Thursday, March 05, 2009

Arab Tractor Terror Returns to Jerusalem

"A tractor plowed into a police squad car on Menachem Begin Boulevard in Jerusalem on Thursday. The driver was apparently also trying to hit a nearby bus, but missed.

Two police officers were in the car when it was hit and both sustained mild injuries. [An Israeli civilian taxi driver shot the terrorist, and then...] Other police officers patrolling nearby shot the terrorist.

Magen David Adom emergency services were immediately dispatched to the area. The paramedics treated both the injured officers and the tractor driver, who reportedly sustained severe injuries.

One of the police officers and the terrorist were taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. The other police officer was taken to the capital's Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The tractor driver was later pronounced dead." (ynetnews)
This is tractor attack #3 in Jerusalem in the past year, plus a car ramming attack near Jaffa street and the Merkaz Harav terror attack. In all of the above cases, civilians actively took part in neutralizing the terrorist.

My question is, how is the taxi driver related to the other civilian heroes who killed the terrorists? Did he drive them somewhere? Did he study with them? Who will be the first to find the terrorist-killing Jewish Geography link with the taxi driver hero?


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

21 comments:

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Thank God no innocents were killed on this occasion.

It was reported in some sources that Hamas immediately praised the attack.

MAOZ said...

Hah! That was my first question, too -- what will the taxi driver's "yichus" turn out to be?

InternetFred said...

The weapon vehicle was neither a tractor nor a bulldozer, but a front loader, in all 3 cases.

More precisely, most or all of them are backhoe loaders. Which are a combination of backhoe and front loader. It was the front loader part that was used as a weapon, though.

All 3 incidents were some variation on the theme of "Suicide by cop", or by settler, as the case may be.

I don't think any of the Arabs driving cement mixers or dump trucks have attempted on-the-job murder. But front-loader drivers have done it 3 times now. Is there some reason for this? Different unions? Noisier cabs? Could that big machine up front be a sexual symbol? Could they be angrier or more suicidal than truck drivers for some reason?

JoeSettler said...

No Bulldozers, No Terror.

(Can you be arrested for saying that?)

NormanF said...

Joe and Jameel - you can tell Judge Shula she's a moron. Arabs DO commit terror. That's not a racist slur; that's an empirical fact.

aschoichet said...

InternetFred - there's a huge construction project in Jerusalem taking place currently for the light rail system. A lot of Arabs from East Jerusalem were hired to work there without any serious background checks. The previous two "tractor attacks" were carried out by these workers, and I'm assuming this one as well.

Cosmic X said...

Jameel,

FYI:


ר"מ (רב מחנך) בישיבת חורב היה אחד מאלה שירו והביאו לחיסולו של המחבל אתמול בפיגוע הטרקטור סמוך לאצטדיון טדי בירושלים. מבדיקת תמונות הוידאו של המצלמות המוצבות בצומת נראה האיש, חובש הכיפה הסרוגה, יורה במחבל ומביא לפציעתו האנושה, נוצר את נשקו ועוזב את המקום.

לערוץ 7 נודע כי היורה, שלא דווח עליו בכל אמצעי התקשורת, ביקש שלא לחשוף את זהותו. גם בשני פיגועי הטרקטור הקודמים בירושלים היורים שהביאו לחיסול המחבל השתייכו לציונות הדתית.

source: http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/186430

Tracey said...

NormanF, as for these "empirical facts" (read: massive generalizations about a race of people that utilizes extremely skewed, uncritical, and biased opinions as its base), the same thing could be said about most any country or people in the world if we are using your method of analysis. For example (to mimic your line of reasoning) Americans DO commit violent aggression around the world (overthrow of the Shah of Iran, Vietnam, Grenada, Nicaragua, Chile, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) or Jews DO attack and repress Palestinians (occupations after the Six-Day War, aggressive settlement building, Jenin, Lebanon, effective evictions of Arabs from Jerusalem, blockading Gaza, Gaza war, etc). As someone who claims both those identities I would not want someone to assume such things about me, and I'm assuming you wouldn't either. "No Arab=No Terror" is the mirror image of "Death to Jews," but much worse because the latter opinion is held by a moderate percentage of Isreal's minority Arab population (yes, not all Arabs join in these chants, in fact most do not) while the former is rather widespread amongst the majority in power.

Tracey said...

P.S. We in America have had plenty of experience with other forms of racism manipulatively disguised and presented as "empirical fact." For instance, did you know that black people are lazy drug addicted criminals who enjoy sucking the life out of our social services through their intentional dependence on welfare? That's an "empirical fact" that our racist right has been telling us for generations. Or how about how immigrants, especially Latino/a immigrants, are gangbanging drug smugglers. True, "empirical fact" there. Or the other time honored American "fact" that Jews are crafty, manipulative, money-grubbing elites who use their status in society to influence elected officials and get their kids into good colleges. I'm sure an empirically minded individual such as yourself would agree with these scientific conclusions as well.

aschoichet said...

Thank you so much Tracey for enlightening us peasants about the nature of racism and sharing with us the wisdom of suburban America.

See, we're extremely ignorant about race relations here in the Middle East (aka the real world), and we desperately need the guidance of people such as yourself to help us distinguish right from wrong, and especially to tell us where we can and cannot live and how we should deal with our neighbors. Please, don't refrain from sharing with us further pearls of wisdom about the situation in Israel.

Tracey said...

Leave, why would I want to do that? See I had been under the impression that this was a forum for debating and discussing important issues in an open way. Silly me. If you had wanted this message board to be a group therapy session for you an all your friends to discuss how best to start expelling the backwards, vicious Arab hordes you should have just said so from the start. Maybe change the title of the blog or something. See otherwise spoiled suburbanite Americans (from that famous suburban community of Brooklyn for example) who hail from the "fake world" might get the wrong impression and, yah know, actually present a dissenting viewpoint. My bad there.

Seriously, if the best you have is to answer back with some ridiculous conception of the "real world" to get me to shut up (instead of responding to a single bit of content in my post) maybe I'll just have to leave out of boredom. Oh, and out of curiosity, where exactly does this "real world" that you have so conveniently fabricated extend to? You mentioned the Middle East, which is funny because I'm writing this post from my house in Balikesir, Turkey. Last time I checked that was in the Middle East. Or is that not "real" enough for you. Also I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people in the Middle East, the majority in fact, who probably would agree that "No Arab=No Terror" is racist and offensive. Or do they not count either. So maybe the only people who exist in your "real world" are people living in Israel who agree with you. If that is the case then you have totally got me there. You win.

Lastly I like your model for international dialogue and relations: "don't talk to me about my decisions, actions, or behaviors towards my neighbors." That's a flawless plan. And lastly, getting myself and my country's hundreds of millions of dollars per year, vetoes in the Security Council, and unconditional support in the international community out of your business is actually something I would like to see happen. See, we can agree on something.

AtHomeandNotAnOccupier said...

Just another anti-Semite who thinks she is actually putting forward an intelligent point of view.

Lurker said...

Tracey: ...as for these "empirical facts" (read: massive generalizations about a race of people that utilizes extremely skewed, uncritical, and biased opinions as its base), the same thing could be said about most any country or people in the world...

Is that a fact? Here, then, is an empirical fact that should eliminate all of your objections regarding "massive generalizations", or about claims "that utilize extremely skewed, uncritical, and biased opinions":

In nearly every poll taken for the past 15 years, between 75% to 90% of all Palestinians have consistently expressed support for acts of terror against Israeli civilians. In particular (and the polls ask about this explicitly), the Palestinians express this level support for suicide bombings in buses, schools, restaurants, etc. For a good example, see this poll taken just after the Merkaz HaRav massacre, in which 8 teenage high school students were brutally slaughtered inside their school while studying: 84% of the Palestinian population stated that they supported the massacre.

A "generalization" is a "principle, statement, or idea having general application". I.e., it is an assertion that something is true in general. Do all Palestinians support terrorism against civilians? No, not all -- there certainly do exist some who do not. But the vast majority of them -- about 85 percent -- do support it (and are not at all reticent about saying so). This means that, in general, Palestinians support terror. That is an objective fact which can hardly be gainsaid.

Tracey: ...Americans DO commit violent aggression around the world (overthrow of the Shah of Iran...

Oh, really? And here I was, naively laboring under the impression that the Shah of Iran was overthrown in the Iranian Revolution of 1979 by Shiite Muslim fundamentalists led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. This is the very first time I ever heard an assertion that the Shah was, in fact, overthrown by the Americans. What, precisely, is your evidence for this extraordinary claim? Why do you believe that the U.S. would overthrow it's own ally, and install one of America's most virulent enemies in his place? And how do you imagine that the U.S. managed to cover up its own involement in this bizarre action? Are you one of those conspiracy theorists who believes that all acts of Islamic violence, like the 9/11 attacks, were actually committed by the U.S government?

Tracey: "No Arab=No Terror" is the mirror image of "Death to Jews," but much worse...

How's that, now? "No Arabs, No Terror" is used as a slogan used by some Israelis who advocate transfer of the Arab population. Most of them, such as the Moledet party for example, argue for voluntary transfer with generous financial compensation. They do not argue, God forbid, for killing anybody. "Death to the Jews" ("Itbah al-Yahud"), on the other hand, has been a slogan used for more than 100 years by Arabs in this country who advocate for, well, murdering Jews. Yet you openly declare that a call for population transfer is "much worse" than an open call for murder. In stating as much, you have clearly demonstrated the nature of your own particular system of "morality".

Tracey: ...the latter opinion ["Death to the Jews"] is held by a moderate percentage of Isreal's minority Arab population (yes, not all Arabs join in these chants, in fact most do not) while the former ["No Arabs, No Terror"] is rather widespread amongst the majority in power.

Really? The "majority in power" is the Likud (incoming government) and Kadima (outgoing government). Can you provide us with an example of the use of the slogan "No Arabs, No Terror" by either of these parties? And can you please show us a poll that indicates the majority of Israelis -- or even anything approaching a majority -- hold this opinion (just as I have shown you a poll indicating that 84% of Palestinians support terror)?

Furthermore, if "the majority in power" supports the slogan "No Arabs, No Terror", then perhaps you might care to explain how it is that this very same "majority in power" has ruled the use of that slogan to be a criminal felony, and has arrested, tried, and convicted people for using that slogan on T-shirts and bumper stickers?

So what, exatly, is your evidence for your ridiculous, ignorant claim about the use of this slogan? If you cannot provide any such evidence, then you yourself are now guilty of the very "massive generalizations about a race of people that utilizes extremely skewed, uncritical, and biased opinions as its base" that you so hypocritically condemned in the very same paragraph.

Tracey: Leave, why would I want to do that? See I had been under the impression that this was a forum for debating and discussing important issues in an open way.

"Leave"? Sorry, I must have missed the part where anybody here told you to "leave". Can you please be so kind as to quote who said that, and where? Hard as I try, I can't seem to find it.

Or is this mysterious call for you to "leave" perhaps the product of the same fertile imagination that invented the "fact" that "No Arabs, No Terror" is "widespread amongst the majority in power" in Israel; and that Americans carried out the "overthrow of the Shah of Iran"?

Tracey: ...I'm writing this post from my house in Balikesir, Turkey.

Ah, I see. As a resident of Turkey, then, perhaps you could tell us a bit about the Turkish genocide of 1.5 Armenians, the Turkish genocide of 750,000 Assyrians, and the Turkish genocide of 360,000 Greeks. These monstrous atrocities dwarf all of the allegations you listed against Israel and the U.S. into puny insignificance. Funny, then, how you chose not to mention them. Oh, and while you're at it, perhaps you can also tell us a bit about the Turkish oppression of the Kurds, including the forced (not voluntary) deportation of over 1 million of them. And also about the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation of Northern Cyprus, which has been condemned repeatedly by the UN Security Council.

Tracey: If you had wanted this message board to be a group therapy session for you an all your friends to discuss how best to start expelling the backwards, vicious Arab hordes you should have just said so from the start. Maybe change the title of the blog or something.

I must admit that I fail to understand your problem with this blog's title. "Muqata" is an Arabic term used by the Turks to refer to the fiefdoms that they created to control and collect taxation from the populations that they forcibly subjugated and incorporated into their colonialist empire -- in particular the special tax (cizye) imposed exclusively upon dhimmi (non-Muslims, who were categorized as second-class citizens). As such, you ought to find the term "Muqata" positively perfect for this blog, given the attitude of intolerance and forced expulsion that you claim prevails here.

Tracey said...

To AtHomeandNotAnOccupier: You got me there, anti-semite to the core. I DO tend to hate myself on account of my ethnic background. And for that matter I hate my mother and my father and my siblings and my extended family and my friends and the entire Jewish population of Israel because they are all Jews.

Please, cut with the crap and give me a real response.

To Lurker:
First off let me say that I genuinely appreciate you responding to the content of my posts instead of divulging into absurd accusations of anti-semitism and not living in the "real world."

Secondly, my argument about "No Arabs=No Terror" being a massive over-generalization based on (at best) skewed and uncritical or (at worst) racist assumptions about a group of people does not rest on the existence of certain statistical data itself, but on the interpretations of that data (here is where the aforementioned assumptions come in) and the conclusions that people draw about the characteristics of a race of people. Academic statisticians will be the first to point out that the existence of X data findings (that 84% of all West Bank Palestinians, the only place that the survey was conducted, supported the attack on the Mercaz Harav yeshiva) does NOT demonstrate the existence of Y definite conclusions such as Palestinians, as a group of people, are the source of terror and, per the suggestion of "No Arabs=No Terror" (the topic we were discussing) should leave Israel.

But since you brought up statistics, let's talk statistics. You are right that, in general, recent statistical data suggests a disturbing and saddening significant trend of support for violence. I never denied this (or was even asked about it). However, like I said, a real statistician looks at these results and observes a majority acceptance, in the areas of the West Bank surveyed, of violent means for achieving political goals, not an overgeneralized assumption about Arabs(Arab Israeli citizens in the context of the previous conversation) being terrorists and causing terror.

Now let's look at the survey you focused on, the one covered in the NYT last year. Like I mentioned before, this survey was only conducted in the West Bank; none of the people interviewed were Arabs living in Israel, which was the group in question. Secondly, my comments about mass assumptions are particularly applicable to your reading of this data. You conveniently forgot to mention any of the analyses provided by the conductors of this survey. Just to provide a few (this is taken verbatim from the original NYT article):

"The pollster, Khalil Shikaki, said he was shocked because the survey, taken last week, showed greater support for violence than any other he had conducted over the past 15 years in the Palestinian areas. Never before, he said, had a majority favored an end to negotiations or the shooting of rockets at Israel."

You claimed:
"In nearly every poll taken for the past 15 years, between 75% to 90% of all Palestinians have consistently expressed support for acts of terror against Israeli civilians." I don't know where you are getting your data from, but according to the article that YOU CITED (which also mentions that the pollster's "Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, which conducts a survey every three months, is widely viewed as among the few independent and reliable gauges of Palestinian public opinion.") this is the FIRST time that a majority in the West Bank has supported such measures.

Also from the article.
"His explanation for the shift, one widely reflected in the Palestinian media, is that recent actions by Israel, especially attacks on Gaza that killed nearly 130 people, an undercover operation in Bethlehem that killed four militants and the announced expansion of several West Bank settlements, have led to despair and rage among average Palestinians who thirst for revenge."

Opinions and ideologies are not created in a vacuum; they are ideas formulated in response to real events. Let me be clear, before someone on this post accuses me of supporting attacks on Israeli civilians, this absolutely does justify such tactics. However, as interpreters of this data we should understand the increasing trend of supporting violence more as a RESPONSE to previous acts of explicit violence, the existence of structural violence, and the endorsement of colonial settlement expansion by the Israeli government, and NOT as an ethnically/racially ingrained and inevitable desire to kill all Jews. Like I said, I wish that these responses to violence would be manifested in a peaceful fashion and I too am worried by these numbers.

There is no doubt that some Palestinian groups (using similar methods of over-generalization and manipulation as "No Arabs=No Terror") publicly characterize these moments of Israeli violence as proof that "Jews," as a whole, want to kill Arabs and Muslims, militants or civilians, and steal their land at all costs, thus influencing public opinion and drawing support for further violent reprisals. Thus you have "Death to Jews" (the similarity between these two ideas being my original point).

You argued that these ideas were not the same because a "transfer," as you called it, of populations is on a totally different moral level than murder. Well, a few points here. For one, "transfers" (as you so lightly call them) of populations historically DO end up being synonymous with massive numbers of casualties and violent dislocations (you correctly noted the case of Armenians and Greeks in Turkey. More to come on that later). To think that this case would be/has been significantly different and that Israeli Arabs would just happily leave their homes and that government sponsored violence/structural violence would not be used to get them out is just self-delusional. Also the suggestion of "transfers" of population, as I see it, is a form of ethnic cleansing and state sponsored development of a racially/ethnically/religiously homogenous society. There is no bigger modern nightmare than the formation (or in this case, re-formation) of a state on principles of ethnic/racial/religious homogeneity; is removing people ("voluntarily" or not) better than killing them off?, yes of course, but it is still a horrible crime. You cited International Law a lot in your posts. Check out what International Law (according to the UN) has to say about these "transfers" of populations. Very illegal and incredibly immoral.

Also, I claimed that No Arabs=No Terror could be viewed as worse than Death to Jews because it has been effectively carried out for over 60 years by many Israeli governments, in different forms, on a scale that dwarfs the number of casualties involved in suicide bombings and because Arab Israeli citizens, the group in question, have much less power and potential to make the hateful ideology "Death to Jews" a reality than the Israeli government has of making "No Arabs=No Terror" a reality. You are correct in one regard, the majority of Israelis do not use this slogan. I should have worded my statements differently. What I meant was that there has been, and continues to be, large amounts of support for the "transfer" of Arabs out of Israel and even Palestine, either through evacuations, forced evictions (yes, this has happened), demolition of Arab houses (refusing to give Arabs housing permits in East Jerusalem and then demolishing these houses when they are constructed), illegal settlement construction, accommodating for "natural settlement growth," giving Arab houses away to settlers when Arabs flee war zones, and other forms of state sponsored "transfers" (re-arrangements or whatever you will) of populations. Providing monetary incentives for Arabs to leave is a less insidious manifestation of this policy, but it has the same principle at heart (of ethnic/religious homogeneity) AND it is not the only policy of "transfer" that has been (and still is being) practiced by the Israeli government.

One article dealing with the topic of historical and contemporary government support for Arab displacement.
http://www.badil.org/al-majdal/2008/autumn-winter/articles03.htm

Another article dealing with the historical situation of Arab refugees and International Law.
http://www.nad-plo.org/news-updates/PalestinianRefugees.pdf

Are these articles perfect or unbiased? No. Do they exclude the participation of Arab leaders in encouraging displacement (such as in 1948), yes. However they do account for many of the more carefully hidden and structural forms of Israeli government population "transfer" policies.

Also here is a 2006 poll showing that 62% of Israelis wanted Arab emigration. You were right to point out that I had been unfairly associating these numbers and events to mean that a majority use the phrase "No Arabs=No Terror" (I will admit I was incorrect here; I think I was a little angry when I wrote that, don't know if you could tell :). What I should have said is that the dangers of the Israeli government "transferring" the Arab Israeli population on a large scale through a variety of monetary, structural, and explicitly violent means is more likely than the Arab Israeli population carrying out simiarly large scale killings of Jews (one being the majority, the other the minority). It is not just a question of murder vs transfer (although murder is indeed worse, they are both awful), but also of context. To ignore the realities of the Israeli power structure, the Arabs being the grossly underpowered minority, in calculating the severity of both these hate-riddles sayings (No Arabs and Death to Jews), would be disingenuous. That was what I meant to say earlier. Anyways, my real point is that I believe they are both terrible sayings that spread hate, violence, and fear, and I am glad to see that the court banned these bumper stickers.

Tracey said...

To Lurker: (Wow this is long. I needed a new post already.) Let's look at some other statistical numbers. The most recent polling I could find (late January 2009, AFTER Operation Cast Lead), conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre, showed that 51% of Palestinians interviewed (only in the West Bank and Gaza) supported rocket attacks, which, they say, is up from 39% last year. The poll also shows a rise in support for Hamas (19% to 28% if elections were to happen now), a decrease in support for Fatah (34% to 28%), and increase in opposition to peace processes with Israel (35% to 41%). It also suggested that 55% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza supported suicide bombings, which was the same number (55%) who supported a two state solution.

http://www.jmcc.org/publicpoll/results/2009/67_jan_english.pdf

When taken in relation to Operation Cast Lead and previous acts of Arab and Israeli violence (like I said in my previous post, we should interpret poll results in the context of preceding events, not entirely as a sign of terrorist loving racial facts), this polls suggests (as did the one the NYT reported on) that acceptance of violent reprisals, doubt in the peace process, and support for Hamas increases after waves of Israeli violence (and vice versa with Arab violence and its impact on Israeli public opinion). Is this a clear sign that Arabs, as an ethnic group, support terror (and, according to this poll at least, that group is a very recent majority) or is a better explanation that, amongst many other factors (including some degree of Anti-Semitism and constant hatred) that these are in large part opinions of anger and revenge given in response to previous acts of Israeli violence (once again vice versa as well) AND that these opinions fluctuate depending on the situation of Israeli-Palestinian relations? Also notice that despite these views a majority is still looking for a two state solution. You can't use just some statistics and ignore the others (such as the ones that suggest a majority, albeit slight, opinion in favor of peace despite the recent violence conducted by both sides).

A different poll suggested that about 2/3 of Palestinians wanted the rockets to stop and that 3/5 wanted Hamas to recognize Israel.
http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/02/what-do-palestinians-want-23-say-rockets-must-stop-35-say-hamas-should-recognize-israel.html

Secondly, here is a poll from 2007 saying that 75% of all Israeli Arabs (the ones who would be "transferred" by the policies you mentioned) would support a Jewish, democratic constitution as long as it more effectively guaranteed the permanent protection of minority rights (no transfers of population; permanent rights of equal citizenship).
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/853564.html

A separate poll suggested that the majority of Israeli Jews felt that Israeli Arabs were a "security risk" because of their birth rates (65%) and their support for Palestinian causes (83%). The right to organized political dissent and support for other groups and the right to be free of(ethnically/religiously based) control of birth rates are two rights that, in the free society that most everyone wants, should be unconditionally respected. I know that these polls do not correlate to Isreali government crackdowns in these areas, but you can see how these would be very alarming poll numbers for Arab Israelis.

That fear is expressed in other questions from the same poll (these ones given to Israeli Arabs). 80% feared that the Israeli government would carry out mass annexations of Arab property while the majority also feared violence from Israeli Jewish citizens (72%) and the government (78%).

Let me also say that in general I don't think a war of polls is the correct way to debate these issues (a criticism of your post and my response as well; I was just showing that there is statistical evidence to support my assertions as well). Instead I think the more important issues are in how data, stories, political events, acts of violence, and other encounters are interpreted (by all groups).

The other poll number that has shocked many Palestinians (and others around the world) and has given such cause for concern, was the 90% support for Operation Cast Lead and the report that 70% approved of the government's handling of the conflict. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230733116715&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Whether Israel did all it could to avoid civilian casualties in the operation is for others to debate and decide (there is a lot of evidence supporting both opposing claims). Either way this operation resulted in the deaths of 1,300 Palestinians (with significant numbers being women and children, the exact numbers are disputed) and a massive humanitarian crisis for thousands more. Also it seems, according to the recent poll, to have actually resulted in increased support for Hamas and for violent attacks on Israeli civilians. Operation Cast Lead did not stop rockets from being fired into Israel and it probably is connected with the recent tractor attack that this message board (was originally) discussing. Once again, this is NOT a justification of these violent responses against Israeli civilians nor does it absolve from blame those who commit them, but these attacks are NOT just committed out of inevitable ethnic anti-semitism, they are affected by previous events as well. The same could be said to those who accuse Israel of conducting bombings and strikes because they just hate Arabs.
Either way, in the end the Operation doesn't seem to have accomplished much besides creating a lot of violence (and my guess is that there will unfortunately be more violent reprisals than just the tractor). The road to peace seems even further as a result (just as it seems further with each rocket and tractor attack). So this has many many people wondering why so many Israelis supported (and continue to support) Cast Lead.

In summary, there are many polls suggesting a number of things. It would be wrong to take from any of them a massive assumption about the inclinations towards violent hatred of a specific ethnic religious group of people (be they Arabs or Jews).

One last thing about Cast Lead, because I have a feeling it will come up later, I agree with many Israelis who say that all countries (I would actually say most countries, but the US is certainly included) would have responded in a similar was as Israel did given the conditions. However, that is not a defense of these actions, it is just saying that most countries would commit similar levels of violence. No matter who does it (Israel, US, Turkey, etc) it is wrong in my opinion to conduct an operation that, even if you are indeed attempting to avoid civilians, you know full well will cause such massive civilian casualties. In my opinion no country or group can excuse that by just calling it "collateral damage."

Now to briefly touch upon some of your other comments.
The Shah: No I do not believe that the Shah was overthrown by Americans (nor do I think the gov't planned 9/11, but thanks for associating my general comments with ridiculous conspiracy theories). You simply caught me in a type. I meant to say the installation of the Shah and the CIA/British Intelligence supported violent, bloody overthrow of the democratically elected Secular Nationalist Muhammad Mosaddeq, one of the more shameful moments in my nation's history (and we have a number of them).

Leaving: Well I was being told to shut up and not offer my opinions because I was not from the "real world." I wasn't told to leave per say, but I was told to not participate in the conversation any more (not THAT far off from leaving). I'll be more careful with my wording next time.

Turkey: Actually this was probably the most ridiculous and presumptuous piece in your whole post. What makes you think, or gives you the basis to assume, that just because I live in Turkey that I am a mouthpiece of the Turkish government and don't actively voice criticisms of the vile actions you named that aren't 10 times worse than anything you could put forth. I, unlike some people in the US, Israel, Turkey, and countless other places, don't discuss the atrocities of others while sugarcoating my own (or those of the country wherein I reside). I condemn all of the abominable events you mentioned, and equally condemn (with neither excusing, but still being related to, the other) the atrocities committed against Turks and Muslims by the Greek forces in Western Anatolia, the earlier Greek, and Christian Slavic mass murders of Muslims in Eastern Europe and Thrace, and the atrocities committed by the invading Russians and their Armenian allies (note, most Armenians did not participate in this).
These atrocities do not, as you suggest, "dwarf all of the allegations you listed against Israel and the U.S. into puny insignificance." The worst possible thing we can do is to use the evidence of other people's atrocities (we can get into numbers here if you really want, but these, like the statistics you gave before, are constantly debated and ultimately take away from the fact that they are all terrible events) as a means for making ourselves blind to or accepting of our own. "My atrocities aren't very important because I think they aren't as monstrous as their atrocities" is a pretty terrible way to look at violence, wouldn't you agree? Turkey, as well as almost every country on this planet, has blood on their hands and must change the way they look back on their history. But the crimes of the past do not excuse and should not distract from the injustices of the present (injustices anywhere in the world).

Also your characterization of the Ottoman Empire was right on. I am not debating that at all. But take a look at that description you gave and see how many of those characteristics are not too far off from the imperial powers of today (not limited to, but certainly including (first and foremost) the US, and also Israel as well). Occupations. Forcible Subjugation. Control. Incorporation of land and peoples. These are the marks of all empires, not just the Ottoman version.

Lastly let me say that although I am highly critical of the method by which Israel was formed and the ways in which it expanded, I am NOT suggesting that Israel be destroyed or that the Jews need to leave or any other such violent, racist nonsense. Nor does my condemnation of certain acts and policies of the Israeli government signify my support for violence against Israeli civilians. Arabs and Jews are both living here now and that is how it should remain.

Oh and I didn't have a problem with the title. I was saying that if the editors of the blog didn't want someone with dissenting opinions to speak, they should have said so from the beginning (such as saying so in the title) and I wouldn't have wasted my time. But now I don't see this as wasted. Thanks for reading my treatise. I hope I get more real responses.

Tracey said...

Sorry for triple posting. Just noticed a very bad typo in my first post. I meant to say: "this absolutely does [not] justify such tactics..." You can claim it was a subconscious action if you want, but in reality it's just a typo.

AtHomeandNotAnOccupier said...

Oh Dear. A Manifesto Writer.

JoeSettler said...

In 1929, Arabs massacred and chased out the Jewish population of Hebron - out of hatred and antisemitism.

My extended family were homeowners in Hebron going back thousands of years - long before any Arabs immigrated across the Jordan River and into Hebron.

But now Arab Occupiers live in the homes that we still have the keys and deeds to.

In fact you can still see the grooves on the door where the Mezuzahs used to be.

I wish those Arab occupiers would leave, so my family can get back our inheritance, land and homes in our ancestral city of Hebron that the Arabs stole from us.

Lurker said...

Tracey:

I am afraid that I don't have the time to respond to everything you wrote in your rather long comments right now, but I will briefly address a couple of the central points.

Tracey: You are right that, in general, recent statistical data suggests a disturbing and saddening significant trend of support for violence.

Actually, I never said this, nor is it true. The usage of terror and violence by Arabs against Jews in this country is not at all new, and thus it does not represent a "recent trend". In fact, the most horrid, blood-curdling attacks on Jews (including torture, dismemberment, and mass rapes) happened prior to the existence of the State of Israel -- in particular the organized massacres of Jewish communities (e.g., Hebron, Tzfat, Jerusalem) in the 1920's and 1930's. This was decades before there was an "occupation" for pro-Arab apologists to blame the violence upon.

Tracey: I don't know where you are getting your data from, but according to the article that YOU CITED (which also mentions that the pollster's "Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, which conducts a survey every three months, is widely viewed as among the few independent and reliable gauges of Palestinian public opinion.") this is the FIRST time that a majority in the West Bank has supported such measures.

This is patently false. Surveys of the Palestinian population -- including those conducted by the PCPSR -- have consistently shown that in general, not only a majority of Palestinians, but an overwhelming majority of them, support terror against Jewish civilians. It took me less than 5 seconds to do a Google search producing evidence that your claim is obviously and completely wrong: In a poll taken by the PCPSR in 2003, 75% of Palestinians expressed their support for the suicide bombing of the Maxim restaurant in Haifa, which murdered 21 innocent people, including an entire family, several small children, and a newborn baby.

The very fact that you could make such a completely false, and so easily disprovable, assertion about Palestinian support for terror (i.e., your claim that Palestinian support for the Markaz HaRav massacre being "the FIRST time that a majority in the West Bank has supported such measures") -- casts serious doubt upon the credibility of everything else you say.

Tracey: ...we should understand the increasing trend of supporting violence more as a RESPONSE to previous acts of explicit violence, the existence of structural violence, and the endorsement of colonial settlement expansion by the Israeli government, and NOT as an ethnically/racially ingrained and inevitable desire to kill all Jews.

Really? Obviously, you don't watch the weekly sermons by Muslim imams broadcast weekly on Palestinian Authority (no, not just Hamas) television, in which they call for the killing of Jews for the simple reason that Jews are detestable and the "sons of pigs and monkeys", who deserve to die. These broadcasts are freely available on the internet. I suggest you take a look.

I would also point out that your claim that there is a new, "increasing trend of supporting violence" among Palestinians has no basis in fact. And I challenge you to tell us what were the "previous acts of explicit violence" that prompted Arabs as far back as the early part of the 20th century to commit acts of unspeakable terror and atrocity upon the Jews in this country.

Most significantly, I would note that in the same 2003 poll by the PCPSR cited above, nearly 60% stated that they would support the continuation of terror attacks like the Maxim suicide bombing even if Israel leaves all of the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, and a Palestinian state is created. This belies the oft-repeated claim (which you repeat here) that Arab attacks on Jews are because of the Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As I already pointed out, the Arabs were already slaughtering Jews on a massive scale decades before there was a State of Israel -- let alone an "occupation". It thus stands to reason that they would continue carrying out such attacks even if the "occupation" were to end. And as the PCPSR reports, this is exactly what 60% of the Palestinian population themselves say.

JoeSettler said...

Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian geographer was awarded the 1922 Nobel Peace Prize, for proposing and implementing the population transfer between Greece and Turkey.

Fridtjof Nansen worked with both Greece and Turkey to gain their acceptance of the proposed population exchange.

About 1.5 million Greeks and half a million Muslims were moved from one side of the international border to the other.

JoeSettler said...

Check out what International Law (according to the UN) has to say about these "transfers" of populations. Very illegal and incredibly immoral.

Hah!

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