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June 27, 2004

Comments

Ohad Efrati

I agree with your point about apologizing for terrorism - the ISM's Huwaida Arraf is particularly clear about her view that Israel is to blame whenever a Palestinian hurts himself or someone else.

The ISM often goes a step further and entertains the goals and doctrines of the terrorists as a legitimate viewpoint worth listening to. For example, the ISM states on their website that attacks on civilians "are forbidden under most understandings of international law" ( http://www.gravett.org/Israellycool/archives/015185 .html#more) - ie. taking pains to include the Palestinian view that Israeli civilians shouldn't be considered civilians.

As well, the training received by ISM volunteers has included a session on the "Palestinian armed struggle" provided by a supporter of the terrorist PFLP (see http://ismcentral.blogspot.com/2003_09_01_ismcentral_archive.html#106251882858718687 )

David M

I agree with your analysis of the ISM's politics, and with the point made by Walzer; but I don't understand, on the above evidence, how Walzer's concept could be applied to the ISM.

Do the ISM believe that Israeli citizens are associated and complicit with 'the crimes' of the IDF and so on? Or rather are they simply a bunch of kids who take their pro-Palestinian support and enthusiasm too far?

Andrew Ian Dodge

ISM are a bunch of evil terrorist loving cretins. Giving them a break because they "young & naive" is an affront to all those civilians that died at the hands of their "friends".

Gene

Oliver, I don't think it's fair to call Mother Jones "far left"-- at least not in the same sense that, say, Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Tariq Ali or Z magazine is far left.

Phil Rodgers

It's not in fact the case that nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize may be made by anybody - see http://www.nobel.no/eng_com_nom.html

Oliver Kamm

Gene - You're right. I've changed the text.

Phil - You're right too; I did in fact mean to say literally anybody who happens to be a member of Parliament (among other categories), but brain-rot set in and I wrote something quite different. I've changed the text in this respect as well. Thanks for the correction.

janus

'Do the ISM believe that Israeli citizens are associated and complicit with 'the crimes' of the IDF and so on? Or rather are they simply a bunch of kids who take their pro-Palestinian support and enthusiasm too far?'

Why don't you have a look at their website and make your own mind up. Not, of course, that you should uncritically accept what's there.

'ISM are a bunch of evil terrorist loving cretins.'

This kind of hyperbolic invective helps no one and elides the obvious distinction between a group like the ISM and people who openly and actively do support terrorism.

http://www.palsolidarity.org/

Morgoth

Janus, from personal experience, folks in the ISM are nothing but terorist-loving cretins...

Ohad

>Why don't you have a look at their website and make your own mind up.
>Not, of course, that you should uncritically accept what's there.

While your browser is open, http://ismcentral.blogspot.com is a good resource also.

>This kind of hyperbolic invective helps no one and elides the obvious
>distinction between a group like the ISM and people who openly and
>actively do support terrorism.

The exact distinctiveness of the outlook of the ISM vs. that of the Al-aqsa Martyr's Brigades (for example) is not "obvious" at all.

The main distinction is what they practice: ISM wants to end of the "zionist occupation" via vandalism, civil disobedience, and providing comfort to the terrorists and their backers. That's not terrorism - but those aren't the methods of a "peace group" either.

janus

'The ISM does not support or condone any acts of terrorism.' The obvious distinction is between a group who makes such a statment, on the one hand, and, on the other, a group that explicitly advocates and actively supports terrorist acts. To casually conflate the two is to detract from the iniquity of the latter for the sake of a cheap rhetorical point.

maor

I would guess that Arafat supports terrorist attacks based on the fact that he pays terrorists who are loyal to him to commit terrorist attacks.

But Janus has proved me wrong! If Arafat SAYS he doesn't support terrorism, that's that!

brennan stout

Frontpage Magazine published an interesting article that should provide some important perspective on what exactly Rachel Corrie was protecting in Rafah.

In one confrontation with the Israelis, Corrie was trying to block an army bulldozer that was knocking down homes of terrorists and buildings hiding tunnels through which weapons and explosives were being smuggled into Israel. These tunnels brought weapons from Egypt to the Gaza city of Rafiah.

Rafah is a well known town just off the Egyptian border in Gaza. The tunnels smuggle all sorts of goods, among them, weapons and explosives that are sold for top dollar to terrorist groups. Corrie could have been convinced she was protecting the lively hood of one family home, but when that family home is used for arms smuggling to attack other civilians then what is it?

My Irish heritage had to confront members of our family that were supporters of the IRA and living in the United States. We did not wish to make martyrs out of them nor did we wish for their death. But we did pray that they would confront their political views towards support for terrorists that target civilians.

janus

'would guess that Arafat supports terrorist attacks based on the fact that he pays terrorists who are loyal to him to commit terrorist attacks.'

Are you saying the same is true of the ISM? If your answer is 'no,' then you're obviously aware of the distinction i'm making, and are therefoer obfuscating. If your answer is 'yes' then your simply wrong. Either way, your remarks above are an object example of the kind of glib conflations i was referring to.

janus

The term 'terrorist' is in any case one that often serves no more than an ideological role. When the Israeli Army, in what Israel itself describes as a 'war' operation, attacks the Palestinian police and sets about systematically destroying the Palestinian infrastructure, Palestinian resistance is cited as proof that we are dealing with terrorists. The enemy is criminalised if he defends himself and returns fire with fire.

If you can prove that the ISM is actively abetting terrorists, then please forward your evidence to the relevant authorities and action will doubtless be taken. It would be irresponsible of you to withhold such evidence. If you do not have this evidence i suggest you come back when you have ascertained the truth.

alex

"ISM wants to end of the "zionist occupation" via vandalism, civil disobedience, and providing comfort to the terrorists and their backers"

Surely these are three entirely differently morally culpable responses to occupation. There is no evidence that the ISM act as terrorists or materially support terrorist orgainiations. We can surely all agree that the indiscriminate killing of civillians is wrong in any circumstance - however much it could be materially "explained". I don't understand what the objection to either peaceful civil disobedience or vandalism of Israeli military property is, unless we argue that Israel is not culpable for any unnecessary suffering of indigenous Palestinian Arabs - a point which seems ludicrously untenable.

Ohad

> There is no evidence that the ISM act as
> terrorists or materially
> support terrorist orgainiations

Show me where I said that they did.

> We can surely all agree that the indiscriminate
> killing of civillians
> is wrong in any circumstance - however much it
> could be materially explained".

You and I can surely agree. But ask ISM founder Huwaida Arraf and she'll equivocate. Just look at the quotes from the ISM website above.

>I don't understand what the objection to either
> peaceful civil disobedience or vandalism of
> Israeli military property is,

It sounds more objectionable when you say it less abstractly: damaging the security fence, acting as human shields during IDF operations (including an operation against a bomb-facility in at least one instance), attending rallies sponsored by Hamas, inviting people from the PFLP to lecture the brain-dead volunteers etc.

The ISM had its Nablus headquarters in the house of the al-Titi family. When Jihad al-Titi became a suicide bomber, the BBC quoted his mother as saying that she new he was planning it, and an ISM member wrote a warm rememberance of him.

Why can't you at least consider the possiblity that the ISM are just evil nihilistic people?

> unless we argue that Israel is not culpable for
> any unnecessary suffering of indigenous
> Palestinian Arabs

The second half of your sentence is a total non-sequitur. It sounds like your trying to change the focus of the discussion.

Many Europeans seem to think that there's an objective definition of "unnecessary" suffering, and that some body like Amnesty International has the license to decide what it is.

Barry Meislin

Something to savour (one way or the other):

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=14063

janus

'Something to savour'

What, spying, deception, infiltrating an organisation with the pre-conceived intent of defamation? Sad that someone finds the words of a journalist practiced in these contemptible and duplicitous arts so satisfying.

JakobDeHaan

Hmm, so Lee Kaplan reveals that a lot of ISM activists, many Jewish, make a constant, clear and principled distinction between Jewry and Juadaism on the one hand, and political and militaristic Zionism on the other hand. How refreshing, and how realistic. With so many "self-haters" there's hope that Israeli Jewry may yet be saved from its Moloch-and-Masada leadership:

www.jewsnotzionists.org

Former Belgian

Jakob israel De Haan was in fact an ultra-Orthodox Jew (also a lifelong homosexual who wrote the first-ever novel on the subject in Dutch --- go figure). As such, he would not (G-d forbid) reject a Jewish State IF IT WERE A THEOCRACY FOUNDED BY THE MESSIAH --- just like even the Neturei Karta today wouldn't. I don't think anybody ever could make head or tail of him (pun unintentional) during his lifetime.

In my opinion, he (and genetically "Jewish" members of the Intellectual Self-sodomy International Solidarity Movement) are living proof that there are things more contemptible than antisemites. Such as self-righteous moral poseurs who would put their fellow Jews in harm's way just so they can congratulate themselves on how morally enlightened they are. A Jew who would endanger their fellow Jews --- say, my wife and daughter (by e.g. obstructing Israeli security measures) --- just so they can indulge their malignant narcissist "rebel" or "freedom fighter" or "moral conscience of the world" fantasies, is not my enemy. He's something even more loathsome than that.

hello

Jakob, Yes, there are Jews who believe in:

1. A flat earth; and
2. In a true founding of Israel after the Messiah comes, casts down the Dome of the Rock and re-establishes the Kingdom of Israel (which he will, of course rule).

So.. ummm.. why should we be celebrating and supporting these people again?

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