The march of war (eat Snacky Smores)

Okay, okay, I couldn’t resist the silly, South Park-based headline… sorry. But the topic is deadly serious. I haven’t blogged about it much, because I’ve been busy with work, but the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah/Lebanon is seemingly widening into an all-out war. And if things continue to escalate, it could get really bad: we all know Syria is deeply involved with Hezbollah and Lebanon, and now Iran is threatening that if Israel attacks Syria, Iran will attack Israel. And heaven knows America will defend Israel if that happens. Plus, this all has massive implications for Iraq. And who knows what implications a wider regional war would have for Afghanistan… and its ever-fragile neightbor, Pakistan… and recently-attacked India… etc. etc. And if America gets sufficiently distracted, Kim Jong Il might throw another temper tantrum, which opens up the possibility of whole ‘nother domino effect (South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan…). All that’s missing from this volatile mix is an archduke named Ferdinand!

Okay, so maybe I’m getting a bit carried away, but the point is… it could get bad.

Regarding Iran’s threats, Andrew writes: “Well, I guess that’s one way of formalizing the terrorist relationship between Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran.” He then adds:

Sudden thought: What if Israel and the U.S. secretly were deciding to use this latest provocation in Gaza and Lebanon to suck Iran and Syria into attacking Israel, whereby the U.S. would swoop in to protect its ally and take out both the evil Syrian and Iranian regimes. Wishful thinking, maybe… too brilliantly machiavellian. I’m surprised Mad Max or A&A hasn’t leveled that conspiracy accusation against the Bush administration yet!

Heh. Although, I’m not sure how “brilliant” that strategy would really be, from a practical standpoint. While it’s undeniably true that the anti-war crowd has cried wolf repeatedly with its fear-mongering about a draft, it really does seem like our military would get stretched too thin at some point… a point not too far off. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Iran? I’m no military expert, but eventually we really would need more manpower, wouldn’t we? Here’s hoping and praying it doesn’t get to that point…

Anyway, I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I know I’m going to buy a copy of Friday’s New York Times, because I think this one might be a keeper… one of those historic, turning-point days in history. Or maybe not, but it certainly has the potential. Here’s what the front page looks like:

Here’s how the Times‘s lead article summarizes the day’s events:

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Friday, July 14 — Israel imposed a full naval blockade on Lebanon on Thursday and put Beirut’s international airport out of commission, and the militant group Hezbollah loosed a hail of rockets and mortar shells that killed two Israelis and sent thousands into bomb shelters.

A day after cross-border raids by Hezbollah fighters brought Israeli troops into Lebanon in force for the first time in six years, Israel sent punishing airstrikes deeper into the country, hitting all three runways at Rafik Hariri International Airport, two Lebanese Army bases. Early on Friday, it struck Hezbollah offices in south Beirut and the main highway between the capital and Damascus, Syria, and later, Reuters reported, a base for pro-Syrian Palestinian guerrillas a few miles from the Syrian border.

The Lebanese government said 53 Lebanese civilians had died since Wednesday, including one family of 10 and another of 7 in the southern village of Dweir. More than 103 have been wounded, the Lebanese said.

Lebanese residents hoarded canned goods and batteries as lines at gas stations stretched for blocks. Supermarkets and bakeries were flooded. It felt, many said, as if the civil war that ended 15 years ago was back.

Israel said that the Lebanese government was responsible for the actions of Hezbollah, which is a member of the governing coalition, and that the cross-border raid that captured two Israeli soldiers on Wednesday was an unprovoked act of war by a neighboring state. Senior Israeli officials said that the military had been unleashed to cut off Lebanon, permanently drive Hezbollah forces back from the border and punish the government for not upholding a United Nations directive to disarm and control the group.

Israel’s military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, warned that “nothing is safe�? in Lebanon and that Beirut itself, especially Hezbollah offices and strongholds in southern Beirut, would be a target.

Hezbollah fired more than 120 Katyusha rockets and mortar shells into Israel on Thursday, Israeli officials said. The barrage killed a woman on her balcony in Nahariya and a man in Safed, and wounded more than 100 other Israelis in some 20 towns and villages, including Haifa, Safed and Carmiel. Israeli officials said it was the first time Haifa had been hit by rocket fire from Lebanon.

And on and on. Bad stuff.

Pajamas Media has ongoing updates. InstaPundit says “we’re seeing the result of the ‘international community’s’ inability — and, frankly, unwillingness — to bring Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism under control.” He’s right. NRO‘s Michael Leeden says the wider war must be fought, and won. But Blogger of the Year Captain Ed wonders if Lebanon is the right target:

[O]ne has to wonder whether Israel has chosen the correct enemy. Lebanon just recently freed itself (mostly) from Syrian occupation through a people-power revolution. Syria occupied Lebanon for almost 30 years prior to that, and they put Hezbollah into place as their proxy, not Lebanon’s. Granted, Israel had a point when they noted that Hezbollah politicians have ministers in the Cabinet, but unlike Hamas in the Palestinian Authority, they do not have political control of the government.

A free and democratic Lebanon could be an ally to Israel, or at least not an enemy. They could eventually have a relationship similar to that of Jordan; not exactly friends, but not at all enemies. Why toss that away in a misdirected rage?

The author of Israeli misery in the North and in Gaza is not Lebanon, but Syria. Lebanon hasn’t the resources to expel Hezbollah from its south, in large part because of the resources that Syria and Iran provide to the terrorists. The Lebanese government may not have done enough to disarm the Islamist terrorists, but it’s Syria and Iran who armed them in the first place. Hezbollah takes their orders from Damascus and Teheran, not Beirut.

In this case, I believe the Israelis have made a strategic error. They need to use their resources to attack the root of the problem, or at least one of the two roots. Syria and Bashar Assad have much more influence over Hezbollah than Beirut, and taking the war to Damascus will have more possibility of deterring further attacks and raids than inflaming the Lebanese, who just started to get back on their feet in the aftermath of the Syrian withdrawal. They risk creating another enemy instead of eliminating the one that really matters.

Lest you think that I’m only reading conservative pundits, both Kevin Drum and Matthew Yglesias are also concerned about the crisis. At Daily Kos, though, there’s no Israel news on the front page. Anyone have other suggestions of intelligent commentaries from the Left that I should be reading?

Anyway… one final point before I go to bed. As I wrote in an e-mail to my parents earlier today:

One thing I wish Bush & co. would stop doing is calling the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers a “terrorist” act.

Taking soldiers prisoner is not a terrorist act. It is a legitimate military tactic… in wartime. It is not an act of terrorism, it’s an act of war. Israel obviously has every right to respond militarily, because war has been declared on them, in a very classic sense. You take prisoners from the other guy’s Army, you get blown to sh*t by the other guy. Pretty simple stuff.

And no, taking Palestinian terrorists prisoner is not somehow equivalent to taking Israeli soldiers prisoner, because Palestinian terrorists are not soldiers. They do not follow the laws of war. They kill and maim civilians for sport. They are vile criminals, and their capture is not an act of war, it’s an act of criminal justice. Capturing actual soldiers is a whole different matter.

I should really give a hat tip to New York Sun editorialist Hillel Halkin, who got me thinking about this topic several days ago with his editorial “An End To Ambiguity.”

On further consideration, though, calling the captures a “legitimate military tactic” may be overstating it. I don’t know a lot about the laws of war, but I’m thinking that sneaking across the border and kidnapping soldiers without direct provocation isn’t exactly kosher. My point, though, is that whatever the kidnappings are, they’re not “terrorism,” which is the deliberate and calculated murder of innocent civilians for political or military ends. The kidnappings, “legitimate” or not, are clearly an act of war, not terrorism, and Israel has every right to treat them as such. Now, whether the Israelis’ thoroughly justified action is also a wise action that is likely to improve the situation — that’s an entirely separate question, and one I’m not going to attempt to address right now. I presume y’all in the peanut comment gallery can handle it on your own. :)

69 Responses to “The march of war (eat Snacky Smores)”

  1. David K. says:

    It’s hard for me to be critical of Israel in all this. Yes they might have been a little overzealous, but in all hoensty they are ACTUALLY in a situation where they face imminent threat from mid-east terrorists and terrorist regimes. I feel like they HAVE to take an absolute hardline on these sorts of issues beacuse the minute they aren’t is the minute they lose. Frankly they have shown a willingness to live in peace with their neighbors and every time their neighbors or atleast some of them seem to think its a good idea to do stupid things like kidnap Israeli soldiers or suicide bomb civilians. Certainly Israel has probably done some not so kosher things in Gaza, but honestly what are they supposed to do, roll over in this case?

  2. ScottF says:

    “…whether the Israelis’ thoroughly justified action is also a wise action that is likely to improve the situation…”

    Perhaps improving the situation is no longer the objective and they just, finally, want to resolve it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have been pushed too far at last and are willing to travel whatever path it will take to change the dynamic. I’m afraid “it will get worse before it can get better” is about to be put to the test.

  3. Lojo says:

    ScottF –

    I think you’ve nailed it. What with the election of Hamas, it seems like the Israelis are making a determination that the idea a negotiated piece with the Palestinians is now dead and buried. Obviously, Hamas never thought it was alive to begin with, but Israel restrained itself when it had people who would at least APPEAR to be reasonable when they came to the table to talk.

    Hamas is even’t coming to the table. In fact, they’d rather blow it up to kill some more Israelis.

    But with Israel finally determining to, as Scott said, “resolve the situation”, I can’t bring myself to condemn them at all. A resolution to the situation, even if it is a harsh one, would be welcome compared to the status quo.

  4. dcl says:

    This may all be true, but the reality of the present situation is that the US lacks the money to engage in yet another conflict. I suppose there are ways to do this and deal with the logistical and cash difficulties involved, but politically I doubt people will stomach them (even with out nukes it would require a certain disregard for civilian populations that we haven’t show since World War II).

  5. KCSteve says:

    And, of course, the other side has the power to end this at pretty much any point. All they have to do is return the kidnapped Israelis.

    Well, it might have reached the point where Israel says they have to stop lobbing rockets into Israel as well, which hardly seems unreasonable.

  6. A Nun Mouse says:

    It’s such a reasonable, well proportioned response, however one looks at it: Hizbolla takes two Israeli soldiers hostage (Note: this is not a crime under international law, assuming there is armed conflict and you don’t drag them across a border into your own country.) and Israel in response takes a whole country hostage.

    Why, yes…yes….I see it now….It seems so well proportioned and highly balanced.

  7. A Nun Mouse says:

    Oh, I also forgot to mention the well proportioned, even handed, fair, and thoughtful response in Gaza. On June 24, a Palestinian doctor and his brother were abducted by the IDF. No news coverage exists in the West of course to let us know this happened. In response, Hamas abducts a single Israeli soldier. What does Israel do? It invades Gaza, killing at least a few dozen Palestinians.

    Why of course their lives aren’t worth the life of a single Israeli Jew. Why would, why SHOULD anyone ever question that exchange? Never mind the fact that what Israel is doing in Gaza has little to do with actually FINDING the kidnapped soldier!

    The kind, gentle peace-loving Israelis are chosen by God. Why question the edicts of an unseen God?

  8. uscroger says:

    “One thing I wish Bush & co. would stop doing is calling the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers a “terroristâ€? act.”

    The birth of terrorism [the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion
    ] or from the wakopedia {Terrorism refers to a strategy of using violence, or threat of violence to generate fear, cause disruption, and ultimately, to bring about compliance with specific political, religious, ideological, or personal demands[1]. ], as we all know it, originated during the French Revolution. Though it may seem that La Guillotine mutilations of thousands of people seems the only notion in our heads regarding acts of terror, we live in a society where kidnapping could be classified as an act of terror. The term has become more political, it seems. And, yes–an act of war would be more suitable a term to employ by Israel. But, does that really matter at all? Terror, provocation, act of war are all the same and merit self-defense.
    Noone ever spoke of the Crusades as acts of terror, superficially speaking?

  9. Charles says:


    How could you be so brilliant at times and, at times like these, be completely clueless?

    We absolutely have the money to go to war all over this globe. What we lack is the resolve to engage the enemy. We also have the Democratic Party that undermines any positive efforts by lying and spreading misinformation.

    President Bush has not lied to the American people and we were prepared for the war that is before us; not because we started it, dcl, but because we mean to put an end to it.

    Again, 9/11 was a wake up call, but unfortunately the Left refuses to wake up.

  10. dcl says:

    Charles, Iraq will cost the US tax payers at least a Trillion dollars before all is said and done. Are equipment is degrading a a much faster rate than projected etc. Now it is true that if the nation shifted to a total war footing al la WWII and was willing to disregard civilian suffering on the part of our enemies we could probably manage it. However, the Left is unwilling to accept the civilian costs and the Right is unwilling to ask the people of this country to make sacrifices in order to fight.

  11. A Nun Mouse says:

    Oops…I’m sorry…my posts were just redundant after David K. mentions Israel “might have been a little overzealous.” But isn’t this too much too though?

    David K., you must apologize right now to all the wonderful peace-loving Israelis.

  12. PP Long says:

    Nun House… you’re joking right? I couldn’t figure out if I should be laughing at your posts, or crying at their ignorance. Did you ever hear that saying that its better to stay silent and have people just think you’re a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt?

  13. Joe Mama says:

    Wow, Mouse. Wow.

  14. Brett says:

    First, mouse, could you provide some reference to the claim of IDF abductions. You are notorious for throwing around outrageous claims with no backing.

    Second, you have to absofigginlotuley be kidding me? You were trying to funny I hope. How many suicide bombers need to blow up weddings, discos, buses, etc… before Israel gets to act?? Israel has shown REMARKABLE restraint in dealing with these scumbag terrorists.

    Put down the pot and remove the PLO keffiyeh from your head and get back into the real world.

  15. Joe Mama says:

    I had actually begun to type out a substantive response to all that was wrong in your dreadful posts, Mouse, but then I realized what a waste of time that would be. Your beliefs are so outlandish that it gives me great cheer to simply be on the other side of this issue from you.

  16. Lojo says:

    Nun –

    I love how you skip RIGHT over where Israel was negotiating with Hamas (an organization still dedicated towards the destruction of Israel officially) to get their kidnapped soldier back.

    Or that Gaza IS Palestinian terroritory and they did tunnel under the border, grab the soldier and took him back OVER the border.

  17. Joe Mama says:

    From the “I wish I had said that” file:

    “Israel has a dilemma that is unique in modern history. When she retreats, she is condemned. When she defends herself, she is condemned. But, is it really a dilemma? Israel will do what she has to do regardless of whether is upsets the distinguished folks who are gathered at Turtle Bay.

    “No country in the world would respond any differently to direct attacks on her soldiers and citizens. What is is ‘excessive’ is the profound hypocrisy of the international community.

    “It is fine to talk of diplomacy and restraint. But, until the world forces the Palestinians and their Islamic allies to accept Jews in their midst, nothing will change. And the Moose is not holding his breath waiting for that to happen. Like a Pavlovian response, the opprobrium of the world reliably falls upon the Jewish state.

    “At least in America, there is strong bi-partisan support for Israel’s actions. President Bush, and particularly UN Ambassador Bolton, have verbally come to Israel’s defense. Reliably, the center of criticism for Israel’s actions come from leftists who once again demonstrate that they are not just opposed to the Iraq war, but to any determined effort against terrorism even if it is a clear and unambiguous act of self defense. It is fascinating to observe this crowd that contends that this Administration is behind virtually every bad deed committed on the planet, but when it comes to suspicion of the rulers of Iran and Syria, they are willing to cut them some slack.

    “This week the Jihadist barbarians struck in India and Israel. Radical Islam is counting on the ‘civilized’ world to capitulate and appease. Israel showed that she will act.

    “Good for her. Defend her. Defend civilization.”

  18. Russ says:

    If the conflict is confined to the middle east, but includes Palastine, Syria and Iran, is it a Cage Match or a Royal Rumble? Would Israel’s manager be George “Mouth of the West” W? Who else would enter the ring? Would we recognize them by their theme music? Where does John 3:16 fit into the mix?

  19. Liban says:

    As a Lebanese-American these whole recent events have been hard to believe, but from the first comment about Brendan’s blogging’s the topics got immediately off track from how Israel isn’t to blame from this because of the reasons of suicide bombings and the elections of Hamas etc. These have nothing to do with Israel bombing Lebanon and killing innocent Lebanese people. Hezbollah did provoke this by kidnapping the two soldiers but they never fired rockets into Israel until after Israeli Warplanes started attacking Lebanon. The only opinion that has been logical was Brendan’s and the other bloggers’s he paraphrased everyone else is trying to lump the Palestinian situation with what is going on in Lebanon and they are nothing alike.

  20. Joe Mama says:


    There may be differences between the Palestinian situation and what is going on in Lebanon that you as a Lebanese-American are more sensitive to than the rest of us, but I think they are far outweighed by the similarities, particularly how Hezbollah has done to Southern Lebanon exactly what Hamas has done to Gaza: turn a fully unoccupied Arab territory into a staging area from which to continue attacking Israel, AFTER Israel withdrew from those territories (the occupation of which so many were gullibly led to believe was the cause of the conflict between Jew and Arab). Current events confirm that “occupation” was mere window-dressing. The issue is, and has always been, Israel’s existence. This is true whether Israeli soldiers are kidnapped and spirited away by Palestinians infiltrating from Gaza using a tunnel dug underneath the wall meant to keep out suicide bombers, or by Hezbollah coming across from Lebanon (where they have representation in Lebanese parliament and in the Cabinet).

  21. David K. says:

    Nun, I think you and Angrier are crossing the line into ridiculousness even for me, and usually i’m on your side.

    Israel has been under attack since DAY ONE. How many Israeli suicide bombers have crossed into Lebanon or Gaza and blown up civilians there? This conflict could be stopped very very VERY easily. Stop supporting terrorists and stop kidnapping israeli soldiers IN Israel.

  22. Russ says:

    Every terrorist or would-be terrorist that Israel kills is one less we need to kill, plus it diverts their attention away from attacking American targets.

  23. Charles says:

    Wholly Goodnight Almighty!!!!

    David K. and I have fallen almost on the same side of an issue.

    This may be the end times, people.

    Good to be with you in defending Israel, David.

  24. Angrier and Angrier says:


    In response to your editorial, the only way for that kind of conspiracy to happen is for this guy to be intelligent enough to make it happen…

    …Bush is an idiot.

    As for the situation in Lebanon, you have one democratically elected government attacking another one (granted, Israel is trying to get at Hezbollah, but its actions are going to undermine the democratically elected government in Lebanon). The Bush Administration needs to show some real leadership here and call on Israel to back-off of the attacks on Lebanon’s infrastructure and innocent civilians and to focus only on Hezbollah targets. Also, if Israel really wants to deal these fuckers a blow, hit Syria in the nutsack by striking Assad’s palace in Damascus. Hezbollah is just the hired help, after all.

  25. Aaron says:


    Ask, and you shall recieve.

    Gregory Djerejian:

    Josh Marshall

    Djerejian’s blog in particular focuses almost exclusively on foreign policy.

  26. PP Long says:


    While I disagree with you on having Bush call off the dogs…at least we are finally seeing you show some teeth on your comments about hitting them in Damascus!!!! Well done!!! Annie get your gun! :)

  27. Alasdair says:

    It seems that our resident ridiculous rodent was not satisfied with the double-M moniker of Mednacious Mouse …

    She has earned the additional M – and I hereby officially christen/name her our own Munkar Mendacious Mouse

    Munkar Mendacious Mouse – how does it feel to the the token haram commenter in thsi blog ?

  28. Alasdair says:

    Brendan – welcome to the world … back in ’67, at age 14, I can remember what it felt like when the surrounding countries decided to bloody their own noses on Israel … although, back then, I didn’t know enough to realise that that was what was going to happen …

    Now, I realise that, from ’48-’49ish until ’67, there could have been a full-blown country of Palestine “side-by-side with Israel” except that the surrounding Arab countries weren’t going to allow it …

  29. Richie Rich says:

    For the past decade, Hizbollah and Hamas have been encroaching, and Israel has been spanking their little butts and sending them home… until now they believe they can encroach with impunity. It’s long past the time Israel must flex their muscles and show a little bit of what they’re really capable of – not just a butt spanking, but utter destruction. If – and only if – those intent on destroying Israel get the message and decide to co-exist in peace, that destruction will not be necessary. One thing that is clear is that Israel has been showing admirable restraint, with little result. Perhaps a stronger response will gain more respect. Remember, Egypt was Israel’s sworn enemy until Israel captured the entire Egyptian 3rd Army, and then let them go with a promise to behave.

  30. David K. says:

    I’m going to take a moment out from criticizing Nun to point out yet again how utterly stupid you are Alasdair. How about adding to the discussion and not just randomly throwing out new names for people that no one other than yourself uses? Or can we start calling you the Brainless Right Wing Zealot or BRWZ for short?

  31. Devil's Advocate says:

    Well David, if you’re so hell-bent on nicknames, why don’t you tell us what yours would be if you could pick it? Come on, it’ll be fun!

  32. Alasdair says:

    David – ya gotta learn to be able to have that knee-jerk more than once an hour !

    @ 1:51, I addressed Munkar Mendacious Mouse’s comments in terms used in Islam … Google munkar and haram and you will understand … and, if you do not already understand those terms, then you do not understand Islam …

    @ 1:55, the post immediately following the 1:51 one, I addressed the topic directly …

    Ya know, David – for someone who got it nigh-on right for your first few comments on this post, ya shoulda stuck with that formula !

  33. thebeef says:

    Angrier writes:
    “The Bush Administration needs to show some real leadership here and call on Israel to back-off of the attacks on Lebanon’s infrastructure and innocent civilians and to focus only on Hezbollah targets.”

    Unfortunately, to apply the proper pressure and to fully deprive Hezbollah of the means necessary for operating freely in Lebanon, the Israelis are going to be forced to attack some civilian infrastructure, such as the Beirut airport. I believe the Israeli Ambassador to the UN made it very clear that Israel understands the difficult position in which Lebanon is currently placed–they’re between the “rock” of Israel and the “hard place” of Hezbollah. Hezbollah (and by extension Syria/Iran) is certainly holding Lebanon hostage, but that is an unfortunate circumstance that isn’t Israel’s fault. Israel must hit back against Hezbollah, which unfortunately requires putting Lebanon in the cross-hairs.

    “Also, if Israel really wants to deal these fuckers a blow, hit Syria in the nutsack by striking Assad’s palace in Damascus. Hezbollah is just the hired help, after all.”

    Gotta disagree. While Hezbollah is certainly the “hired help” of Iran and Syria (and Hamas as well is also the the “hired help” of Syria), attacking Syria will result in a dangerous escalation that could result in American involvement. While Syria deserves to get hit, it’s probably not prudent.

  34. David K. says:

    Or maybe Alasdair, YOU are the one who is getting it wrong when you, yet again, can’t address an argument, only insult the person making it. I think what Nun Mouse said was stupid, and I said why. What did you do? Throw more nicknames at him. Come on Al, show us that “wisdom” you are always bragging about.

  35. Alasdair says:

    Yeah, I know I shouldn’t, but it’s sooooooooo easy …

    “Throw more nicknames at him.” {my bold} – what sorta Catholic thinks a Nun is a HE ?

    I do not think that what Munkar Mendacious Mouse said was stupid – I think that it is based upon closed-minded prejudices and bigotry and upon known and well-documented falsehoods
    (hence Mendacious) … that it is theologically wrong and based upon mistaken beliefs (hence Munkar) … and she does seem to be proud of what she writes …

    As for haram, that is the Islamic equivalent of the opposite of kosher … I consider Munkar Mendacious Mouse’s writings to tend to be haram more often than not …

    So, David – do you care to follow your own advice, and address my 1:55 comment ? Or do you intend to continue to be the Dim Dhimmi David ? (Or should that be “Dhimmi Dim David” ? (grin))

  36. uscroger says:

    Everyone on the ‘street’ agrees that Israel and Lebanon have abandoned their strategery and Israel should refocus on what their real objective should be. Again, it’s a no win situation.

  37. Jazz says:

    I’m frankly confused by Israel’s strategy here.

    Sure. Sure, everyone, Israel has the “right to defend themselves”. They have been wronged! The Islamofascists are evil.

    Still, Israel’s behaviors make no sense to me. Specifically, destroying essential infrastructure items like the electric transfer station in Gaza or the airport in Beirut.

    Proposal: the seemingly endless conflict between Israel and its neighbors can end in one of two ways:

    1) the development of modern, functioning states around Israel, whose fortunes end up being tied to Israel’s through the modern miracles of trade and …trade, OR

    2) complete and total genocidal annihilation of the problem communities, e.g. the Palestinians.

    Some, particularly those who enjoy watching big bombs explode on CNN, may propose a third way, which might involve the Palestinians being so shocked and awed by the Israeli military might that they suddenly give in to the will of Israel.

    With regard to that third road, even a zealot might have a hard time believing the Palestinians (or Lebanese) will be intimidated into accepting Israel. The one thing a people who have been downtrodden for 2,000 years are good at is: being downtrodden. The Palestinians are some of the world’s finest people when it comes to having the shit kicked out of them and not changing their tune. Why will this time be different?

    The genocide option (#2, above) is tricky. The Israelis could easily turn Gaza into a parking lot (it almost is already), and probably take care of Lebanon too. Maybe that would work, naysayers would point to the possibility of Palestinians elsewhere fighting back, but maybe not.

    But if genocide is not a possibility, than the only way out of this are modern, functioning states for Palestine and Lebanon. The modern, functioning state would require, at a minimum, mechanisms of infrastructure (such as electric transfer stations, or airports) for the general support of the economic activity that leads to the vital trade linking the nations’ futures.

    If Israel insists on blowing up its neighbors’ infrastructure every time problems flare up, they really ought to skip over this negotiating crap and move right to the genocide.

  38. Andrew says:

    I wouldn’t worry about lack of American manpower if this escalates across the region. No way in hell would we bother to invade and occupy Syria or Iran. We’ll drop a lot of bombs, maybe send in some forces to secure oil infrastructure, and that’s about it.

    In any case, I can’t see Assad being stupid enough to support Hezbollah here and risk a decapitating strike on Damascus, and however that turns out, it would only escalate from there.

  39. Alasdair says:

    The Gaza power station may well be the sort of thing it takes to get the locals to say “Enough!” to the terrorists … eventually it will sink in to enough of the Palestinian non-terrorists that arab and muslims living in Israel as Israeli citizens have it WAY better off than hte average Palestinian under Hamas and Hezbollah …

  40. David K. says:

    Um Alasdair why in the world would I address your 1:55 comment? I wasn’t addressing it before at all, you however were addressing Nun Mouse who, i believe has allready said he is a he, but you are too busy in your own close minded echo chamber to notice anything i suppose. I get a kick out of YOU of all people calling anyone close minded given thtat you are probably the most close minded person on this blog based on your comments around here.

  41. Richie Rich says:


    Well, not sure that anyone is going to peacefully coexist with Israel, so I vote utter destruction. Do you not hear the rhetoric??? The Palestinians want every Jew DEAD. and really, “modern functioning states”. are you proposing the US fund and develop these states? Where are your dollars coming from? Surely they can’t trade sheeps wool for roads. They have been going tit for tat for decades and it will never get better until they just take it out in the street and get it over with. Now seems as good a time as any. And frankly, maybe we can draw Syria and Iran into the fray and take them out too. Wouldn’t be sorry to see that happen myself.

  42. Jazz says:


    eventually it will sink in to enough of the Palestinian non-terrorists that arab and muslims living in Israel as Israeli citizens have it WAY better off than hte average Palestinian under Hamas and Hezbollah …

    That’s quite a good counterargument. Indeed, the Muslim, Arab minority prospering (and growing) in Israel might, as you suggest, prompt their brothers in Palestine and Lebanon to abandon hostilities and accept interaction with Israel.

    The concern on that one is more Lebanon, which is much much closer to a modern state than Palestine, and yet still with this fringy Hezbollah element insisting on exercising ancient grudges.

    Even if some, or a lot, of the citizens come around for the very good reason you suggest, how does Lebanon/Palestine convert all the citizenry?

    Note that it appears that a fairly small group of Lebanese have now cost the people their airport/transportation, based on Israel’s reply.

  43. Jazz says:

    Richie Rich,

    Glad you questioned the “modern, functioning state” possibility, as you’re quite right that it seems impossible now. Here’s roughly the process:

    Israel and Palestine increase their trade, perhaps it starts with the large Israeli Muslim minority population that Alasdair appropriately referenced in his previous post.

    As a hypothetical example, suppose that
    Yasser in Gaza City sells tchotckes. Some trinkety crap with a particularly Palestinian feel. In this example, the ice is thawing between Israel and Palestine, so there is increased movement between the countries, suppose it starts with the many Israeli Muslims Alasdair mentioned.

    These Israeli Muslims like Yasser’s trinkety crap! So they start buying them, bringing them back to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, et al, and the Jews grow interested as well. Yasser’s tchotchke business grows.

    As his business grows, he starts to get more money. As he starts to get more money, he stops manufacturing his trinkets in his home, but starts doing so in a warehouse downtown. Starts hiring other Palestinians. The people start to make money. Israeli, Jew money.

    The prediction, for the appropriately named Richie Rich, is that once the economies begin to be intertwined, the people on the street won’t hate each other as much. Yes, the enmities are ancient, but then the Palestinians have been dirt poor for 5,000 years. Given the opportunity to make a little money, I think we’ll all be surprised how much the next generation throws off the last generation’s hatred.

    For a decent, but not perfect, comparison: consider the US and Vietnam. 35 years ago we were at war, losing many thousands of soldiers. Today, Vietnam has made major strides to grow their economy, taking strong advantage of their excellent physical location on an ocean near the booming manufacturing areas of Asia.

    Not surprisingly, the US and Vietnam are suddenly growing friendly again. Money has a way of doing that. Admittedly, the argument falls a bit on the fact that Palestinians and Jews have several thousand years of hate to overcome, while the US and Vietnam only lately fought each other. But still, money talks.

    To complete the example: if Yasser in Gaza City is going to sell his tchotchkes out of a warehouse downtown, employing several of his fellows and generally improving the prosperity of his fellows –

    – he will need the lights to work.

    Which is where the Israeli strategy of knocking out the only electric transfer station seems to be strange, if they intend to continue doing so.

  44. uscroger says:

    Jazz writes at 5 something a.m

    “Well, not sure that anyone is going to peacefully coexist with Israel, so I vote utter destruction. Do you not hear the rhetoric???”

    So early in the a.m? You’ve got to get a life [:O)

  45. Jazz says:


    Actually, I didn’t write those words. Also, it seems you may be reading too much into time stamps back here. My posts are attributed to a time several hours earlier than I locally post them, which is probably due to time zone differences.

    I also didn’t write those particular words, since, as much as I dislike the Palestinians in particular, and Islamic terrorists in general, I believe that infrastructure in Palestine/trade with Israel is the only way out of this mess.

  46. uscroger says:

    Jazz: understood…I was simply joking around!!!!!

  47. Alasdair says:

    Jazz @ 5:16 – what many people (of the Munkar Mendacious Mouse ilk) forget (so conveniently) is that Lebanon was just such a prosperous modernising country prior to the 1970s … and then what happened ?

    We don’t need *all* of the citizenry to come round – we need *enough* of them to come round that the rest end up realising that it is in their own interests to join the increasing prosperity … (the Vietnam model mentioned) …

    As in this country, too, there will still be parts of the citizenry blowing apart others for selfish gain or even out of short-sighted stupidity – and those should be treated as criminals and dealt with according to local laws and customs …

  48. Jazz says:

    Alasdair – your last comment is almost certainly right on with regard to “how” the Palestinians/Lebanese will come around.

    I simply hope that the Israelis, in their interest of teaching “the problematic” Lebanese a lesson, do not so significantly cripple the infrastructure that the reasonable folks are less able to effect the prosperity that will convince the less reasonable ones…

  49. Mad Max, Esquire says:

    I don’t have much patience for conspiracy theories. Bush continues to blow it by having no influence over Israel, despite the U.S. pouring tens of billions into Israel’s security. I doubt Bush sees this as a good thing, especially for GOP prospects in November if gas prices are sitting at $5 a gallon as a result of all of this uncertainty. I just see Bush as being 100% out of his depth now, kind of like Herbert Hoover during the Great Depression. Dubya’s just going to give canned speeches until a new President takes over in 2008. God knows what the world will look like by then.

  50. Richie Rich says:

    Mad Max,
    I respect people’s opinions on these boards, but I’ve gotta be honest with you, I’m about out of patience with your anti Bush bluster. Even as a conservative he’s not my favorite President, but for gods sake. Try and look at things semi-critically occasionally and stop blaming absolutely EVERYTHING on Bush. You’d have substantially more credibility.

  51. Alasdair says:

    Jazz – interestingly enough, it’s basically how the Northern Irish and the Southern Irish have made major steps forward in the past few years … the locals got fed up with the violence (and, I’ll admit, the Old Guard hardliners died off (or killed themselves off)) …

    By 2008, we’ll be telling jokes like –

    “What do you do if you are walking down the street and a hand-grenade pin comes flying through the air at you ? Answer: Duck down behind something substantial, cuz somewhere nearby, Kos (or Howard Dean) (or Mad Max) is standing with a live hand-grenade in his mouth !”

  52. Mad Max, Esquire says:

    Richie Rich-

    First, I could care less what a Bush apologist like yourself thinks of me, because you obviously have issues if you still think this clown knows what he is doing. Second, all I said was that Bush is out of his depth in this situation. I never said Bush was responsible for Israel’s actions. I merely said he is incapable of responding intelligently to Israel’s actions.

  53. Mad Max, Esquire says:


    Ha! Thanks for putting me in the company of men who are infinitely more successful than you will ever be ;-)

  54. dcl says:

    Andrew, the trouble is a lot of people have done a lot dumber things for a lot less. WWI could not be stopped because the rail time tables were too complicated–that was pretty dumb.

    In the situation of Israel and the Middle East, you are faced with a conflict that runs deeper than suicide bombers and oil. We have people fighting over issues that are in some cases 3000 years old. These people have an awful lot more invested than right here, right now.

    Beyond that, I think the point that max is going for is a fairly simple reality in this situation.

    First of the conflict between Israel and Syria and whomever else may join in is not Bush’s fault. Second, he did not cause it, third, there is no real imperative for the U.S. to go boots on the ground in this, which is good because we can’t afford it. However, fifth, Bush is out of his depth dealing with the situation. This is a situation where strong effective measured and thoughtful world leadership is required. This is something Mr. Bush is simply incapable of. Whatever Bush maybe, he is not a leader unless we will begin calling stubborn two year olds strong leaders.

  55. Alasdair says:

    dcl – “In the situation of Israel and the Middle East, you are faced with a conflict that runs deeper than suicide bombers and oil. We have people fighting over issues that are in some cases 3000 years old. These people have an awful lot more invested than right here, right now.” {my bold} … you show the problem very clearly …

    One of the more basic aspects of the problems currently is that for the past hundreds of years, the people living in the area of Palestine didn’t have anything invested there other than that they had lived there … the land-owners of the Ottoman Empire owned the land, and displaced or sold the inhabitants like close-to-worthless commodities or nuisances …

    In the past 200 years, a lot of Jews paid good currency under the then-existing legal systems and bought amazing amounts of land from the legal owners, and the legal owners were eager to sell … ironically, it wasn’t so different, except in scale, from the Louisiana Purchase … (No, Joe, we can’t start calling Israel the Jewisiana Purchase !) …

    By todays genteel sensibilities, either sale would be unthinkable … or would it, given Kelo ?

    As far as I know, in Israel, Arabs, whether Christian or Muslim or Jewish or presumably even Scientologist, are legally allowed to own their land and do own it …

    It would be informative to know how many Muslims own how many acres (hectares) of land in Israel, as compared to how many Jews own how many acres (hectares) of land in each of the surrounding arab countries ?

  56. Briandot says:

    I can partially answer your question, Alasdair:

    Less than 7%. That’s how much land the Jewish immigrants owned in Palestine in 1947, when the UN decision was made.

    Prior to hostilities in 1948 (there were earlier skirmishes) around 1.5 million dunams (~1000m²) of a total of 26 million [usable] dunams was Jewish owned; this was generally purchased legitimately. After the fighting ended, they controlled over 20 million dunams.[1]

    Most of this new land was taken by forcing Palestinians out at gunpoint, or simply shelling a village until it was “evacuated voluntarily”. At first the Haganah requested that the Arabs stay in their villages instead of evacuate; they were not attacking unarmed civilians (which seems to be true). However, once the effect was noticed — Arabs leaving temporary ghost towns — it gradually became policy to clear areas of remaining Arabs.

    It’s interesting that some here think that the Palestinians are unique in their tactics, or that they’re slaughtering Jews for fun. This may or may not be true on the individual level — i.e., some random Palestinian looking for someone to kill — but in the larger sense they believe these tactics to be historically effective.

    Indeed, they weren’t the first to use such tactics against an occupier. The Irgun (IZL) as well as the Stern Gang (LHI) would fill milk cans with TNT and roll them into bus stops and markets, initially to force the British out of Palestine. Later, when the conflict became one between the Jewish and the Arab populations rather than the British Mandatory Government, IZL and LHI did the same thing against Arab population centers.[2]

    One might speculate that these tactics, in fact, came from elsewhere; terrorist bombings as a political tool are often first attributed to Russian anarchists, notably Mikhail Bakunin (“who should be regarded as one of the fathers of modern terrorism”)[3]; especially his use of dynamite and using others to carry out his dirty work while he remained behind the scenes. Marxist immigrants were one reason (among many, both legitimate and illegitimate) that the British Mandatory Government sought to limit Jewish immigration; perhaps someone brought this particular idea along from the Rodina?

    Some terrorist leaders of the Irgun even made a place for themselves later in Israeli government. Specifically, I’m thinking of Menachem Begin, who was intimately involved in the King David Hotel bombing; he would later become the first Likud prime minister of Israel.

    None of this excuses Hamas or Hizbullah actions, of course. Hamas is setting the Palestinian Authority back a decade and a half by its mere presence, and its stance on Israel is obviously unacceptable. Meanwhile, a functionally independent Hizbullah is causing incredible grief to Lebanon as a whole, and its Islamist nature makes it automatically dangerous in my book. But the Israelis are hypocritical in their criticism of terrorism. It also doesn’t win them any points that they have essentially run an apartheid state for three decades. Furthermore, their response to the kidnappings has been wildly disproportionate, which — as part of their strategy of pressuring on the population — is killing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure, rather than targeting the paramilitary forces (Hamas and Hizbullah) that are responsible. Also which, Brendan, meets your definition of the “deliberate and calculated murder of innocent civilians for political or military ends” (IMO).

    And to top it off, I think it will be generally ineffective. The Palestinians will take their licks and go on living in rubble and blame the Israeli forces which destroyed their homes. Any argument about how Hamas (or in the north, Hizbullah) were indirectly responsible because of their actions will be trumped by continued sightings of F-16s and Apaches flying overhead and subsequent exploding houses and government buildings.

    [1] p. 33, “The War for Palestine” (ed. Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim); earlier data also available in “A Survey of Palestine, Vol. 1” prepared for the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, pub. 1946
    [2] p. 66, “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited (by Benny Morris)
    [3] p. 8, “How Russia Shaped the Modern World” (by Steven G. Marks)

  57. dcl says:

    The Post ran a rather interesting story over the weekend.

  58. Alasdair says:

    dcl – yup, it’s a WaPo article, all right …

    Lots of praise for this …

    “Their essay — published in the London Review of Books and, in an extended version, on the Kennedy School’s Web site — thoroughly condemns the U.S.-Israel relationship. Since the Cold War ended, they contend, Israel has become a strategic liability that ignites terrorism against the West and serves as a rallying cry and recruitment poster for bin Laden and al-Qaeda. What’s more, there’s no particular moral reason for the United States to support Israel. Despite a well-cultivated myth, Israel has always been stronger militarily than neighboring Arab states, racist and discriminatory in treating its own non-Jewish citizens and brutal when it comes to the Palestinians. “The creation of Israel entailed a moral crime against the Palestinian people,” the essay states baldly.”

    And it ignores the same things listed in prior comments to this post …

    Amazing that it is so “racist and discriminatory in treating its own non-Jewish citizens “ that it makes ’em full voting citizens, yet !

    Back to my question …

    It would be informative to know how many Muslims own how many acres (hectares) of land in Israel, as compared to how many Jews own how many acres (hectares) of land in each of the surrounding arab countries ? And, yes, an answer in dunams would be acceptable …

  59. Briandot says:

    “…[I]n 1960, … administration of the land held by the JNF, apart from forested areas, was transferred to a newly formed government agency, the Israel Lands Administration, the government agency responsible for managing 93% of the land of Israel.”

    “The charter prevents JNF from leasing land to non-Jews, but the restriction was frequently circumvented in practice, for example, by granting one-year lease to Bedouins for pastures. In January 2005, Israel’s Attorney General Menachem Mazuz ruled in response to a Supreme Court petition that lease restrictions violated Israeli anti-discrimination laws.”

    (from Wikipedia)

    2005 is fair recent, though; prior to last year it was difficult for an Arab to own land there. And seeing as how much of the land was “property abandoned by Arab refugees, [that] passed into the control of the new Israeli government,” (ref.: the Arabs’ argument that, since they expected to return, the land is still theirs, is not particularly far-fetched.

    But to be more precise, and doing some quick ‘n rough math, privately held land by Arabs is currently around 175,000 acres in Israel. By Jews, perhaps only a small bit more. But the ILA (nee JNF) lands (93% of Israel) are de facto owned by Jews, albeit collectively rather than privately, and long term leases of that land have been and continue to be preferably given to Jews.

    Jewish ownership statistics in Arab countries are unavailable. I’d speculate that in some places it may be illegal. One place in particular — rather ironically — does allow Jewish land ownership: Iran. (Surprised? Me too.)

    In any case, land ownership means different things to immigrant European Jews than it does to fellahin Arabs in Palestine. The land itself may be collectively owned, or owned by the emir, but the trees on the land or the water rights might be owned by an individual or a family. When “ownership” passed to Jewish immigrants in the 30s and 40s, or when it was forcefully taken in ’48, this was perhaps not well understood.

  60. Andrew says:

    Brian, another reason the JNF and state of Israel keeps control of land formerly owned/occupied by Arabs is because of the unclear legal status of the land until a final negotiated peace settlement is reached. The situation isn’t too dissimilar from the Golan Heights, which Israel controls but has never truly annexed. Israel holds onto the Golan Heights primarily for economic and defense purposes; it’s key precondition to negotiations with Syria is that Israel remain in control of the entire Sea of Galilee and a demilitarized zone between the two countries. Syria has rejected this offer repeatedly, vowing to never settle with the Israelis for anything less than the 1967 border, which gives them access to the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

    Side note: I lost my camera during a trip to the Golan Heights five years ago, and with it most of my pictures from Israel that semester. This also happened right before I was to leave Israel and backpack in Europe. That truly sucked.

    Finally Brian, you did seem to criticize America in an earlier thread for selling F-16s to Israel. I am quite surprised if you do not know the history behind that. Decades ago, Israel (which has quite an advanced aerospace industry and plenty of engineering capability) embarked on developing their own fighter jet. While they hit some snags and ran into financing issues, the American government was seriously concerned that the Israelis would succeed. The U.S. was extremely wary of Israel becoming an international supplier of fighter jets to non-aligned countries, and for that and other reasons, instead offered the Israelis a deal they could not refuse: Buy advanced American jets from the likes of Boeing and Lockheed, and abandon the Israeli fighter jet project. So long as Israel got her arms from America and wasn’t producing them herself, the more control America was able to exert both over Israel and global stability. In actuality, had we not provided Israel weapons, Israel would almost assuredly be our biggest international arms competitor, and they’d be just as militarily superior to their neighbors but on their own dime, making it virtually impossible for us to keep Israel under our thumb.

  61. Briandot says:

    I believe my criticism was over F-16s to Pakistan, actually. There is also a recent deal to sell India F-16s with Israeli avionics (the F-16I), but that’s still being pitched by lobbyists, IIRC.

    I am critical of our supply of advanced weapons to Israel, however. This is largely because they do not use them primarily for “defense” but instead to enforce an apartheid state. I believe that the political capital gained by not supplying the Arab world’s enemy would be a greater asset than keeping the Israeli arms industry partially under our thumb. After all, they freely resell some of our technology to the Chinese as it is.

  62. Andrew says:

    I know you criticized the arms sale to India, but this comment was later and in reference specifically to Israel and Lebanon. Nevertheless, I found my cue to stop taking you seriously when you referred to Israel enforcing an apartheid state.

  63. Briandot says:

    Whatever. I’ve had conversations with Israelis who say the same thing, i.e., that Israel treats Arab Israelis as second class citizens and Palestinians as nearly subhuman. They still defend Israel’s right to exist, and I agree with them; how it was established and the method by which it is sustained is the controversy.

  64. Alasdair says:

    “Whatever.” – now there is a signal debating tour de force !

    A women-only gym is in an apartheid state … Switzerland *IS* the original apartheid state … it ain’t the apartheid that’s the problem – it’s how it’s applied …

    Briandot – when your Israeli is telling you that Israeli Arabs are second-class citizens, what *exactly* is meant by that ?

    The site is an interesting site … particularly this part about land and who owns or owned it .

  65. Briandot says:

    now there is a signal debating tour de force

    Yeah — must be right up there with strained puns and obnoxious name-calling. isn’t the start and end of it; there is some hint of skewed perspective — although I’m hesitant to say bias — to the site. Another interesting source of information is (whodathunkit) history books. Read a few. This topic has been covered quite extensively and continues to be explored; the IDF has just in the past few years opened the last part of their archives (most have a 25 year rule, but some IDF sections have a 50 year rule).

  66. Alasdair says:

    Briandot – I first started becoming aware of the various cultural differences between arab and jew (and christian and buddhist and shintoist and aztec and assorted american indian and hindu and assorted pacific islander – get the idea?) in the late ’50s and early ’60s – each culture’s teaching tales are quite revealing …

    I became more politically aware and curious when the ’67 war happened … and then over the many years since … I was horrified when I became aware of the sell-out by various Labour governments over the decades in their foreign policies with respect to the Palestinian Mandate and then with respect to Israel … may well have bias – and yet they support what they have with other sources, not just echo-chamber ones, either …

    It’s easy to type “Read a few.” … rather than be equally condescending, rather I will show you some respect and suggest that you may want to read many, preferably those published before 1930 … and then decide which side merits more trust from us … and which side has earned more trust from us …

  67. Briandot says:

    It’s easy to type “Read a few.� … rather than be equally condescending, rather I will show you some respect and suggest that you may want to read many

    I’ll go ahead and be condescending, because you’re constantly trying to tell us how much you know and how you learned this and that “way-back-when”. Congratulations; you lived past 50. Hope someone bought you some black balloons. And now you can join the AARP. My parents say it’s great except for all the fucking junk mail.

    Meanwhile, I just finished taking a graduate class on this very topic (the course title was “The Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-1949”, although there was some back context, e.g., events in the 20s and 30s). So, you want me to publish my semester reading list or what? I’m sitting here surrounded by about 25-30 books on the subject that I either still have out on loan or didn’t sell back, not to mention ~400 copies of various U.S. State Dept., War Dept., declassified CIA, Br. MEO, White House, Jewish Agency, Haganah/IDF, and etc. documents from the U.S. National Archives, the British Archives, and even the Israeli Archives.

    I can see quite well from the historical record it wasn’t pretty on either side. The Yishuv (Jewish community in Palestine) had to deal with multiple factions, some of which carried out terrorist acts outside the control of the Yishuv’s control. They bombed public meeting areas and bus stops. And yep, the Arabs did much of the same, the main factions being represented by the Husseini and Nashashibi families and their respective supporters (Husseinis being tied to the Nazi-sympathizing Mufti, who was about the worst and most hateful of the lot).

    And when the war came, the Arab countries made an uncoordinated, half-hearted attack on the new state of Israel, more designed to check each other than to destroy Israel. Some Palestinian Arabs fled. Those who didn’t were chased out by the Haganah when Ben Gurion noticed how much easier it made it to deal with the immigration problem (hundreds of thousands of incoming Jews and nowhere to put them), not to mention internal security. Villages were “evacuated”, and while the Arabs expected to return in a month or so, the Jewish settlers simply took over what was useful and demolished what was not. (The disappearance of over 400 villages is the topic of more than one book — Israeli books, I might add.)

    I do not object to the existence of Israel, but the way in which it was established and sustained — and its actions rationalized — over the past half century has been violent and hypocritical. The general feeling here seems to be that Israel can do no wrong, that it’s perfectly justified in doing as it pleases, and you (and many of your ideological brethren) seem to imply that the Palestinians are a bunch of beasts. Learn a little history and you might see it differently.

  68. Alasdair says:

    Briandot – good to learn that you are better-informed than most on the subject … not so good to learn that “although there was some back context, e.g., events in the 20s and 30s …”

    Trying to understand current events in Israel and Lebanon based upon what you describe is like trying to learn about American Indians based upon information that only goes as far back as the 1920s …

    Did villages disappear during that period ? Absolutely …

    If one takes a list of villages that disappeared during that period, and goes back to documentation prior to 1929, will one find all those villages documented ? Nope …

    How many on the list, that are now thriving Jewish communities, are actually villages that were sold by their owners to the Jews prior to 1929 ?

    How many on the list were emptied by the surrounding arab countries forces, where the villagers left voluntarily based on a promise that the villagers would get to loot the nearby Jewish settlements once Israel had been obliterated ? And then the villagers found they couldn’t get back afterwards, either becasue they were stuck in refugee camps, or because Israel said “You left; you abandoned the village by your own free choice.” ?

    And, of course, last and by no means least …

    Your course taught you that “over 400 villages” disappeared … your course taught you that how many arab villages stayed and thrived as non-Jewish communities in the 1948-1967 borders of Israel ? Are we talking 10 ? 100 ? 1000 ? 10,000 ? Doesn’t have to be an exact number …

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