Monday, July 30, 2012

Romney in Israel


Mitt Romney did himself no harm in Israel this week. The claims of some that Obama is anti Israel, a charge I usually ignore, are bolstered by the fact that the President has not visited Israel as Commander in Chief. In the weird world of diplomatic appropriateness that can only have been a deliberate snub. On a personal level Romney's visit would not have made me want to vote for him more. I disliked his attempt to portray himself as more sympathetic toward an Israeli strike on Iran than Obama. On this question, I find the Republicans to be full of bravado and bluster as if the only issue at hand is having the will to bomb Iran. If it were merely a question of having the will to take out Iran's nuclear sites it would have been done by now either by the Bush administration or the Israelis. The truth is that neither the Americans or the Israelis have the definitive capability to do so and the decision of whether or not to attempt it should be based on several geopolitical, security and strategic factors. The decision should not be made because the other kid in the school yard is double daring you.

17 comments:

builder man said...

What a piece of shit this guy is. His latest comment on the Palestinians is a disgusting elitist grab for as much money and ignorant votes he can get, and is exactly how the American settlers regarded the indigenous people then. They led different lifestyles and were regarded as inferior but we now understand the validity of it and civilised people respect it. How different in Palestine it could have been. Jaffa Oranges was an Arab enterprise. When the Jews first arrived they cooperated to mutual benefit. Then the bastard Zionists arrived with their elitist ideas and greed. Most politicians are suspect but this guy is the slime of all time. How many innocent people are going to die because of him I wonder?

Paul said...

'First Jews arrived'? They were already there and preceded the Muslims you hate fuelled cretin!

The System Works said...

builder man: It was the Zionist movement that did the most to spur fantastic growth in Jaffa enterprises. Between the First Aliyah and the beginning of WW1, general Jaffa exports grew sixfold, while the export of oranges, the town's main source of revenue, grew FIFTEENFOLD: from 106,000 to 1.6 million boxes per annum.

I think you have a misty-eyed view of what some might call 'the noble savage'. You have, for instance, quoted and praised the phony environmentalist speech of Chief Seattle here before, which was a Hollywood invention from the 70s. Native Americans also burned down large swathes of forest and owned plenty of black slaves. It seems much of the popular image of them comes from the imagination of white liberals. Last year, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved constitutional amendment that revoked tribal membership for the so-called Cherokee Freedmen, the modern descendants of black slaves whom Cherokee tribesmen had owned prior to the Civil War. Leftists would have been up in arms if something like this was done by anyone other than the First Nations. Sure, there is a lot of value in Native American culture, and Arab/Islamic culture. However, other ways of life have far more to offer and can safely be said to be objectively superior, such as that of European Christians and Jews.

I've often said the Palestine movement is quite religious in nature. It has its sacred narrative of an idyllic past Golden Age, a non-existent time when Jews and Arabs supposedly lived in peace and harmony, which was supposedly shattered by the arrival of the sinful Zionists. The movement has its sacred symbols, such as popular images of the map of Palestine as it existed between 1922 and 1947. These borders, which existed for 25 years, are considered by many to be sacrosanct and immutable!

builder man said...

To Paul. First arrived in the area. Jaffa was an Arab Town. You can get the dvd: 'Jaffa - the orange's clockwork' and educate yourself. The filmmaker is Israeli Eyal Sivan.

The System Works said...

builder man: Jaffa is one of the world's oldest existing cities. It was not founded by Arabs. It fell into a sad state of stagnation and decline, and was actually completely destroyed by Arab Muslims in the 14th century to prevent a Crusader landing. As late as 1726, a German priest described the site as "resembling more a village than a town, with poor and bad houses wherein dwell some Turks, Greeks, Jews and a few Catholic Christians of French nationality".

It was only in the 19th and early 20th century that a steady flow of foreign and domestic migrants - Egyptian peasants, Lebanese merchants, Algerian refugees, American missionaries, German settlers, Palestinian Arabs, and East European Jews - transformed Jaffa from a 2,750-strong desolate hamlet into a bustling city.

The biggest boon for the city, as I've already mentioned, was unquestionably organised Aliyah.

builder man said...

To TSW. From Wikipedia. 'The Jaffa was developed by Arab farmers in the 19th Century.' 'While Arab cultivation methods were considered 'primitive' (by the Zionists), an in depth study of the financial expenditure involved reveals that they were ultimately more cost effective than the Zionist-European enterprises that followed them some two decades later.' As usual you betray your usual Western arrogance that increased production produces increased wellbeing. Co-operation was replaced by the in it for themselves Zionists who stole the name and the orchards as they did everywhere else in Palestine. I suggest you get the dvd made by Israeli filmmaker Eyal Sivan, 'Jaffa - the orange's clockwork' which contains first hand accounts of the actual events very different from your misty eyed version of Zionist pioneers.
Chief Seattle. As I explained at the time, the 'quote' was indicative of his sentiments and that is why he was held in such regard. To claim that Western 'civilisation' is superior again betrays both your arrogance and ignorance. It was an advanced Western society that put to death 6 million 'inferiors' and those ideas exterminated native cultures when a more enlightened exchange could have prevailed. Now it is the Palestinians who are 'inferior.' No wonder you support the gauleiters of Israel.

The System Works said...

builder man: Do you really believe the average Jew holds Arabs in as much contempt as Arabs tend to hold Jews?

Have you ever heard some of the popular Arab/Muslim chants like: "Palestine is our land! The Jews are our dogs! or "Slaughter the Jews!" These go back a long way, and are heard all too often today. Every Friday during the era of the British Mandate countless Muslims gathered in Jerusalem to shout these slogans. A Palestinian supporter recently screamed the latter ugly phrase at an Oxford Union debate.

On cultural exchange, I have actually said in an above post that "there is a lot of value in Native American culture, and Arab/Islamic culture". I don't mind an enlightened exchange of ideas (a very Western thing!).

However, there is such thing as a civilization that is more universal, valuable and rich than another. I doubt I could enjoy the prosperity of an android phone, cheap Ryanair flights to Budapest or a global cuisine at my doorstep in an Islamist/communist/hunter-gatherer society.

Paul said...

'However, there is such thing as a civilization that is more universal, valuable and rich than another. I doubt I could enjoy the prosperity of an android phone, cheap Ryanair flights to Budapest or a global cuisine at my doorstep in an Islamist/communist/hunter-gatherer society.'


Absolutely TSW, nor would we see such matters as gender equality (honour killings which have legal sanction under Islam), freedom of speech (no communist regime could allow this and as for an Islamic one!), freedom of conscience (death penalty for apostasy) or separation of religion/state. You only have to look at the way Muslims treat non-Muslims the world over to see what BM is offering. Like you I favour civilisation over barbarism. That is what he wants to see done to the Jews in Israel.

builder man said...

To Paul and TSW. I have lumped you together as you seem to have the same narrow, blinkered and prejudicial view of the world. What do you think the average French person thought of and called the occupying Germans? Considering the harassment, humiliations, thefts and destruction that the Palestinians receive from the Israelis every day, then they are unbelievably forbearing and forgiving,and prepared to accept a tiny percentage of the land they once owned, and on which they farmed and raised their families. Their lack of vindictivness can be seen at: www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3165015,00.html. The father of a Palestinian boy shot and killed by the IDF donates his organs to the Israelis. The story is on dvd. Heart of Jenin. Respect for other ideas is very Islamic. We would not have the ideas from ancient Greece without the recording, preservation and enhancement during the Golden Age of Islam that gave us many new inventions that we use today. On separation of church and state, when was the last time an atheist was elected President. All you hear on the campaign trails is 'Almighty God!' George Bush said God told him to invade Iraq. God also told him to make peace between Israel and Palestine but it seems he forgot that, according to the Bible, the Jews have a history of disobeying God! Honour killings are not the sole preserve of Islamic societies. In fact they are forbidden in Islam, but it is the same old story of male religious extremists protecting their power to abuse. It goes back thousands of years and was part of Roman Law. The Old Testament is full of it, and it still prevails in some parts of Israel where there are calls for the deaths of Jewish women who go with Arabs: niqnaq.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/jewish-rally-calls-for-honour-killings/. It occurs in Hindu and Sikh societies but it is most prevalent in Islamic ones. The problems are with fundamentalists everywhere and that includes Christian ones. Condemn all irrationality not just one religion. The best religious story is this one. President Reagan asked God 'when will I be president of the world?' God replied 'in a thousand years' and Reagan cried. Gorbachev asked God 'when will all the world be socialist?' God replied 'in a thousand years' and Gorbachev cried. Arafat asked God 'when will the Palestinians have their own state?' and God cried.

The System Works said...

builder man:

One person's memory that I hold very dear is the late David Baum. Professor David Baum who was Britain's leading Paediatrician and President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health from 1997-99 played a huge role in lowering infant mortality around the world through his advances in medical research. He travelled the world over, from Thailand to Moscow, establishing best practice child health care. He was also a proud Religious Zionist. David Baum's final endeavour was assisting in the establishment of a world-class paediatric facility for Palestinian children in Gaza City.

I also know of several cases of Israel victims of terrorism donating organs to Palestinian children, including Dati Leumi. But wait, Zionists are supposed to be all evil, aren't they?!

We've been over the nonsense about the Islamic 'Golden Age' before.

And that's a lovely blog you've linked to, by the way: http://niqnaq.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/tel-aviv-from-30000-ft/

Paul said...

Honour killings have sanction in Islam. Besides if they are not why according to you is it 'fundamentalists’ that are responsible. 91% of the worlds honour killings occur amongst Muslims.

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/05/pamela-geller-opposing-honor-killing-is-islamophobia.html

'Respect for other ideas is very Islamic'.

Er yeah so long as those 'other ideas' do not question Islam or come in the form of harmless cartoons for instance.

Paul said...

Oh yes guess where the penalty for honour killing has been reduced to suspended sentences or pardons on Islamic grounds? That's right the Palestinian authority. Amazing isn't it how all these Imams and Islamic authorities keep getting Islam wrong but a western leftist like Builder Man seems to know their religion better than they do!

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/02/palestinian-authority-gives-pardons-or-suspended-sentences-for-honor-murders.html

Ted Leddy said...

Romney's comments on Palestinians was unnecessary and not statesman like. However since I am not a diplomat and Gubu World is a place for voiceing opinions (especially mine) I can say that culture does matter. I admire Arab and Islamic culture and have always enjoyed visiting the Arab world. But Arab culture is I believe less compatible with democracy and free markets than other parts of the world and this has contributed to the Arab world's failure to thrive in the modern world. I believe it is because Islam is about duties that must be collectively fulfilled by society. If they are not fulfilled Islamic teaching blames wider society. This is why the "pious" will not tolerate those who are unbelievers in any way because in theory the unholy actions of others in society prevents them from achieving religious fulfillment. This breeds a political system which is far from consensus based. Self examination and critism takes courage and all peoples must do it. Some more than others. Indefinitely blaming the foreigner will result in zero progress.

builder man said...

Death of Gore Vidal yesterday. It is apposite as this post is about a presidential candidate. This is his quote. 'Half of all Americans have never read a newspaper. Half have never voted for a president. One has to hope it is the same half.'

builder man said...

To TSW. David Baum. I have stated many times of the massive Jewish contribution to the wellbeing of humanity, and he obviously falls into that category. And so do many Muslims, Izzeldin Abuelaish for example. My point is that it is wrong to demonize a whole group of people and not regard them as individuals. As you know there are many different types of Zionists - Einstein was deemed to be a cultural Zionist for instance. If Zionism means a desire to visit or live in the ancient land of Israel that is understandable.If it means displacing others who already live there, then that is obviously unacceptable, and which is what happened (and is still happening) in Palestine because of the particular form of Zionism that prevailed and the one I criticised.Why David Baum was a religious Zionist I don't know. I do know about many Jewish people, left wing and otherwise praiseworthy people, who have a humanity blank when it comes to Palestine. It may be the centuries of persecution, or the Holocaust, the collective memory, whatever.Although understandable, it does not make it right. I looked up religious Zionists and a motley bunch they are. A couple of quotes gets the flavour. 'Israeli Arabs are a cancer.' 'The 2004 Asian tsunami was divine punishment.' The tenets of Islam are mostly worthy of respect. The practice less so and should be criticised when it falls below the standard of human decency and justice. But this is true of most religions.

builder man said...

To Ted Leddy. I think we are in a transitional period when hopefully greater democracy will prevail. Not attacking them for little or no reason would help and of course greater engagement. The Economist Intelligence Unit lists four categories with scores. 1. Full democracies. 2. Flawed democracies. 3. Hybrid regimes and 4. Authoritarian regimes. Top are the Scandanavian countries. At 18 out of 167 is the UK with the US at 19.
Israel is 36 in the flawed democracies category.

The System Works said...

buider man: Religious Zionism as a hashkafa (outlook) holds that the restoration of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel is religiously significant; "the first flowering of our Redemption" as goess the popular prayer for Israel said in most mainline Orthodox synagogues, including the United Synagogue in the UK.

The Religious Zionist outlook completely dominates Modern Orthodoxy. Its adherents are obviously varied, ranging from doveish and compromising to the quite nasty.

Einstein's views on Zionism were more complex than you say. He was not against the idea of a Jewish state as opposed the the pure Cultural Zionist vision. He was a supporter of the Labour Zionist political bloc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein%27s_political_views#Zionism