Friday, October 31, 2014

Critical responses

Recently I had a series of responses to some of my blog articles.  I certainly like feedback, but usually do not respond to the positive feedback I get that agrees with me.  However, when I get critical responses I usually respond, often because I have missed a point or made an error or disagree with the writer.  Here are three responses I have had recently and my different reaction to each of them.

Respondent 1.  This respondent disagreed with my analysis of the settlement issue:
But ... Israel needs to understand how toxic the settlement expansions are.  As David Horowitz in The Times of Israel said, Israel is losing countries friendly to it, and is losing many American Jews over these trivial expansions.  This seems to be the single issue that garners most media attention.  At least for the UK, it is the settlement expansion that pushed many in Parliament away from Israel.  To quote Sir Richard Ottaway, Conservative British MP:   “I have stood by Israel through thick and thin, through the good years and the bad. I have sat down with ministers and senior Israeli politicians and urged peaceful negotiations and a proportionate response to prevarication, and I thought that they were listening. But I realize now, in truth, looking back over the past 20 years, that Israel has been slowly drifting away from world public opinion. The annexation of the 950 acres of the West Bank just a few months ago has outraged me more than anything else in my political life, mainly because it makes me look a fool, and that is something that I resent…I am not yet convinced that it [Palestine] is fit to be a state… Under normal circumstances, I would oppose the motion tonight; but such is my anger over Israel’s behavior in recent months that I will not oppose the motion. I have to say to the Government of Israel that if they are losing people like me, they will be losing a lot of people.”  I'm sure the government does understand this, which leaves me with the question of why are they continuing to expand the settlements?
My reply:  What you perhaps fail to grasp is that a large segment of the Israeli public see no distinction between Israel and the so-called West Bank in terms ot Israel's legitimate right to build there.  It was part of the original Palestine Mandate, it was under Jordanian control from 1948-67, but this was never recognised internationally.  When Israel recaptured the area in 1967 it reverted to its former legitimacy.  But, Israel did not annex it pending negotiations.  The longer the situation persists, ie. the longer the Paletinians continue to refuse to recognise Israel's right to exist, the greater will be the pressure to expand the settlements.  Anyway, many of what they call settlements are suburbs of Jerusalem which is part of Israel proper.  If Netanyahu freezes settlement construction he will lose his right wing support in the Likud Party, leading to a possible turn to the right of that Party.  Those people who have decided that the Palestinians inherently deserve a State, despite their positions and their terrorism and their intransigence are not facing reality.  I predict that if Abbas goes to the UN Security Council to try to achieve unilateral recognition of a State, then Netanyahu will renounce recognition of the PA under the Olso Accords and will annex larger areas of the West Bank.  Actions must have consequences.  Then Sir Richard Ottaway will find another excuse to excoriate Israel.

He replied: It is helpful to get an on-the-ground view of the situation.  Yes, I'm concerned about the PR, because it will be much harder for Israel to go it alone, particularly without US support.  Not impossible, but certainly not a good thing.  My comments were directed at this issue, which is part of the recent anti-israeli, anti-Semitic outbursts in Europe and on American college campuses - a chilling reminder of the World War II era.  It seems you would like to see Israel with the entire territory, or at least much more of the territory that the UN in 1948 gave to the Palestinians.  I'd like to see that as well, but unless Israel is to become a majority Muslim nation, this is not even faintly realistic. 
My response:  Sure each side wants to maximize its options.  Israel could easily have annexed the WB, but it didn't because we are serious about wanting a two-state solution.  But, since we have never found a serious partner on the other side (like we had Sadat in Egypt) then things don't last forever.  Most people assume that the Muslims will become a majority.  But first we are the majority, there are 6 million Jews and ca. 4 million Palestinians.  Second, the Jewish birthrate is increasing, while the Arab birthrate is decreasing (a sign of improved prosperity).  Who knows what can happen in the future.
Respondent 2.  This respondent was critical of my opinion on terrorism:  
Terrorism........also equates to state of the art military equipment/tanks,infra red high velocity computer guided weapons, and the like marauding unopposed (except for kids throwing stones) through a densely populated civilian city and destroying "18000 homes and killing over 2000 essentially unarmed women and children" trying to go about their daily bread......Now I wonder where that happened recently and who are the barbarians who "terrorised" these people?
To which I replied: Such destruction only occurs after receiving 14,000 missiles against civilian population for 8 years. Easy to forget, huh! That's terrroism. Don't tread on me!  Destruction of buildings is better than more civilians being killed, In Gaza 1,000 dead vs 160,000 in Syria.  Count it up, what's worse!  Do the math, get real! 
To which he wrote a long-winded reply with the ending There has to be another way?
To which I replied: War is hell, if the Palestinians would recognise the right of Israel to exist then we could have peace.  Syria is very relevant and so is Iraq, if the Arab Muslims kill each other with such ferocity (and throughout the Arab world there is violence), what chance would we Jews have.  We are Yazidis but with an Army.  If there is another way, you name it!  Yes, it would be nice if we all loved each other....but unfortunately that's not this world.  
He replied: the idea that you can take a few hundred thousand people from all over Europe all speaking different languages and from different cultures but only held together by a tenuous religious ideology and dump them in the middle of Palestine and say "there you are guys this bit is fenced off for you now and you can call it Israel" is as potty as going to war over the Falklands or still maintaining Gibralter is British or for that matter saying the 6 counties in the north of Eire are British........The real owners of the land will want it back eventually......
My reply: Nonsense - Israel is a thriving progressive democratic State of 8 million people, come and see for yourself! Not because anyone "dumped" people together here, we are an immigrant country like the United States of America, or Canada, or Australia, etc. Jews chose to be here!  Yes, since the 1880's Jews have been returning and resettling here because of the attitudes of people like you. Because of hatred, anti-Semitism and massacres, as happened in Europe only 70 years ago.  You obviously don't know any history, so look up "Balfour Declaration," British Mandate" "Holocaust" and "Israel War of Independence" when 650,000 "settlers" defeated the armies of 5 Arab countries.  We are here by right, we are here to stay, so get used to it!At this point he seemed to give up.
Respondent 3.  This person was downright nasty, there is no point in trying to reason with someone who is anti-Semitic:
To conflate the enemies of Israel with the actions of the British Parliament tells me that it is once again...Israel right or wrong, just as Nazis were to behave from 1933 up to their defeat in 1945.  Jack it is the height of hypocrisy to refer to Isis activities, of serious barbarity, and remain silent about other offenders in the region. There are many with a  similar denial of human rights and Israel is of course one of them. Are you so ignorant that you have no knowledge of the Zionist terrorism that  adds to the grisly mixture in the region . In this year alone Israel in Gaza was to cause the deaths of over 2200 people, with most being civilians . In the same phase Israel was to suffer the loss of over 70 people with most of them being military. Dear Jack, people in glasshouses should learn not to throw stones and you're old enough to know this.
My reply:  Screw you! (accompanied by a poster of IAF fighter jets lined up with the caption "Jews: not so easy to fuck with anymore") 
His reply:  Good of you to reply so promptly even if it might have been a good idea to have given some thought as to what you might say. The problem with the 'Case for Israel' is that there isn't one, and this must be a difficulty for you.
My response: Anyone who compares the Jews to the Nazis is beneath contempt.  So nothing you can say can redeem you. Especially as you are deficient in facts, analysis and ideas.  So after much consideration - screw you!  Don't bother to reply, try reading a history book.


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