19
Mar
08

Talking points for 19th March

Two weeks ago in Gaza there were celebrations that a gunman had infiltrated a Jewish seminary in West Jerusalem and killed eight people.  The Palestinian President condemned the attack, but according to a new poll an overwhelming majority of Palestinians support it and other acts of revenge against Israelis.

The survey also shows unprecedented support for the shooting of rockets on Israeli towns from the Gaza Strip and for the end of the peace negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli leaders.  The reason, according to the man who conducted the poll is ‘despair and rage among average Palestinians who thirst for revenge’.  But can revenge ever be the right course of action?

We spent yesterday discussing the various solutions to the situation in Tibet. For those of you that missed Tuesday’s programme do check out the podcast.

With only five months to go to the start of the Olympics in Beijing, many of you both on the blog and on the programme talked of a boycott of the games. This morning there is a lot of talk in Europe of a boycott of the opening ceremony.  Is this the answer and would you support it?

The right to bear arms is another debate that seems to have got you all talking on the blog.  An op ed piece by Robert A Levey in the Boston Globe caught our eye in the WHYS office.  He is one of the lawyers that brought the case before the US Supreme Court and it’s worth a read you have the time.  You can also continue to have your say on the blog.

In his speech last night, Barack Obama said that race is an issue that American cannot afford to ignore. Here is the full transcript if you want to read it.

The blog BlackMen in America says: This speech has given people a “license” to talk about race in America in specific terms and not “tip toe” and skirt around the issue of race.  But will we be pleased with what we hear….  When we look closely at ourselves and our society and really discuss it – can we ever eradicate racism?   


19 Responses to “Talking points for 19th March”


  1. 1 Iain Croft
    March 19, 2008 at 10:53

    Micah in Nairobi sent this suggestion:

    Hi the WHYS team am Micah writing from Nairobi. I am a young journalist and I am really concerned with what is happening in Zimbabwe. In doing so, I have a point to settle with world and more so the African Union.

    If the AU could not let Kenya conflagrate, just why in God’s name have we let Zimbabwe suffer so much under old Bob. The elections are coming up later this month and despite Mr Mugabe’s govt refusing entry into the country of foreign observers from critical countries, the AU is still mum.

    I even heard that they will screen journalists.Africa, you may not need Zimbabwe like Kenya but Zimbabwe needs you.

    Do something.

  2. 2 steve
    March 19, 2008 at 11:16

    About Palestine:

    Not very shocking given the PLO was formed in 1964, 3 years before there were any occupied territories, to destroy Israel, and not to do anything to get independence from Egypt and Jordan.

  3. 3 George USA
    March 19, 2008 at 12:17

    Gaza-

    It is difficult to have sympathy of any kind for the insane hatred, revenge killings of Jewish religious students. and other manifestations of a group of people who exist only to destroy the nation of Israel.

    Rabid dogs is a term and image that comes to mind reading the “thirst for revenge” angle.
    …..

    Olympic ceremony-

    There is some general “coming to a conclusion” world wide about China’s antics and practices.

    Whatever the outcome and conclusion the world disapproval expressed in the event China wants to shine at, may be positive for the world and China as well:

    what worked internally before does not wash with the world, some modification of behavior for good may result.

    ……..

    The Constitution of the USA-

    I swore to defend and protect it from all enemies, foreign and domestic long ago.

    So did every person in federal service at any level..

    The right to bear arms is part of it.

    ……….

    On the Clinton campaign use of race to alter the debate-

    Hillary Clinton has done what was near impossible-

    If She gets the nomination of the Democrats,

    I will vote for McCain, even with the disaster of the last two terms for our nation under Bush.

    Or someone else- anyone being better than such power hungry techniques.

    To me the issue is not race but good government vs bad government.

  4. 4 Xie_Ming
    March 19, 2008 at 12:19

    At the same level, one may note that Israel was formed to drive the gentiles from their homes and take their land and did so, starting in 1945.

    Revenge is a fundamental part of both cultures and diaspora Jews, along with the Syrians and Palestinians, form a distinct genetic (racial) group.

    Very little note has been made of the fact that this seminary was of a very militant fundmentalist sect, where the students also undergo military training. Israeli government policy is to murder anyone furnishing funds or arms to those who are considered a threat to Jews, anywhere.

    Thus, one man acted alone to avenge an extraordinary and long-lasting oppression effected by a government against his people.
    In this, he was more selective than Baruch Goldstein, who entered a mosque and killed more than 150 while they prayed. Goldstein is feted as a hero in Jerusalem.

  5. 5 Mr andy west
    March 19, 2008 at 12:30

    it anfortunate that israel-palestine conflict has dragged this long.However my holistic approach to this issue is that the world has reached apoint where leaving this matter in the hands of the parties involved for the solution is he best remedy.No one can absolutely come out and confidently declare that a solutiom will be found…perhaps a temporal one..there are alot and fresh conflict we can concentrate before it is too late to save them like the israel-palestine conflict..The fact is ,the world is divided.its either you support israel or palestines..The writer himself is inclined to israel.We have no solution to this problem..its time we concentrated our efforts elsewhere
    if at all we have those efforts at all.

    Lusaka..Zambia

  6. March 19, 2008 at 13:14

    Micah, I greatly agree with you. I think the AU and moreso the UN are to blame for what is happening in Zimbabwe.

    If the world would wake up, we would greatly appreciate that for our brothers in Zimbabwe.

  7. 7 Meir Avrahami
    March 19, 2008 at 13:20

    Gaza situation puts things in a nut shell

    Total withdraw to the International border & instead of seising the opertunity for peace rockets rained down on pre 67 Israel
    Nothing to do with occupation – nothing at all

    Palestinians are masters of their own destiny now & again they choose an atempt at all or nothing

  8. 8 Brett
    March 19, 2008 at 13:28

    “according to a new poll an overwhelming majority of Palestinians support it and other acts of revenge against Israelis.

    And this is why there will not be peace on either side. Both sides wan’t to get revenge on the other. Pathetic.

    If people want to boycott the olympics, the ceremony, whatever; let them. They are ruining a collection of games which are meant for the WORLD, not China, these games are held for world competition and world recognition. If they want to boycott the games, go ahead and let them, they can miss out on world competition and deprive their countries citizens of representation in the world games.

    I’m enjoying the discussion on the right to bear arms, I think that would make a good programme.

    I caught a bit of Baracks speach this morning on NPR, his pastors remarks about ‘the white man’ spreading AIDS in the black community and pumping it full of drugs made me almost burst out in laughter. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how blind or radical it may be. That said, I feel Obama has dealt with the situation well.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  9. March 19, 2008 at 13:37

    Race is still an issue in USA which is supposedly a free country that treats all its citizens ‘equal’. I think it is time US dealt with this problem head on. I find that most black people are in poverty and hence are also stuck in places riddled in crime. Most people in US do not even seem to realize that poverty is a vicious circle which is difficult to break free from. Given that black people in USA actually became free only a few decades back and were conciously kept in extreme poverty, it is time that somebody did something to let them break free from poverty.

  10. 10 George USA
    March 19, 2008 at 14:09

    From your follow up question stating Obama says race cannot be ignored- precisely what the Clinton campaign sought- perhaps my remarks were excluded for laying the “race card” at the feet of the Clinton campaign rather than Gaza.

    It is no secret that Clinton has repeatedly used surrogates to attack Obama and did so on the topic of race: Obama then addressed it.

    To attribute the focus on race to Obama rather than Clinton seems silly.

    Hillary Clinton has disqualified herself in my eyes whoever reaches the final election.

    If that is the reason for exclusion of remarks you might reconsider that one also.

    So I list the observations yet again:

    ………….
    George USA March 19, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Was the remark excluded due to the image of a rabid dog rather than sympathy my reaction to the attempt to engender emotion about Gaza?

    Rabid dogs-

    Years ago I came across a tiny one street village in the highlands of central Mexico by getting off a bus in the wrong place.

    There was a row of attached adobe houses on one side of the only street and a few odd building on the other with miles of rolling hills around it.

    I sat on a cement slab of what looked like a bandstand from more optimistic days gone by and began to assess my situation before moving on.

    Up the single street came a Brit with a rucksack and shorts: he was calling to me for help and fear covered his face.

    I jumped to his aid- his leg was bleeding.

    As he explained a dog had just bit him, I looked down the street and there was a mongrel moving erratically in the distance. Even from where we were I could see the signs of rabis- swaying irregular motion, foaming mouth, taking a few steps in one direction, then staggering in another.

    I cleaned the wound and he went to catch a bus or ride on the road to the nearest hospital for rabis shots.

    He understood exactly what his situation was and what he had to do.

    The people of the tiny village were peering out at us, but did not come out to help for fear of the rabid dog.

    The dog was past the point of being a dog any longer: it was just a threat to the public safety.

    Someone with a gun would destroy it or it would die of the disease that had claimed it’s reason.

    Why would the image of a rabid dog be any less valid an observation of the article than the sought after sympathy?

    When an image pops in your mind, a clear distinct image, as a reaction to a story, essay or book, how can that be insulting or less valid than the sought after reaction?

    So, I list my remark again.

    Reconsider it.

    It seems a valid and legitimate observation based on personal experience.

    …………….

    Gaza-

    It is difficult to have sympathy of any kind for the insane hatred, revenge killings of Jewish religious students. and other manifestations of a group of people who exist only to destroy the nation of Israel.

    Rabid dogs is a term and image that comes to mind reading the “thirst for revenge” angle.
    …..

    Olympic ceremony-

    There is some general “coming to a conclusion” world wide about China’s antics and practices.

    Whatever the outcome and conclusion the world disapproval expressed in the event China wants to shine at, may be positive for the world and China as well:

    what worked internally before does not wash with the world, some modification of behavior for good may result.

    ……..

    The Constitution of the USA-

    I swore to defend and protect it from all enemies, foreign and domestic long ago.

    So did every person in federal service at any level..

    The right to bear arms is part of it.

    ……….

    On the Clinton campaign use of race to alter the debate-

    Hillary Clinton has done what was near impossible-

    If She gets the nomination of the Democrats,

    I will vote for McCain, even with the disaster of the last two terms for our nation under Bush.

    Or someone else- anyone being better than such power hungry techniques.

    To me the issue is not race but good government vs bad government.

  11. 11 steve
    March 19, 2008 at 14:37

    Xie Ming: Baruch Goldstein is maybe held as a hero by 15 people on earth, NOT 75% of the Israeli or Jewish population. And Goldstein did not kill 150 people, he killed 29.

  12. 12 Count Iblis
    March 19, 2008 at 16:09

    The fact that Palestinians support violent acts against Israel is entirely natural. In fact, it would be strange if it wasn’t because, as far as I’m aware, there are only very small genetic differences between humans.

    So, if at some place in the world a significant fraction of the people living there behave in an anamolous way, then the default assumption has to be that this is caused by some anamalous circumstances these people are living in. I.e. we would also behave that way had we been living there.

    So, if we take into account the circumstances the Palestinians are living in, is their behavior really that strange? How would the British population react if they had to deal with an occupation, road blocks and policies favoring settlers from abroad at the expense of the local population?

    Not so difficult to guess given that even in the absense of such repression there have been racially motivated murders in Britain!

    Therefore, the key to any peace settlement is to move toward a situation in which normal people behave normally. End the occupation in all of Palestine and allow the refugees to return. If this cannot be implemented fully for practical reasons, compensate the Palestinians for that.

    When his is implemented, there will still be Palestinians who are unhappy. Some Palestinians will still attempt to launch terror attacks. However, as long as the vast majority of the Palestinians are happy and support the new peace settlement, it will be possible to fight terrorism much more effectively than it is today.

    Palestinians will not tolerate terrorism and will report suspected activities by militants to the police. In today’s situation, most Palestinians would not do that, even if they are against militant activity, because that would amount to treason.

  13. 13 gary
    March 19, 2008 at 16:41

    Hello All,
    Anyone who mentions race as a political issue does so because they wish an outcome based upon it, no matter to which racial group they belong.

    All people who imagine the Constitution affords them the right to own arms also imagines it is their right to decide against whom to defend it. When asked whom this may be, ninety percent of them will loudly say “liberals,” Curiously enough however, the administration they elected are most recently guilty of violating in spirit and in actions, its provisions. I suggest to the armed: “Go read it.”

    The Jews suffered much. I know! They have a wonderful propaganda machine that tells me so nearly every day! However, suffering does not afford the right to visit suffering upon others, nor did it afford the right of some to displace others from their homes, nor the right purposefully to harm innocent people to punish guilty ones. The Palestinians are learning about propaganda from the Jews. Now, the Palestinians are suffering and the Jews are suffering. See what happens when you do not forgive, when you cannot allow the past to remain the past, when you have a wonderful propaganda machine and you believe it. If you can force yourselves to talk with each other, your difficulties will disappear.

    Boycotts are generally silly. Boycotting the Beijing Olympics openning to make a human rights point is just absolutely stupid. China is not a democracy. China has never been a democracy. China may never be a democracy. Lots of other countries aren’t democracies, either. All of them handle their minorities – for good or evil – swiftly. Democracy is messy even in small, well-practiced democracies. I know all feel for the Tibettans; but would really want 1.1 billion nuclear-armed Chinese folks winging democracy tommorrow? This discussion reminds me of story:
    A fellow standing along side a road watches as another man walks down the road pulling a long rope. “Why are you pulling that rope?” the first man asks. “Have you ever tried pushing one?” the second answers.
    Show them a positive example. Give’m a break, maybe they’ll get there.
    later,
    g

  14. 14 steve
    March 19, 2008 at 16:48

    Iblis: The reasons there are roadblocks and other hindrances to Palestinian life is because Palestinians would go into Israel and kill Israelis. The fact is, there would have been an arab palestine for the first time in history in 1948 but for the actions of the arabs in 1948 in attacking israel and rejecting the partition. The arabs then took over the palestinian territories, and didn’t give independence to the palestinians.

    There will be no right to return. israelis aren’t going to commit national suicide. They will be compensated, just like arab governments need to compensate the same number of Jews that were expelled from arab nations during the same time, which gets none of the publicity that the Palestinians got.

    It’s kind of funny, now people keep on talking about Israeli settlers, and FINALLY the media for the first time has mentioned chinese settlers in Tibet for the first time. I guess that only comes out when you stop singling out Israel. At least these Israeli settlers have historical ties to the land. Let’s not forget places like Hebron used to be entirely Jewish. Hebron is the 2nd holiest site in Judiasm.

    You say other groups would act the same. I’m not sure. Do tibetans go into china to kill the chinese? If you look to the end of WW2, after the war ended, many germans were expelled from czechslovakia and the former prussian areas of poland and russia. It is believed that hundreds of thousands of ethnic germans were killed, even more were expelled. I still haven’t heard about germans blowing up busses and restaurants in Prague. If i’m wrong, please correct me.

  15. 15 steve
    March 19, 2008 at 16:52

    Gary, if you’re such a constitutional scholar, and can easily figure out the meanings of the particular provisions, could you please tell me when one is entitled to a civil jury trial in the federal system? I’ll give you a hint, it’s in the 7th amendment. And another hint, a plain reading of it isn’t going to help you answer the question correctly.

    Look, I pasted it for you, so please, tell me when one is entitled to a jury in a civil case?

    In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    ——-

  16. 16 Edmund
    March 19, 2008 at 17:22

    One arab kills 8 people and its all over the blogs, 1 man acted out his revenge for the death of 60 civilians just the week before. Then when a truce is called israel proceeds to kill 4 men in the west bank. The future of the Palestinians is in the hands of Israel. And for some of the commenters to claim that the Palestinians should have taken what was given to them in 1948, look at the demographics, look at the population by region, tell me if the borders are just.

  17. 17 Xie_Ming
    March 19, 2008 at 17:40

    More than 150 worshippers were wounded in the Mosque by Goldstein, who killed 29 of them.

    There was much celebration among the fundamentalist Orthodox students and others in Israel., and a great funeral procession was held, a shrine erected, etc. Even today, his tombstone reads: “Here lies the saint, Dr. Baruch Kappel Goldstein, blessed be the memory of the righteous and holy man, may the Lord avenge his blood, who devoted his soul to the Jews, Jewish religion and Jewish land. His hands are innocent and his heart is pure. He was killed as a martyr of God on the 14th of Adar, Purim, in the year 5754 (1994). ”
    http://www.peacenow.org/policy.asp?rid=&cid=1636

    The Brooklyn-born Goldstein, a medical major in the Israeli army, was a follower of Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League. He had been making speeches about the fact that the Palestinian birthrate was greater than the Israeli.

    The above comment suggesting that Palestinians should be killed as “rabid dogs” illustrates an important attitude among Israeli fundamentalists: gentiles are as animals. Because they lack souls, they cannot be “murdered”. As interlopers in Greater Israel, their “killing” is justified.
    http://www.passia.org/publications/research_studies/peace/chapter5.html

    Such sociopathic attitudes have existed and been taught since the Sicarii Zealots. The moderates in Israel are probably a majority. Let us hope that they succeed in influencing the government.

  18. 18 viola anderson
    March 23, 2008 at 20:47

    Read the history. Not just tabloid journalism and hate literature “history.” Pay attention to timelines in history. What happened when? If your cousin tells you a “historical” fact, find more than one reliable and objective source of information to find out if he is anywhere close to the truth about events. Pay little attention to rants from friends, relatives and leaders with agendas. Don’t accept someone’s opinion just because he is someone you respect. You still have to verify what he or she says. If you believe you know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and you have not done those things, then you do no one any favors by expressing your opinion.

  19. 19 viola anderson
    March 23, 2008 at 21:00

    Oh, no! I just made a rant.


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