassed shuffling of the feet, a retraction of accusations?”

        No there wasn’t. If the reports of weaponry found are extablished beyon doubt, will there be “an apology, an embarrassed shuffling of the feet, a retraction of accusations?” Probably not.

  14. david Says:

    Brian says: “david misses the “facts” that have been reported by the Turks, the BBC, boycottisraeltoday.”

    Now that the passengers and crew of the Mari Marmora have been released by Israel, 48 hours after the event, we finally have eye-witness accounts from a perspective other than the IDF. The news media you mention were clearly unable to give alternative eye witness accounts (i.e. “facts”) before today because the witnesses were quite deliberately silenced until the IDF version had been endlessly repeated.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      Which, of course, david, explains the tidal wave, the tsunami, of pro-Israel publicity as a result of this situation.

      And yet again, your comment was written when much of this “reportage” was already available. Either you prefer to believe _only_ what supports your own, pre-determined view, or you are deliberately ignoring it, as it would spoil what appears, for you, to be a good story.

      Which is it?

  15. the king of france Says:

    Here’s an interesting view from a Kurd (subject to Turkish military action)

    Most ironically, Turkish government expressed sorrow about the death of human lives which can either be construed as a shift of strategy in Turkish foreign policy or unparalleled, unheard-of sympathy for humanity.

    Till now, Turkey continues to commit the most gross human rights violations against its own Kurdish masses. On a daily basis, hundreds of Kurdish women and children die of hunger, disease and poverty in South East Turkey. Whatever has been able to influence Turkey to alter its mind and commiserate with the death of civilians sounds a bit astounding! Apparently, the immaterial loss of thousands of Kurdish civilians in Turkey does not have a bearing but when it comes to few Turks, it matters a big deal. The Gaza blockade seems more pivotal than the rapidly devastating economic state in southeast (Kurdistan) and internal growing political turmoil inside Turkey. Frail to resolve its long-standing Kurdish dilemma, how does the global community have expectations from a state like Turkey in being able to broker a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine and other regional nations? Turkey should first resolve its own internal disputes it is coping with before trying to mediate between other parties.

    Sadly, the international community has expressed reservation toward the continuing suppression of 25 million Kurds by Turkey; while they portray the Israeli inadvertent storming of a trivial flotilla more momentous than the massacres being carried out by Turkish navy, air force and ground forces in sync in the Kurdish-peopled areas.
    http://www.kurdishaspect.com/doc060110BB.html

  16. Absolute Observer Says:

    Actually, those “arrested” were given the opportunity to go to their country of origin. They chose to be arrested instead. Not an unusal or unwarranted strategy for (legitimately) seeking attention.

    As to eye witnesses……………how many were on the upper deck at the time of the commandos coming in and actaully saw what was going on. This might all apppear rather “legalistic”, but even those, or especially those, who are seemingly universally hated for a crime that they may have committed have a right to the rule of law. Or maybe some would prefer a “vote” to decide what happened, rather than the careful attention to detail?

    After all, that is what an inquiry will and should ask; unless, of course, in this case then the ususal rules of evidence, etc. is to be postponed and those who did the shooting found guilty on the basis of hearsay and of, the context of the case.

    No-one is denying that those who died were killed by Israeli bullets.
    The question is whether the language of “massacre” and “mass killing” s appropriate. After all, this is not the first time the IDF have been alleged to have carried out a massacre and later been shown not to be the case.

  17. Inna Says:

    “The news media you mention were clearly unable to give alternative eye witness accounts …”

    Well, that’s one possibility. Another possibility might be to find out which of the IHH-sponsored flotilla passengers were terrorists. After all, the US (and I believe the UK as well as the rest of European countries) banned IHH for funding vaious Islamist organizations back in the 1990s. Two of the Islamist organizations this entity funds have been in the news a lot: al Qaeda and Hamas but there are others. Qaradawi is one of the leaders of IHH.

    So there is the off-chance that any security service worth its salt may have been curious as to the names of the passengers willing to take IHH funds.

    Regards,

    Inna

  18. david Says:

    Interesting that AO mentions the rule of law. Two days ago Israeli navy personnel were attacked by a “lynch” according to an Israeli spokeswoman, and charges of attempted murder seemed likely to follow. Today they are all being released without charges. So what changed? Could it be that the IDF did not want the legality of the raid itself questioned by any court of law, even an Israeli one?

    • Inna Says:

      “So what changed? ”

      On the NewsHour last night they reported that the Israeli chief justice advised the government that, while Israel had the legal right to try the suspect, it would not be in Israel’s national interest to do so.

      Regards,

      Inna

      • Mira Vogel Says:

        Perhaps the same ‘national interest’ as investigating the death of Mohammed Al Dura, Inna. Israel Foreign Ministry felt that conducting its own investigation would be futile – a finding in Israel’s favour would count for nothing against the weight of public opinion. Karsenty had to fight the battle with Enderlin on his own to reach the eventual ruling that there was good reason to call the death a hoax.

  19. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Another bite of the cherry by me: david says, in his comment dated June 2 at 12.47, that “Now that the passengers and crew of the Mari Marmora have been released by Israel, 48 hours after the event, we finally have eye-witness accounts from a perspective other than the IDF. The news media you mention were clearly unable to give alternative eye witness accounts (i.e. “facts”) before today because the witnesses were quite deliberately silenced until the IDF version had been endlessly repeated.”

    Interesting isn’t it, that the eye-witness stories add very little to what had been said before. This is not to doiubt (necessarily – that is for another time, perhaps) their veracity, but to note that the eye-witnesses say much the same things as the earlier media reports.

    In other words, they add, in terms of alleged facts, nothing new. All this reminds me of one of the “stories” that came out of Operation Cast Lead, when reservists related all those tales of abuse of Gazan civilians: sending them _into_ danger, firng at them, destroying their homes with no grounds for so doing, and so-on.

    Lots of people (I can recall one of the Deborah’s and Ryan Sher – I can check, if you like) getting all righteous on us – and me – telling us – and me – that we should acknowledge the sins of the IDF. There were even those who told me what “my” army had done. I’m a UK citizen and not an Israeli, so it wasn’t “my” army, even though I am a Zionist.

    And then, lo and behold, more evidence emerged, This was all hearsay, and not one of those who told the story had actually seen any of the events they described so graphically. Was there an apology, an embarrassed shuffling of the feet, a retraction of accusations?

    What do you think, david? So let’s wait and see what emerges as the whole story. Maybe, who knows, as Inna says above (and just in case you hadn’t noticed, she’s being ironic), those IDF personnel just chose the occasion to attempt suicide.

  20. Ms Sanity Israeli Says:

    Israel is in thrall to a destructive, vicious cycle, like that of a drug addict or a violent man, which repeats itself (with some variations ) at every turn. Each time the cycle becomes shorter, and a suicidal ending seems inevitable at the moment.

    It happens like this: Israel uses immense force to attack an immeasurably smaller and weaker entity, which it perceives as nothing less than a dangerous enemy threatening its existence. By attacking, Israel inflicts huge damage to many people, among them the innocent or the presumed innocent, and causes itself enormous damage because the world is furious at it.

    Israel once again feels threatened and defends itself by further entrenchment – physical, military and diplomatic. All proposals for change are seen as a threat, and Israel does its best to reject them.

    The Jewish people in Zion has in the past been the victim of horrific violence. Israel today is captive to a false sense of victimhood, which goes together with both a sense of false omnipotence and guilt-cum-aggressiveness.

    Israel’s belief that it is threatened is so deep-seated that it sees military action against six civilian ships protesting the siege on Gaza as a “clear act of self-defense,” as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the cabinet. Its sense of victimhood runs so deep that it releases film footage showing its most elite soldiers being helplessly beaten, apparently failing to understand the extent to which that impairs its deterrent power.

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/nothing-to-investigate-everyone-knows-what-was-wrong-about-the-flotilla-attack-1.293885

    • zkharya Says:

      ‘It happens like this: Israel uses immense force to attack an immeasurably smaller and weaker entity, which it perceives as nothing less than a dangerous enemy threatening its existence. ‘

      What you omit is that weaker entity makes quite clear that, given half the chance, it will strengthen itself with a view to extinguishing any kind of Israel.

      If Israel were not strong, Israel would not exist.

    • zkharya Says:

      Also ‘immeasurably’ is not a term applicable to real world politics.

  21. Inna Says:

    The ships were civilian but not all the passengers were civilians:

    http://www.justjournalism.com/media-analysis/view/controversial-profiles-ignored

    But of course this should not surprise anyone since the whole enterprise was funded by the IHH:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/terror-finance-flotilla

    “Notably, the Union is chaired by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who is known best for his religious ruling that encourages suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. According to one report, Qardawi personally transferred millions of dollars to the Union in an effort to provide financial support to Hamas.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7142977.ece

    “Despite their claims to be an entirely peaceful organisation, The Foundation for Human Rights, Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) has a history of involvement in Islamic extremism around the world and has been linked with an attempted bombing of an airport in the US. ”

    Given who was paying the bill, it should not surprise us that a few Islamists were on board. Nor should it surprise us that they had grenades at the soldiers: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3898174,00.html

    And, as the names of some of the passengers make clear, this was not a humanitarian mission but a political one. That’s probably why (according to the Ma’an News agency) Hamas is refusing to accept the aid offered:

    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=289228

    Althougb one could, I suppose, argue that the aid (one day’s worth) wasn’t all that desirable in any event:

    Q: How much aid does the flotilla represent, compared to the usual aid flowing into Gaza via Israel?
    A: About 1 day’s worth.

    Q: What sort of aid is on the ships?
    A: Clothes and shoes, though its not clear if they are new or used. Medicine, medical equipment. Its difficult to know because it was all randomly thrown into the belly of the ships.

    Q: Has the date of the aid medication that arrived via the flotilla, expired?
    A: So far, we (COGAT) have located two types of medication. An unlabeled cough syrup of some sort, which expired this past April, and children’s paracetamol (liquid acetaminophen) which expires this coming July (a month away).

    http://blog.z-word.com/2010/06/gaza-flotilla-brought-one-days-worth-of-aid/#more-1596

    Regards,

    Inna

  22. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Ms Sanity Israeli (according to her: all three designations could be dubious):
    “Israel is in thrall to a destructive, vicious cycle, like that of a drug addict or a violent man, which repeats itself (with some variations ) at every turn. Each time the cycle becomes shorter, and a suicidal ending seems inevitable at the moment.

    It happens like this: Israel uses immense force to attack an immeasurably smaller and weaker entity, which it perceives as nothing less than a dangerous enemy threatening its existence.”

    Where shall we start? With the Hebron massacre of 1929, perhaps? Or the Arab Revolt of the mid-1930s, maybe? Or the various unprovoked attacks by Arab groups throughout this period? Then, once the 1947 UN Resolution is passed in November until May 1948, the Arab militias attacked Jewish villages and settlements, and were roundly defeated. After May 1948, with the declaration of the State of Israel, 5 (count them, 5) Arab national armies invaded the area both of UN declared Israel and the area vacated by the defeated militias. Result: the Israel of the 1948 Truce lines (if you prefer, Green Line Israel, 1967). Whatever it was, it was much larger than the 1947 Pertition Plan envisaged – thanks to Arab intransigence.

    Please note, Ms Sanity Israeli, not one of these events was actually _initiated_ by the Yishuv or by the Israelis, but all initiated by the Arabs. I won’t go into the background to the 1967 War, but if you don’t know it, and really _are_ an Israeli, then shame on you for being a “know nothing” (go and look it up in a political science encyclopaedia).

    But you’re _really_ talking about Operation Cast Lead of 2008-09 aren’t you? If so, and if you _really_ are an Israeli, then double shame on you. Literally thousands of rockets rained into Israel, aimed (fortunately mostly inaccurately) at Sderot & Ashkelon; numerous warnings by the Israeli government as to what would happen if this didn’t cease, to no avail. Then, to no-one’s (except possibly Hamas’s) surprise, a massive attack on Gaza.

    Note, this is a sovereign state, a member in good standing of the United nations, defending both its territorial integrity and the lives of its citizens. Result? Well, among them, fewer civilian casualties than in a month in Afghanistan or Iraq – and consider how long _those_ conflicts have been going on; very few rockets into Israel.

    Now, if you want to argue that Israel should have got out of Gaza and the West Bank long ago, I would have no disagreement with you there. If you want to assert that there shouldn’t be any civilian settlements on the West Bank or the Golan Heights, I wouldn’t demur.

    But consider this: you argue (assert, really) that:

    “By attacking, Israel inflicts huge damage to many people, among them the innocent or the presumed innocent, and causes itself enormous damage because the world is furious at it.”

    I won’t argue at the last part of the sentence from “and causes itself…” (though while I would agree with the sentiments, I would totally disagree with you as to _why_ this is so). However, you clearly, Ms Sanity Israeli, fail to take account of the fact that while this whole conflict is distressing and destructive of lives, nevertheless, far fewer Arabs (let’s not bother to count Israeli/Jewish lives – after all, the rest of world doesn’t pay much attention to these) have died than have been killed by their fellow Arabs outside (and, actually, inside) the cockpit that is the Middle East.

    So, Ms Sanity Israeli, a little less sanctimonious clap trap, and a little more analysis, please. And if you really think that Israel shouldn’t defend itself so vigorously, perhaps you could enlighten us to what Israeli governments _should_ be doing to avoid another Holocaust. And I’m neither joking nor offering special pleading, and if you _are_ an Israeli, I shouldn’t need to say this to you, unless you were absent during your schooldays. Without a serious partner for peace (however found), what other option does Israel have?

    Oh, and by the way, as Benny Morris says in his latest book (which I reviewed below for the attention of the likes of you), a bi-national state isn’t a realistic option if one wants to avoid the outcome indicated in the second sentence of the paragraph above this one.

    • N. Friedman Says:

      Brian,

      I agree with pretty much all you have written in this post.

      I would, however, add that you have not mentioned in the post the ideology of the Hamas. In this regard, I would point you to a new book by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen titled Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity. He views the Hamas and its cousin Islamist movement parties as being eliminationist/genocidal. He views them as the most openly genocidal movement since that of the Nazi party.

      I think this is an important part of the story, one that needs to be emphasized, most especially in a world where ignoring Israel’s concerns is routine.

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        Thank you, Neil. You’re right, of course, and I’m glad you’ve added it for Ms Sanity Israeli’s benefit. It is a _very_ important part of the story, and we could (and maybe _should_) say the same thing about Hezbollah. Benny Morris, in “One State, Two States”, makes much the same comment about the PLO, despite (he argues) appearances to the contrary.

        However, given the time (see this both for _that_ post and this one: it’s the “real” time for me in the UK), I both didn’t think of it at the time, and might not have added it anyway, as I wanted to keep the post reasonably short.

        However, I agree that it is vital to remind people who read & comment here from different perspectives, that Hamas, Hezbollah and their major sponsor, Iran, are very much eliminationists, and there are some who would argue the same for the PLO/Palestinian Authority.

        Thank you again for making this vital point.

    • Inna Says:

      “If you want to assert that there shouldn’t be any civilian settlements on the West Bank or the Golan Heights, I wouldn’t demur.”

      I agree with you about the West Bank but IMO Golan is a different kettle of fish. The reason is that you don’t occupy land; you occupy people. And the Bedouins of the Golan do not consider themselves to be under occupation nor do they want to “go back” to Syria.

      In fact, giving the Golan Heights to Syria seems to me to be as anti-democratic as giving the the Falklands back to Algeria.

      Regards,

      Inna

  23. vildechaye Says:

    RE: Israel today is captive to a false sense of victimhood.

    Exactly what is “false” about Israel’s “sense of victimhood.”

    1-The Israelis face existential threats from Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah.

    2-8,000 Hamas rockets, not to mention more deadly arms smuggled to Hezb in southern Lebanon?

    3-The double standard applied to virtually every Israeli action.

    Nothing false there. Israel’s leaders would be remiss in their duty to defend their country if they didn’t take these threats seriously. Amazing, though, how those with faux concern for Israel are ready to believe the worst of it and take its ideologically driven enemies at face value, no matter how absurd their claims.

  24. Absolute Observer Says:

    “Could it be that the IDF did not want the legality of the raid itself questioned by any court of law, even an Israeli one?”

    Yes, very possibly (although the story from Israel is that after interviewing those in custody there was no basis for charge of those not on deck).

    However, the principled response of one parties’ (possible) breach of the rule of law should not be a corresponding denial of it to those alleged to have been in breach. Therein lies the rule of the lynch mob. Precisely the attitude of the first few days after the deaths of those on the boat.

    I appreciate that you and others (including myself) are very, very angry. But that is precisely the moment that the rule of law, its demands of evidence, of reflection and of judgement come into play.

    One need only read the rather nastier sections of the British press following a terrorist attack (IRA, Islamicist, etc.) to see the baying for revenge that is similar to those that accompanied the early responses to the Gaza flotilla.

    And, yes, I support an inquiry, preferably by an international body – but, as with most, if not all countries (The UK refused such an inquiry following Bloody Sunday and only 30 years after it, instigated an internal one. The US refuse such inquiry’s as well), it is unlikely Israel will agree to that, especially since they feel public opinion has already made up its mind. In the interim, I support those in Israel who demand a civilian rather than a military inquiry. It is a start.

  25. Absolute Observer Says:

    As always, Amos Oz, a voice of reason in the tumult of chaos,

    “But Hamas is not just a terror organisation. Hamas is an idea. A desperate and fanatical idea that grew out of the desolation and frustration of many Palestinians. No idea has ever been defeated by force – not by siege, not by bombardment, not by being flattened with tank treads, and not by marine commandos. To defeat an idea you have to offer a better idea, a more attractive and acceptable one. The only way for Israel to edge out Hamas is for it to quickly reach an agreement with the Palestinians on the establishment of an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as defined by the 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/02/israel-force-impotent-hamas-idea

  26. Yaniv Says:

    Will someone here be generous enough to counter the following nonesense properly?
    (The last 3 days left me with no sleep whatsoever. I hope others can mobilize and help us).
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/israel-derangement-syndrome.html

  27. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Yaniv, I suspect that there are only two ways to respond to this article, because it is so detailed. The first would be to write a detailed rebuttal and submit it to The Atlantic, but I have neither the skills, the “name” nor the contacts to do this, and I don’t know anyone who does. The second is to request the editors/moderators of engageonline to publish the link and/or the article (if they can, legally, without needing to purchase rights), and then we can collectively deconstruct the piece – using our collective skills, where any one of us would miss important aspects of the original.

    So how about it David, Mira & Richard?

    As to restoring your sleep patterns, Yaniv, you should console yourself that this is but a more sophisticated example of the nonsense we are constantly meeting here. We have been debating amongst ourselves, and thus honing our skills for the fight; I have been reading and commenting on this site from the beginning, and (unless they come back under different names/email addresses) many of our opponents have given up posting both here and elsewhere, because they cannot cope with the collective “us”; there are lots of non-posters who read our debates here: people who are uncommitted but who might be convinced by our robust defence of the proper way to debate and argue on _any_ issue, not only I/P, as well as the already committed who need ammunition, ammunition that we supply; and we are not alone – think of Harry’s Place; Z-Blog; the Z-word; Bob from Brockley, and many others.

    Indeed, I am going to forward this comment and link to someone who _does_ have the skills (and the website) to deconstruct Sullivan to great effect, if he so chooses. If you know of anyone like that, you should do so as well.

    Sweet dreams, Yaniv. No Pasaran!

  28. Gil Says:

    Yaniv, it’s not just nonsense it’s evil- the likes of which I had never thought to see from Sullivan:
    ‘A country permanently occupying and colonizing a neighboring region, and treating its original inhabitants as dangerous interlopers, is the victim.’
    Does Sullivan mean pre-1967, post-1967 Israel? He doesn’t say. ‘permanent occupation’? The territories were taken in a war of self-defence after their owners used them to attack Israel. They are being held until until proper agreements i.e. peace treaties are signed. The proof of this is the fact that Israel returned all territories to Jordan and Egypt that those countries demanded – in return for peace treaties. So Sullivan lies when he uses the word ‘permanent’.

    Israeli Arabs are not being treated as ‘interlopers’. They hold full civil rights in Israel.
    Sullivan is right regarding the treatment of the Palestinians by the settlers and that is indeed a stain on Israel.

    ‘An elite commando unit attacking a ship carrying toys and wheelchairs in the hours before dawn are those we should feel pity for’

    Pure propaganda. The soldiers were attacked first by so called ‘peace activists’ whom we now know are linked to terrorists. There is clear footage of the soldiers being set upon by the mob and with an attempt to tether the helicopter to the ship which could have had catastrophic consequences. The soldiers had good reason to believe that the would be taken hostage and that a Gilad Shalit scenario would begin. There is documented evidence that some of them said in advance they wanted to die as ‘martyrs’ (shahids). The ship in question was asked to proceed to port in Israel so that the goods could be inspected and then sent on to Gaza. They refused and told the Israelis ‘go back to Auschwitz’.
    But Sullivan couldn’t give a toss about Arabs telling Jews to go back to the extermination camps.
    ‘A country with 150 nuclear warheads and the strongest military in its region, the victor in every conventional war it has always fought, is somehow also always fighting for its very existence’

    So get this: Sullivan seems to think that Israel’s (alleged) nuclear weapons mean that for each terror attack or conventional attack by Arab forces it can throw a nuclear bomb…’just like that’, as Tommy Cooper would say. Sullivan is a crap military strategist: The assault on Israel is via a process of delegitimisation an demonisation that are aimed at isolating it and causing its death by its withering away (boycotts, divestment ) But if Israel were to give up its nukes, what deterrence would it have against a nuclear threat from Iran? What weapon of last resort would it be able to use against Arab armies who had managed to break through its defences and were advancing on its coastal plain?

    The biggest example of Sullivan’s derangement comes when he writes when he writes: ‘There is no sense of the human here; just the tribe.’ Thus speaks someone who has decided to use Judeophobic propaganda in his service of Islamism.

  29. david Says:

    Yaniv… what is it exactly that you find so nonsensical about the article? One has only to read Engage regularly to see that many otherwise liberal Jews dispense with their liberalism whenever Israel is concerned. It is this blindness to the reality of Israel’s position and actions in the middle-east that is acurately described as Israel Derangement Syndrome. I suggest that your sleeplessness may have more to do with your own conflicted politics than with the article itself.

  30. Absolute Observer Says:

    David,
    Could you supply proof of your claim that,

    “One has only to read Engage regularly to see that many otherwise liberal Jews dispense with their liberalism whenever Israel is concerned”. Preferably by a post rather than comments (and, if you do come across a comment, any replies to it).

    To stick to this thread alone lone we have had people bemoaning the reality of the siege in Gaza, calling for the end to the Occupation, calling for dialogue with Hamas through Oz’s comments.

    It is of course true that at the same time I and others have questioned the initial narrative of the events in question.

    If you think that this calling into question the first flush of news report whilst supporting the first steps to sovereign autonomy for Palestine is “dispensing with liberalism”, then I have little more to say.

    Of course, you are not the first person nor the first time that Engage has been accused of nothing more than being a front for Israel apologists. Perhaps, unlike those others you can present some concrete evidence for your assertions.

  31. Absolute Observer Says:

    Yes David we are all hypocritical Jewish liberals, who defend Israel right or wrong. Gosh, you’ve seen right through us.

    Look, I appreciate your embarrassment, what with jumping to conclusions that have turned out to be, at the least, questionable, especially having staked so much on them.

    But, then again,It is always easier to lash out at others (Engage, “liberal Jews”, the media (see Lerman on cif)) rather than confronting your own mistakes and reflecting on them.

    Mind you, following the claims about Jenin, about harvesting organs, about Zionists taking the US to war in Iraq and now claims about the Flotilla (note I exclude the bombardment of Gaza, although even there some accusations would appear not to be the case) one would have thought you would have learnt something by now Evidently not.

    But, keep blaming others if it makes you feel better. It is not an uncommon phenomenon.

  32. david Says:

    AO said:” Look, I appreciate your embarrassment, what with jumping to conclusions that have turned out to be, at the least, questionable, especially having staked so much on them.”

    Sadly, 9 of the witnesses on the ship are providing evidence through autopsies. Six bullets in the head does seem rather more than self defence. I would also point out that referring to the passengers and crew of the Mavi Marmora as a “lynch” is disrespectful to the thousands of black men lynched in the southern US. How many of them I wonder arrived at the scene in a helicopter brandishing an Uzi?

  33. david Says:

    AO….which bit did you need evidence for; that many contributors to Engage have liberal values? The whole organisation was set up by former leftists who resented the left’s current attitude to Israel.
    Or was it that many of those contributors do become hawks when it comes to Israel? If you doubt that you are clearly not reading the same blog as I am. Try looking at Inna or Brian Goldfarb in just the last few days.

  34. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    “David,
    Could you supply proof of your claim…”

    C’mon, AO, you don’t really expect proof from david, do you? This is a person who took half-a-dozen exchanges before he stated that the reason he had _started_ with an ad hominem attack on me was because I’d had the temerity to attack _yet another_ Lerman ‘blame the victims’ article. This is a person who _lives_ by assertion and exaggeration.

    Further, david has clearly not read Gil’s post by the time he posted his (it, of course, not yet have been posted). Even so, his language (“many otherwise liberal Jews dispense with their liberalism whenever Israel is concerned”) reveals his right-wing stance. Further, my comment re his living by assertion is underlined by his failure to offer any support to Sullivan.

    I wouldn’t have thought that, from his apparent perspective, this would have been difficult.

    Please remember that this is a person who, at the beginning of this thread, was claiming that the lies of the IDF were being allowed untrammeled broadcast, but that this changed as soon as the IDF released the members of the Gaza flotilla.

    Wait for proof and considered argument? You are joking aren’t you?

  35. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Inna says above: ‘ “If you want to assert that there shouldn’t be any civilian settlements on the West Bank or the Golan Heights, I wouldn’t demur.”

    I agree with you about the West Bank but IMO Golan is a different kettle of fish. The reason is that you don’t occupy land; you occupy people. And the Bedouins of the Golan do not consider themselves to be under occupation nor do they want to “go back” to Syria.’

    For once, Inna, I’m going to have to disagree with you. I think one does occupy land as well as people. Broadly, there is an agreement that Israel should be contained within the 1967 Green Line, give or take border adjustments as suggested in the failed talks of 2000. In none of these plans are the Golan Heights seen as part of Israel. Further, it’s not just the Druze or Bedouin of the Heights who have to be considered here. Syrians fled from the area, both in 1967 and again in 1973, when the Israelis, recovering from their initial setbacks, drove even further into Syria than earlier. Kuneitra is uninhabited and virtually uninhabitable because it is exadtly on the front line.

    True, it will take a cast-iron peace treaty between Israel and Syria to achieve this. Without one, the Israelis aren’t going to go back to being overlooked and vulnerable from the Heights. Anyone who has entered one of the Syrian observation posts on the Heights wouldn’t expect anything less, either.

  36. Absolute Observer Says:

    “The whole organisation was set up by former leftists who resented the left’s current attitude to Israel.”

    Wrong – again

    https://engageonline.wordpress.com/about-engage/

    How many of them I wonder arrived at the scene in a helicopter brandishing an Uzi?”

    An interesting claim and one doing the rounds on the internet, but that would appear to be inconsistent with any of the evidence provided to date. Even some committed anti-Zionists and those supportinve of Palestine have backed down from such claims.

    “Sadly, 9 of the witnesses on the ship are providing evidence through autopsies. Six bullets in the head does seem rather more than self defence.”

    Yes, you could well be right.

    David,
    you seem to misuderstand what I am saying, so I’ll try again.
    I do not know what happened on the boat. There are claims and counter claims being made.
    However, it would appear that the initial claim, that the commondos came “with machine guns swivelling from the hips” appears to be unsubstantiated; but, despite such questioning, many, including yourself, are citing it as “fact”.

    This is not the first time that where Israel is involved, initial stories of massacres have, on reflection, been proved not to be the case.

    I mentioned Jenin, but it appears to be the case here as well, or at least a possibility. However, you are not prepared to even consider that fact. Fine. But then when others refuse to run with the mob, you, in your frustration, start bandying around claims about partisanship, about “liberal Jews”, about not criticising Israel, etc. etc..

    In other words, you shift from legitimate questions of what Israel did and did not do to crude insulting those who disagree with you by evoking a straw man of Engage as defenders of Israel right or wrong.

    Other’s frustration have led to attacks on the media for asking questions of witnesses that question the initial narrative, of the media being supine in the face of Israel’s crime, (I would not be surpised if, in some people’s mind, this latter claims morphs into a version of “the Lobby” myth.).

    As to the use of the word “lynch”, the first reference was by yourself in quoting an Israeli spokesperson – in the context of some on board seeking to “lynch” the commandos. Whilst I agree with you entirely, the comparison with the Southern States is inappropriate and wrong, the phrase “lynch mob” in the context of the comment is not necessarily so.

    However, I believe that the term “mob” is entirely appropriate to the atmosphere created in the initial period after the boarding. The idea that if one questioned the initial narrative of Israel landing with “machine guns swivelling from their hips”, “shooting to kill”, perpetrating a “massacre”, and so, was met with hostility and accusations of “defending the indefensible”, of defending Israel “right or wrong” and of “lacking humanity”.

    Looking at your comments over this thread, it is interesting to note the parallels between those responses to those who refuse to run with the herd and your own.

  37. Absolute Observer Says:

    “Sadly, 9 of the witnesses on the ship are providing evidence through autopsies. Six bullets in the head does seem rather more than self defence. ”

    This is the report of the autopsie as reported by the Guardian and Israel’s response.

    “Nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head, according to the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, which carried out the autopsies for the Turkish ministry of justice today.

    The results revealed that a 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has US citizenship, was shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, said Yalcin Buyuk, vice-chairman of the council of forensic medicine”

    “Israel said tonight the number of bullets found in the bodies did not alter the fact that the soldiers were acting in self defence. “The only situation when a soldier shot was when it was a clearly a life-threatening situation,” said a spokesman for the Israeli embassy in London. “Pulling the trigger quickly can result in a few bullets being in the same body, but does not change the fact they were in a life-threatening situation.”

  38. Absolute Observer Says:

    From my conversations with people I know in Israel it would seem that they are furious with the government for the loss of life on the boat. Although they see it as a question of self-defence, they believe the question would not have arisen had the goverment acted in a more responsible manner.

    However, they hope that, if nothing else, a consequence of these events will be an acceptance that the siege itself is both wrong in itself and wrong from Israel’s own aims of destabilizing Hamas and Israel’s own security. Some of them believe that a policy of support for Gaza would call Hamas’ bluff as well as undermining the conditions that they believe entrench support for them, whilst others believe that (direct) negotiations with Hamas is the way forward.

    Despite these differences, all are agreed that things cannot carry on as they are.

  39. david Says:

    AO said: “I do not know what happened on the boat. There are claims and counter claims being made.”

    Initially Israel held all the non-IDF witnesses to the events on the ship. Meanwhile it released its own version together with one minute of film which was highlighted to create official narrative. This was endlessly repeated on all news channels. 48 hours later Israel released the detainees and the bodies after all film that they shot and any camera memories had been confiscated. This included all the cctv from the ship. In this way Israel has totally controlled the narrative of what happened on the ship…..this is my point and has been all along. We are told, rightly or wrongly, I don’t know, that the men attacking commandos with sticks and chairs were doing so because they were shooting at other passengers. This is certainly a possibility and Israel is not helping the argument that they shot in self-defence by not releasing all the film they have.
    I must say I find it ironic that Brian is taking a stance of outrage at the “ad hominem” attack. You Brian are the master of the ad hominem attack; that’s virtually all you do on this site…. people’s intelligence, their logic, their analysis skills, their argument, their integrity. I’m glad I was not one of your students.

  40. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    david: “…was it that many of those contributors do become hawks when it comes to Israel? If you doubt that you are clearly not reading the same blog as I am. Try looking at Inna or Brian Goldfarb in just the last few days.”

    Interesting, david accusing me of being a hawk. Let’s get a few facts on the table. I consider myself a democratic socialist; I am a Zionist; I am Jewish. My defences of Israel are not have been uncritical. I am a signatory of the Euston Manifesto, I constantly state my opposition to the existence of the settlements on the West Bank and Golan Heights (see my post re Inna above this); I constantly argue for a two-state solution. What’s hawkish in this?

    Perhaps, for david, it’s that I am also constant in my support for Israel’s right, as a sovereign nation and member in good standing of the United Nations, to defend both its own territorial integrity and the physical well-being of its citizens. Perhaps it’s also because I (along with many others) demand facts that support the claims made by those who see only wrong-doing by Israel; those who also reject all facts if these conflict with their _own_ pre-conceived assumptions about I/P.

    Perhaps it’s because I disagree with _him_ (over many issues) that david traduces me (not the first time he’s done _that_) while calmly purveying his own right-wing views. There’s a name for this sort of behaviour: it’s called mote-beam: ignoring the mote in one’s own eye while drawing vociferous attention to the beam in the other’s eye.

  41. Absolute Observer Says:

    David,
    We are now going round in circles.

    “Initially Israel held all the non-IDF witnesses to the events on the ship. Meanwhile it released its own version together with one minute of film which was highlighted to create official narrative.”

    My first contribution here was,
    “Actually, you will find that Press TV’s video and coverage is being used as the main source. Hence, the Guardian’s lead quote from its journalist.”
    I, for one know that I saw the Press TV coverage prior to the Israel coverage.

    But, as I say, I am not going to start all over again.

    This point, however, throws into doubt the following comment,

    “This included all the cctv from the ship. In this way Israel has totally controlled the narrative of what happened on the ship…..this is my point and has been all along.

    “Totally controlled”?? Really??
    Are you saying that Israel “totally controlled” the interviews on BBC and others by its various journalists? The entire US media, the enite English speaking media? Are you saying that every radio and TV journalist who questioned the dominant narrative of those on board the ship and who put questions to those on the boat were “totally controlled” by”Israel”?

    Are you saying that, in the US, Israel “totally controlled” Jon Stewart (celebrated for his criticism of Israel during the bombardment of Gaza) who covered the story and asked if those that appear to have attacked the commandos thought that Israel was sending them penatas?

    It sounds that you are now reduced to the world of myth, “totally controlled”, indeed!- something I noted in my previous comment, but, to be honest and despite our diifferences, I did not expect to come from you!)

    Now, what you might have meant to have said if, I suspect, you did not wish to connect with a rather nasty tradition, was that it is your belief that the release of the IDF framed the story and the responses to it. Again, that overlooks the first immediate coverage and, second, the ample opportunity of those interviewed since to correct that frame. As I noted, when questioned by some, the initial story that came from the boat appeared not to be as convincing as it was (i.e. many of those who claimed a particular version on events were actually not on deck at the time and agreed this to be the case.

    As to the question of pictures, etc..
    Just released in Turkey are some images that people believe were “censored” by the IDF. As it transpires, it serves further to support the IDF’s story.
    This from Haaretz,
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/turkish-paper-releases-censored-photos-of-beaten-israeli-commandos-1.294443

    But, let’s be honest David, if the IDF released these pictures or any others they are said to have, you would not believe tham. You would find some reason to doubt them. If Israel doesn’t release them, you think they are hiding things to the detriment of others. After all, If people begin to question the narrrative of “massacre” and Uzis, it’s not because of any attempt to get at what happened, of reflecting on evidence, etc. it is nothing more than a matter of Israel’s “total control”.

    Recourse to conspiracy theory is the first and last refuge of fools.

    And, to be honest, I think you are being a bit disengenious to say that the question of Israel’s “total control” is the only point you were making and that you, like me, are not sure of what went on (after all, it was you who talked abut Israelis with Uzis, not me). However, that is not really important.

  42. david Says:

    AO….In the interest of being absolutely clear let me just say that I was referring to VISUAL imagery, (which is all TV coverage is interested in) which has been totally controlled by Israel, because they confiscated this material and continue to withhold it. I was not, of course, trying to suggest that Israel controlled the eye witness testimony of the activists as it appeared in news media after they were released from custody.
    The evidence for Uzis being used on the ship is in the heads of the victims. Do you need it to be any clearer than that…..?

  43. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Yet again, david (6 June, 1.43 pm) prefers to insult me to actually presenting any evidence that I have misinterpreted him or made any sort of ad hominem attack on him. Thus:

    “I find it ironic that Brian is taking a stance of outrage at the “ad hominem” attack.” You may find it ironic, but I actually said that AO shouldn’t expect proof from you, not that you had made an ad hominem attack on him. This was hardly in anyone’s terms, except your own, an ad hominem attack. Unless, that is, the term “ad hominem” has lost all meaning, and we are in Humpty Dumpty territory here.
    It just goes to show that you don’t even appear to know or be able recognise a robust response when you see one. This continues the attitude you have of actually making ad hominem attacks on people then expressing outrage when they respond.

    On that front, david, yet again I will remind you and everyone else you are attempting to influence with your misdirection that the first ad hominem attack between the two of us was yours, as I remind you (and all who care about accuracy) every time you make yet _another_ ad hominem attack on me, just like the one above: ”You Brian are the master of the ad hominem attack; that’s virtually all you do on this site…. people’s intelligence, their logic, their analysis skills, their argument, their integrity. I’m glad I was not one of your students.”

    Yet again, mere assertion, traducing of me, ignoring of all the evidence I cite, in short, a continuing effort to demean me. The only person demeaned by this is you. If you honestly believe what you say in this sentence, then you should be able to cite the evidence you believe I ignore. That you don’t, tells its own story.

    You should be glad that you were not one of “my” students, because my colleagues and I would have been forced to fail you, if the way you conduct yourself in these columns is an accurate representation of the manner in which you would have conducted your academic life.

  44. Absolute Observer Says:

    “The evidence for Uzis being used on the ship is in the heads of the victims. Do you need it to be any clearer than that…..?”

    Actually, 9mm bullets are fired from handguns and not machine guns. The 9mm Uzi stopped production in the 1980’s.


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