Dave Winer is right

1 August, 2006

Israel is wrong” is a very important post and I’m grateful Dave has put it back after what must have been some pretty ferocious flaming. For a non-politician Dave’s analysis is clear and incisive – perhaps because he is not a politician….

Despite its military strength and the help it gets from the world’s only superpower, Israel is going straight down the path of self destruction. Apartheid South Africa, then also a nuclear capable Goliath, was eventually brought to its knees as a result of the military defeat it suffered in 1988 at Cuito Cuanavale in Angola at the hands of the Cubans.

In 2000 Israel was defeated by Hezbullah in the south of Lebanon after it had occupied that terrain for around two decades. What Israel should have realised is that oppressed people will eventually always rise up to overthrow their oppressors because there comes a point when they have nothing worth losing anymore. This time Israel has made sure both the Lebanese and the Palestinians have nothing left to lose and everything to gain in a bloody war. (Bush has done the same to Afghanistan and Iraq and is planning to do the same to Syria and Iran. Poor world!)

I predict that very soon the name Hassan Nasrallah will be revered as much as the name Nelson Mandela is today.


5 Responses to “Dave Winer is right”

  1. Salahudin Ayobi Says:

    oppressed people will eventually always rise up to overthrow their oppressors because there comes a point when they have nothing worth losing anymore.


  2. Chip Hoyt Says:

    Hi John,
    I agree with your political views. However, this is to thank you for your units on Spanish. I discovered them only this week and have enjoyed them a great deal. I hope that you get around to doing more of them in the future.

    Best regards,
    Chip Hoyt

  3. John,
    I can understand why you believe your views on Israel are the right ones but I have to say I disagree with you.
    The state of Israel arose out of the efforts of an oppressed people to bring about their self-determination. Israel is hedged about by arab enemies who have vowed to destroy it given the opportunity. Israel therefore does not have the luxury to play the “nice guy”. If it shows the slightest hint of weakness in the face of threat, it will be destroyed.
    Yes, it has the support of the current super power, USA, which is fortunate as nobody else has shown support.
    Yes, Israel has commited its fair share of atrocities but tell me is there ANY nation including (perhaps especially) Britain, who hasn’t at some point in their history. Unfortunately,the world turns on force and barabarism. Sometimes well disguised (as in the “civilised” 1st-world countries) but often blatant as in the oppression of the Tibetan people by the Chinese government.
    I’m not excusing or recommending it. Merely recognising it as a fact.
    It is currently (or should I say once again) fashionable to engage in Israel and Jew bashing as it has been throughout history and I find this very sad. I can only say – using a Christian image- “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.
    No, I am not Jewish or Israeli, but I do sympathise with their plight and unlike many I have not forgotten how and why the state of Israel came about.
    I think we have to remember also that it is the business of extremists and news corporations to prolong and exaggerate hostilities between any factions. Very often as in Israel there are many citizens fom the apparently opposing sides who live their daily life in friendship and wish merely to do just that.
    I think also that in cases like the Israeli/Palastinian conflict and Catholic/Protestant conflict in Northern Ireland, there are no absolute rights and wrongs ; only mistakes and propaganda by both sides of the argument.

    Best wishes.


  4. Alan,

    At first glance you appear to be well meaning so I’m taking the time to reply to your comments.

    First of all, Israel was created on other people’s land. Had it been founded on a chunk of German soil there may have been some justification for its current existence. Sadly the state of Israel is a stain, born from brutality and selfishness, on the conscience not only of the Jews but of all of humankind.

    You are right in suggesting that much of history has turned on brute force and might (I would disagree over ‘barbarism’ for it were the Barbarians that got rid of the degenerate Roman empire!) but it is through positive developments such as the abolishment of slavery and the end of Apartheid that mankind advances.

    I notice you spell “Arab” with a lowercase “a” – perhaps it was just a typo in an otherwise immaculately presented comment – but when Arabs ruled Spain they lived in peace and harmony with the Jews. It was only when Queen Isabel, the Bush/Hitler of her day, took power that the Jews were expelled from their homes and their land. That Israel is surrounded by enemies that have “vowed to destroy it” is hardly surprising since Israel thought nothing of destroying Palestine.

    To say that there are no absolute rights and wrongs in “conflicts” such as that between Israelis and Palestinians or between Catholics and Protestants in the north of Ireland is a lazy conceit. Both situations arose out of the absolute wrong of the illegal occupation of other people’s land and all and any resistance to criminal occupiers is justified.

    Finally, I don’t know why you think it is fashionable to bash Israel and Jews. Those who criticise Israel publicly often have to pay a high price for stepping out of line. What is very unfair though is to lump racist “Jew bashers” together with those, such as Dave Winer, who are prepared to criticise Israel honestly and intellectually.

    PS I agree with your comments on Britain. Not surprising the UK, the USA and Israel are all led by war criminals!

  5. davidvanwyk Says:

    Dear Johan
    Below is my take on Israel:
    Palestinian land is occupied by Israel, much in the same way as Hitler occupied much of Europe in World War 2. During that war the people who resisted the occupation were considered heroes and were called the resistance. Palestinians who resist the occupation of their land are called terrorists. John Pilger reported that of the 4000 Palestinians killed in the last two or so years, almost half were children. A large percentage of these children were killed by Israeli sharpshooters in close proximity to Israeli check points.

    George Bush and Condolesa Rice are suggesting that a lasting peace in the Middle East will only be achieved if the problem is addressed at its roots. If we consult the Oxford Dictionary for the word radical, it will tell us that it means going to the roots of an issue.

    I wholeheartedly agree that it is necessary to go to the roots of the problem in the Middle East. Tongue in cheek we might add that it is necessary to “root” the problem out. Perhaps you could further develop the pun and suggest that Americans, in the next election root out Bush (is it a Rice Bush?) and we will have solved part of the Middle East problem.

    For Bush the root of the problem lies in Syria and Iran arming Hizbullah. The Arab and Palestinian populations might point to the fact that the most lethally armed entity in the Middle East is Israel, which is armed by the USA.

    This amounts to comparing the length, age and lethality of missiles. Looking at who has the longest missile is very Freudian. It is like boys in a school public toilet comparing the lengths of their penises. It will take us nowhere.

    The real root of the problem lies in European racism and the as yet unresolved Jewish Question in Europe. Europeans turned the matter of the Jewish presence in their countries from being one of religion and culture into a political matter. This happened not only in Germany but in almost every other European country at the start of the twentieth century.

    The Germans, under the Third Reich thought that they had developed the “final solution” to the Jewish Question. This resulted in one of the grossest acts of barbarism in that unfortunate century. The Holocaust was an attempt to rid the entire Europe of its Jewish citizens. When this monumental savagery failed, the Europeans and the United States created the state of Israel. this allowed Europe to rid itself of its Jewish population by shipping the hapless survivors of the Holocaust into Palestine.

    The State of Israel is a monument to Western racism in general and to European racism in particular.

    In creating the State of Israel, through the agency of the United Nations, and effectively “deporting” the Jewish population of Europe wholesale to Palestine following World War 2, Europe absolved itself of the crimes of the Holocaust, and shifted the Jewish Question to Palestine.

    In one fell swoop the Europeans converted the Jews of Europe from being the victims of the Holocaust into perpetrators of colonial imposition and the dispossession of the Palestinian people. When Jewish people say “never again”, they do not mean never again such a crime against humanity (as the Holocaust represented). Instead they mean never again against Jewish people. This implies that in their perception of a struggle for self preservation they should be allowed to commit the same heinous crimes that Hitler committed against them, against the Arab and Palestinian populations around them.

    Even worse is the justification of such crimes on biblical, Old Testament grounds. The solution to the problem lies in Europe. The Jewish population of Europe should have been given back their property, their houses, their land, their works of art and other cultural properties and their synagogues in Europe. They should have been paid reparations in Europe. They should have had their full citizenship and equal rights restored in Europe. Until and unless this is done there will never be peace in Palestine.

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