“Objectively terrorist” pizza

by Chris Bertram on July 12, 2006

The British “pro-war left” blog Harry’s Place, to which we still link in our sidebar, has recently expanded its roster of bloggers. One of the new crew, Brett Lock, has now posted a lengthy diatribe about the sinister campaign that has led Palestinian schoolgirls to bake a Pizza in the shape of a Palestine that appears include Israel too. This on the basis of an article in a small circulation London local paper. I thought this kind of thing—objectively terrorist cake-blogging—was the preserve of Fafblog or The Onion, or of wingnuts like Malkin (remember the “crescent-shaped” UA93 memorial?). Whatever next?

{ 73 comments }

1

Dan 07.12.06 at 9:36 am

“…to which we still link in our sidebar”

Delink them. Losing thousands of links from CT is the only way these people will learn.

2

Ray 07.12.06 at 9:39 am

That’s not a pizza in the shape of Israel/Palestine – that’s a pizza in the shape of Florida!!! Call out the National Guard!

3

Ray 07.12.06 at 9:41 am

No, wait! It’s not Florida, it’s Sweden! Someone warn ABBA!

4

Ray 07.12.06 at 9:45 am

OMG! I’ve just realised! The pizza is really a MAP. Now the terrorists will know where the White House is!

5

Walt 07.12.06 at 10:06 am

Can’t you see what’s in front of your eyes? That cake shows the location of all of the security cameras at Donald Rumsfeld’s house.

6

Ray 07.12.06 at 10:08 am

BTW, while you’re updating your sidebar, Uncertain Principles has moved to
http://scienceblogs.com/principles/

7

abb1 07.12.06 at 10:09 am

…the shape of Palestine now appears to take in all of Israel…

But isn’t Israel indeed a part of Palestine? What is the problem here?

8

otto 07.12.06 at 10:35 am

Did schoolgirls from Transkei families living in London ever bake a pizza shaped like the whole of South Africa?

9

blah 07.12.06 at 11:07 am

Laugh all you want, but this is a very dangerous precedent.

Before meeting with Chamberlain at Munich, Hitler baked a pretzel in the shape of Germany that included Austria and the Sudetenland. Chamberlain of course said nothing.

In 1990, Saddam shared with the American ambassador a felafel with in the shape of Iraq that included Kuwait. Of course, the ignorant Americans did not understand what this meant.

Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.

10

Antti Nannimus 07.12.06 at 11:08 am

Hi,

Next? We make short work of any pizza, even if its got anchovies.

Have a nice day,

Antti

11

Ray 07.12.06 at 11:11 am

Why has no-one grasped the simple truth that the pizza is itself a symbol of Italians’ unending desire for world domination?
And don’t even get me started on the hamburger…

12

Randy Paul 07.12.06 at 11:13 am

Whatever next?

The Euston Baking Manifesto.

The Euston Manifesto Cookbook.

The Decent Left Deep-Dish.

13

Jason Kuznicki 07.12.06 at 11:16 am

I hate to say this, but the post is not entirely nuts. I actually agree with all of this:

But perhaps it is now time to be more insistent when asking the question “what do you mean by ‘the occupation’?”

I think we may well find that there is a difference between what the average person (including myself) understands by “the occupation” – and rightly opposes – and what Hamas’s fellow travellers mean.

But clearly there is a move to now extend the meaning (and assumptions) of “occupation” in the public’s mind – and hope that nobody notices so that the cognitive shift will be organic.

What Palestinians often mean by “the occupation” is quite different from what many of the rest of us mean. This pizza — trivial as it is — points out the difference, at least as some people see it.

Goofy? You bet. But he does have a point.

14

Chris Bertram 07.12.06 at 11:18 am

the cognitive shift will be organic.

It will be ludicrously overpriced at Tescos then.

15

Ray 07.12.06 at 11:20 am

How better to promote this narative than via the smiling faces of young girls around their EZ-half-baked oven?” is not a point, it’s a dribble.

16

Carl 07.12.06 at 11:29 am

17

abb1 07.12.06 at 11:31 am

What Palestinians often mean by “the occupation” is quite different from what many of the rest of us mean.

Jason, the Arab Leage, PLO and even about a week ago Hamas – they all agree to 22/78 partition of Palestine along 1967 border.

What do you mean by “the occupation”?

18

Uncle Kvetch 07.12.06 at 12:04 pm

OMG! I’ve just realised! The pizza is really a MAP. Now the terrorists will know where the White House is!

Then the publishers of said small-circulation London newspaper must be sent to the gas chamber forthwith. This is war, people.

19

Blar 07.12.06 at 12:35 pm

Chris,

Perhaps it is now time to be more insistent when asking the question “what do you mean by ‘organic’?”

I think we may well find that there is a difference between what you understand by “organic” – and rightly do not want to purchase at Tescos – and what the Decent Left’s fellow travellers mean.

20

matt d 07.12.06 at 12:54 pm

The pizza looks like the West Bank to me (flip it around). Clear evidence that Hamas as accepted the two-state solution.
Or it’s, you know, a pizza made by a kid who’s not so good at making pizza.

21

Steve LaBonne 07.12.06 at 12:56 pm

uncle kvetch, that is just barbaric. The humane, decent, Western-civilization thing to do would be to send them to Gitmo and torture them for the rest of their lives or until the War on Terra is over, whichever comes first.

22

Kieran Healy 07.12.06 at 12:58 pm

If only most of it gets eaten, the next morning Harry’s place could have Decent Leftovers.

23

Uncle Kvetch 07.12.06 at 1:01 pm

And this week’s Golden Rimshot goes to…Kieran Healy. Brilliant.

24

EWI 07.12.06 at 1:10 pm

Delink them. Losing thousands of links from CT is the only way these people will learn.

Speaking of which, I see that CT still links the venal Bill Sjostrom under your “economics/finance” category of academic bloggers…

25

Shelby 07.12.06 at 1:25 pm

In all fairness, Lock’s post is not terribly “lengthy” and doesn’t have the tone to merit “diatribe”. He mostly dwells on an apparent divergence in defining the scope of “occupation”.

That said, I’ll be on the lookout for suspiciously-shaped quesadillas… ;-)

26

Henry 07.12.06 at 1:33 pm

ewi – our academic blogroll policy is to link pretty well everyone who isn’t an out-and-out neo-Nazi. If we start delisting people whose politics we don’t agree with, it’ll end pretty badly. And in any event, I don’t think that Bill Sjostrom is venal. I don’t read him any more because I don’t enjoy his blog, but he doesn’t seem to me to be corrupt or money-grabbing, which is what I take the term venal to mean.

Anyway, our academic blogroll may soon become detached …

27

Dan Simon 07.12.06 at 1:48 pm

Jason, the Arab Leage, PLO and even about a week ago Hamas – they all agree to 22/78 partition of Palestine along 1967 border.

This is a bald, flagrant lie. The Arab League and the PLO have long embraced studied ambiguity on the issue, and Hamas has never, ever renounced its firm stance against the existence of Israel. (If you’re referring to the so-called “prisoners’ document”, ask any Hamas spokesman what it says–or just read it yourself. At one point it discusses possibly restricting “resistance” activity to land outside the 1967 borders, under certain conditions. Nowhere does it even imply recognition of those borders.)

As for the pizza story, it was indeed silly of Brett to focus on a pizza in New Jersey. The use of a map of the entirety of British-Mandate Palestine as a symbol for “Palestine”–among Fatah, Hamas, the PA, and their hardcore international supporters–is so routine, and the exclusion of any suggestion that “Palestine” might mean anything else so complete, that the Camden New Journal can hardly be faulted for not noting that a Palestinian propaganda outlet has simply followed convention and endorsed the obliteration of the state of Israel.

28

james 07.12.06 at 1:49 pm

Brett Lock should have posted that maps in the Palistinian text books do not contain Israel. The maps for the region show Palisitine covering the entire area.

When various groups in the middle east say they want it all, maybe the west should take them at their world.

29

Barry 07.12.06 at 1:54 pm

“uncle kvetch, that is just barbaric. The humane, decent, Western-civilization thing to do would be to send them to Gitmo and torture them for the rest of their lives or until the War on Terra is over, whichever comes first.”

Posted by Steve LaBonne

And anybody who opposes this is obviously racist, undecent and unchristian!

30

gray 07.12.06 at 2:18 pm

THis post is a bit of a drive by on a post that deserves better. Lock’s point is worthy of discussion and he makes it quite clear in his first repsonse in comments. But focusing on the pizza lede means you avoid addressing the substantive issue.

31

abb1 07.12.06 at 2:25 pm

James,
Prof. Nathan Brown of Georgetown University actually studied Palestinian textbooks. He writes:

In general, they are base their presentation on an implicit distinction between “geographic and historic” Palestine and “political” Palestine. Thus they sometimes discuss (generally briefly) some areas within Israel’s 1967 borders. But each book also contains a foreword describing the West Bank and Gaza as “the two parts of the homeland.” In short, political realities are confusing and difficult for educators to describe to children. It would be unfair to describe such confused treatment as “delegitimization of Israel.”

OTOH, a couple of months ago Israeli PM Olmert came to the US and gave a speech to a joint session of the US Congress. He said:

I, like many others, was raised with a deep conviction that the day would never come when we would have to relinquish parts of the land of our forefathers. I believed, and to this day still believe, in our people’s eternal and historic right to this entire land.

What do you think about that?

32

Uncle Kvetch 07.12.06 at 2:40 pm

Thread’s over, folks. Move along, nothing to see here.

33

Dan Simon 07.12.06 at 2:44 pm

Thread’s over, folks. Move along, nothing to see here.

Translation: we enjoy making fun of people we disagree with, but we don’t actually want to, you know, argue with them. That leads to doubt, which makes our heads hurt.

34

EWI 07.12.06 at 2:50 pm

And in any event, I don’t think that Bill Sjostrom is venal. I don’t read him any more because I don’t enjoy his blog, but he doesn’t seem to me to be corrupt or money-grabbing, which is what I take the term venal to mean.

Mea culpa, I’m afraid – I always had a different idea of what the word meant (a common pitfall that goes with being Irish!), so I’ll unreservedly withdraw that description. I’ve several other descriptive phrases on hand which I am sure of, however (warning, some strong language!).

35

Scott Martens 07.12.06 at 2:51 pm

This is a bald, flagrant lie. The Arab League and the PLO have long embraced studied ambiguity on the issue, and Hamas has never, ever renounced its firm stance against the existence of Israel.

Dan, Israeli pronouncements on its borders, neighbours and subjects is a study in ambiguity and abuse of legal formalism. Israel does not even formally acknowledge that it is in occupation of any territory, since to hear them tell it, there are no internationally recognised borders in the territory of the former British mandate, so there can be no occupation. There is merely disputed territory.

I note that Israeli maps are every bit as much nonsense about its borders. Or have they stopped publishing maps of “Judea and Samaria”?

So, I’d say your claim is a bit the pot calling the kettle black. There is more official acknowledgment of Israel among Arab League members that there is official acknowledgment by Israel that Palestinians even exist as something other than Jordanian squatters.

36

Richard Bellamy 07.12.06 at 2:53 pm

As for the pizza story, it was indeed silly of Brett to focus on a pizza in New Jersey.

Wrong Camden. We in New Jersey would never accept a pizza of such configuration. Certainly not one with olives. Yuck.

37

abb1 07.12.06 at 3:14 pm

Dan, there’s no ambiguity whatsoever in Saudi proposal adopted by the Arab League. It is very clear and succinct indeed.

Not much ambiguity in the Oslo accord either. Same thing, based on the UN resolutions 242 and 338.

Hamas position is the mirror image of what Olmert said in that speech: still believe in their people’s eternal and historic right to this entire land, but willing to share because of political realities. I read their statements accepting 1967 borders for the current generation, leaving it for the future generations to decide themselves.

Where do you see that bald, flagrant lie?

38

Uncle Kvetch 07.12.06 at 3:30 pm

Translation: we enjoy making fun of people we disagree with, but we don’t actually want to, you know, argue with them. That leads to doubt, which makes our heads hurt.

No, actually Dan, what I meant was that the thread was on the brink of jumping the shark and plunging into the chilly waters of “Israel vs. Palestine, Pt. DCCLXVIII,” thus rendering it effectively “over” for anyone not particularly interested in picking through 250+ comments consisting almost entirely of insults. If you find having the same argument with the same people every couple of months worth your time, that’s your prerogative–I think most of us have better things to do.

39

Uncle Kvetch 07.12.06 at 3:31 pm

But nice try, Dan. The correspondence course in mind-reading is clearly paying off.

40

Jon H 07.12.06 at 3:46 pm

Looks more like Boxcar Willie to me.

41

Dan Simon 07.12.06 at 4:07 pm

Dan, Israeli pronouncements on its borders, neighbours and subjects is a study in ambiguity and abuse of legal formalism. Israel does not even formally acknowledge that it is in occupation of any territory, since to hear them tell it, there are no internationally recognised borders in the territory of the former British mandate, so there can be no occupation. There is merely disputed territory.

As an historical matter, this all makes perfect sense. Prior to 1967, the West Bank and Gaza Strip were officially annexed by Jordan and Egypt, respectively, although those annexations were far from universally recognized. As I recall, Jordan didn’t renounce its claim to the West Bank until the 1980’s. Today, there is a widespread assumption that those territories rightly belong to a yet-to-be-established entity called “Palestine”, but such an entity has never existed in any independent form. The Oslo Accords established something called the “Palestinian Authority” that was to govern a to-be-determined portion of the territories in a to-be-determined manner, but the collapse of the Oslo process meant that the final jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority was never in fact actually determined.

What any of this has to do with the consistent refusal of Fatah or Hamas to clearly and explicitly recognize a 58-year-old sovereign country, though, is beyond me.

I note that Israeli maps are every bit as much nonsense about its borders. Or have they stopped publishing maps of “Judea and Samaria”?

I agree that publishing maps that omitted a border that the Israeli government never ceased recognizing (in the sense that it never annexed the territory beyond it, and always acknowledged its legal distinctiveness from Israel proper) is stupid. My point, however, was not that the Israeli government doesn’t occasionally equivocate about its non-claim of sovereignty over the occupied territories. It’s that Hamas and even Fatah very rarely equivocate about their claim of sovereignty over the entirety of Israel.

So, I’d say your claim is a bit the pot calling the kettle black. There is more official acknowledgment of Israel among Arab League members that there is official acknowledgment by Israel that Palestinians even exist as something other than Jordanian squatters.

Depends on the Arab league members, of course–some, like Egypt and Jordan, have actually officially recognized Israel, whereas others cannot even refer in public to anything other than the “Zionist entity”.

But given that Israel is, you know, a 58-year-old sovereign country, whereas Palestinians haven’t had an independent state since, well, ever, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that Israeli sovereignty is accorded more official recognition than Palestinian sovereignty. Again, what needs explanation is not Israel’s complex attitude towards potential future Palestinian sovereignty, but rather the major Palestinian organizations’ amazingly un-complex refusal to acknowledge fifty-eight years of legitimate, democratic Israeli sovereignty.

42

Dan Simon 07.12.06 at 4:16 pm

No, actually Dan, what I meant was that the thread was on the brink of jumping the shark and plunging into the chilly waters of “Israel vs. Palestine, Pt. DCCLXVIII

But it was already there–the post itself was about that dreaded topic, as were all the sneering comments–including your own–that initially followed. Apparently, as long as the discussion was limited to sarcastic ridicule of people who disagree with the locally predominant anti-Israel consensus, it was just fine with you. Only when other commenters started pointing out that this ridicule was in fact ignorantly misplaced did it, in your words, “jump the shark”. Hence my conclusion about your preference for making fun of those you disagree with over actually engaging with their ideas.

43

Dan Simon 07.12.06 at 4:18 pm

Wrong Camden.

Whoops–sorry about that. I saw “pizza”, and drew a foolishly reflexive conclusion….

44

blah 07.12.06 at 4:31 pm

Is that a French bread pizza?

45

Dan Simon 07.12.06 at 4:42 pm

Dan, there’s no ambiguity whatsoever in Saudi proposal adopted by the Arab League. It is very clear and succinct indeed.

Sure–apart from that bit about refugees, which can certainly be interpreted in ways that obliterate Israel’s sovereignty. In other words, its studied ambiguity is unquestionably more carefully hidden than that of most of the Arab League’s previous public positions.

Not much ambiguity in the Oslo accord either. Same thing, based on the UN resolutions 242 and 338.

However, Fatah’s position on the Oslo accords themselves, and the extent to which they bind Fatah or the (Fatah-dominated) PLO, has long been…an exercise in studied ambiguity.

Hamas position is the mirror image of what Olmert said in that speech: still believe in their people’s eternal and historic right to this entire land, but willing to share because of political realities. I read their statements accepting 1967 borders for the current generation, leaving it for the future generations to decide themselves.

Some or another Hamas spokesperson may at some point have said something that might have been interpretable this way, following the “prisoners’ document” episode–but Hamas’ higher-ups subsequently immediately smacked down the very idea, and recapitulated Hamas’ official position against ever recognizing the state of Israel.

So, to reiterate: your statement,

Jason, the Arab Leage, PLO and even about a week ago Hamas – they all agree to 22/78 partition of Palestine along 1967 border.

was a bald, flagrant lie.

46

abb1 07.12.06 at 4:52 pm

It’s that Hamas and even Fatah very rarely equivocate about their claim of sovereignty over the entirety of Israel.

Actually, I think it’s quite the opposite. The fact that Fatah not only graciously accepted 22/78 partition, but also ran and won election on that platform in 1996 is absolutely astonishing – condidering that the PM of that country, whose military age Ukrainian parents fled to Palestine via China at the beginning of the WWII, has the unbelievable audacity to claim “eternal and historic right to this entire land”.

47

minneapolitan 07.12.06 at 5:28 pm

Taking it back to the original CT post, I’m a little bit surprised that no one has pointed out the implicitly racist tone of the Henry’s Place post. Jewish Israeli children can go anywhere in the West and expect to be feted as proud upholders of their tradition. But let a few Palestinian twelve year-olds bake a pizza and the “decent” “left” sees potential suicide bombers under every hijab.

There will never be a “two-state solution” in the middle part of the Levant, because states themselves will never provide a solution. The boundaries of all the Middle Eastern states are the result of thousands of years of war, colonialism and the machinations of capital. I see no reason why working people of any faith or ethnicity should feel morally bound to respect them. Borders are a convenience for the rich and a prison for the poor. And which ever states win the Israel-Palestine conflict, that’s not going to change.

48

No Preference 07.12.06 at 9:23 pm

So Dan, in that case it’s fine for Israel to keep on seizing land in the occupied territories and settling its people there, eh?

49

Dan Simon 07.12.06 at 10:30 pm

The fact that Fatah not only graciously accepted 22/78 partition, but also ran and won election on that platform in 1996 is absolutely astonishing – condidering that the PM of that country, whose military age Ukrainian parents fled to Palestine via China at the beginning of the WWII, has the unbelievable audacity to claim “eternal and historic right to this entire land”.

Repeating lies doesn’t make them any less false. Fatah maintained its studied ambiguity regarding its willingness to accept the existence of the state of Israel throughout the 1996 elections–which, were, by the way, hardly a model of openness and fairness, what with the violence and threats against non-Fatah candidates. And we saw quite clearly later on, at Camp David in 2000, just how much Fatah “graciously accepted” partition.

As for the Israeli PM, you are quoting him out of context–in the very same speech, he explicitly endorsed the idea of a Palestinian state. And his party–unlike Fatah–not only won an election on an uneqivocal platform of unilaterally ending Israeli occupation of territory earmarked for such a state, but actually took concrete steps towards that goal, by physically withdrawing all Israelis, military and civilian, from the Gaza Strip.

But we all know that your first and foremost concern, Abb1, has always been the sacred rights associated with ethnic heritage. So it’s hardly surprising that what matters to you most about Ehud Olmert is not what policies he endorses and enacts, but rather where his parents were born. ‘Nuff said.

50

Western Dave 07.12.06 at 10:31 pm

A colleague did a paper on this for the Newberry library seminar on Maps and Nations in the late 1990s. She found these Palestenian maps everywhere. You could buy them as necklaces, wall hangings, rings, they were woven into rugs, etc. etc.. You find similar maps of India including Kashmir. As cultural historians, we are supposed to take this stuff seriously as honest expressions of people’s ideas. Personally, the pizza says more to me than the latest statement from whoever is claiming to run the PA these days. All maps lie, all maps are ideological objects, even ones that are pizzas.

51

Dan Simon 07.12.06 at 11:08 pm

So Dan, in that case it’s fine for Israel to keep on seizing land in the occupied territories and settling its people there, eh?

You must not be reading the news–the burning question these days is not whether Israel will “keep on seizing land in the occupied territories and settling its people there.” Lately, the “seizure” has all been going in the other direction. Rather, the question of the day is just what fraction of the occupied territories the Israeli government will agree to voluntarily and unilaterally ethnically cleanse of Jews, in the absurdly naive hope that such abject capitulation to Palestinian racist irredentism might someday charm a popularly elected Hamas party, sworn to obliterate the Jewish state, into moderating its stance enough to permit some kind of de facto tolerance of Israel’s existence.

So far, needless to say, it doesn’t seem to be working.

52

alex 07.13.06 at 12:27 am

I’m kind of puzzled that this post was written in the first place. Is it that difficult to believe that trivial acts like baking pizza can be political statements? And as such, can be subjected to criticism?

53

alex 07.13.06 at 12:40 am

Scott Martens wrote, “I note that Israeli maps are every bit as much nonsense about its borders…So, I’d say your claim is a bit the pot calling the kettle black.”

A crucial difference is that the while the current Israeli government accepts a two-state solution to the conflict, the current Palestinian goverment refuses to recognize Israel and is indeed committed to its destruction:

`We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist state that was established on our land,` Meshaal, the Damascus-based head of the political and military wings of the militant Islamic group, wrote in a column titled `To whom it may concern,` published in Al-Hayat al-Jadida newspaper.

Hamas leaders have said they might heed a truce with Israel as an interim measure that could include the establishment of a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank, but would not abandon a long-term goal to destroy Israel.

(note that the link given is to a copy of the original article, because the webpage of the daily star is down)

54

Scott Martens 07.13.06 at 1:20 am

Dan, Alex, I challenge you to find a single official statement of the Israeli government since 1973 – not a statement by some particular party or politician, but an official statement of the government – acknowledging the right of the Palestinians to any state whatsoever which is as fully sovereign as Israel, exists on the territory of the former British Mandate and is not Jordan. I would like to know the date of this official pronouncement and who made it, because I am unaware of Israel ever having made any official statement that would prejudice any potential territorial claims in the West Bank or Gaza.

As far as I can tell, for all that Israel demands that others formally acknowledge its purported right to exist, it has never offered the same to Palestinians.

55

ajay 07.13.06 at 5:09 am

A pizza as a symbol of intransigent Palestinian nationalism? Sounds a bit of a half-baked idea to me.

56

No Preference 07.13.06 at 5:14 am

That was a breathtaking post, Dan. However, it was factually wrong. Israeli settlements in the occupied territories continue to grow, and Israel continues to restrict more Palestinian land from Palestinian access.

This process has been going on steadily since 1967, regardless of the political climate. In fact, the biggest spurt in settlements happened after the Oslo Accords during the most peaceful time in the region’s recent history.

That main point is whether Israel has a right to seize Palestinian land and plant its own settlers on it. The UN Security Council and the World Court have said several times that it does not.

What legal and moral basis does Israel have for doing this?

57

Bro. Bartleby 07.13.06 at 8:09 am

Perhaps this pizza is just the first step of ‘our dream’ of a borderless world? And a motto? “Eating one border at a time.”

58

T. Paine 07.13.06 at 12:08 pm

Ajay at 55: You’re a comedic genius.

59

Dan Simon 07.13.06 at 1:08 pm

That was a breathtaking post, Dan. However, it was factually wrong. Israeli settlements in the occupied territories continue to grow, and Israel continues to restrict more Palestinian land from Palestinian access.

Really? How far back before the evacuation of Gaza do you have to go, to get a net growth in number of Israelis living in the occupied territories since then?

You seem to be living in the past. Recent events have overtaken you.

That main point is whether Israel has a right to seize Palestinian land and plant its own settlers on it.

Why on earth is that, of all things, the main point? Because you’re still obsessed with it, despite its relative unimportance and hopeless anachronism?

Wake up and pay attention, for pity’s sake. The current Israeli government has already purged Gaza of Jews, and has officially announced its intention of doing the same to large parts of the West Bank. These days, not even the duly elected ruling party in the occupied territories thinks that the “main point” is that Israelis are living there–they’ve long since moved on to their longstanding main mission: killing as many Jews as possible in Israel proper. Sheesh….

60

etat 07.13.06 at 1:26 pm

‘I don’t read him any more because I don’t enjoy his blog, but he doesn’t seem to me to be corrupt or money-grabbing, which is what I take the term venal to mean’ (Henry, #26).

This is curious. I think a blogroll is an explicit endorsement of someone else’s wrtk. Not that one agrees with the content 100%, but that there’s effectively a thumbs-up regard for the site. So to say that you don’t like it and you don’t read it makes the list into something of a paradox, or less than one might expect it to be. It raises some interesting questions about blogs not on the list, and about whether we are to take any measure of significance at all from those who are on the list. Curious.

61

abb1 07.13.06 at 1:32 pm

…they’ve long since moved on to their longstanding main mission: killing as many Jews as possible in Israel proper.

So, Dan, out of curiosity: if what you’re saying is true, why do you think they hate the Jews so much that all they want is to kill as many of them as possible? Instead of welcoming their new Jewish neighbors/liberators with flowers and so on? Is this some kind of mass-insanity there or what?

62

Doctor Slack 07.13.06 at 2:25 pm

Dan: How far back before the evacuation of Gaza do you have to go, to get a net growth in number of Israelis living in the occupied territories since then?

Hmmm. AFAICT, according to the data provided here, the Israeli settler population in the West Bank grew, on average, about 5 or 6% per year between 1999-2004, and at a slightly slower rate in Gaza over the same period. By 2004, Gaza accounted for maybe 3-4% of the total settler population. I can’t find any stats later than that at the moment, but unless Gaza’s share of the population base jumped very dramatically in the interim (unlikely), Sharon’s evacuation of the settlements there (and a small fraction of the West Bank settlements as well) wouldn’t have been enough to obviate a net growth of the settlements.

Olmert has publicly talked about committing to evacuate the West Bank settlements east of the “separation barrier,” but hasn’t exactly moved decisively toward that goal.

So I think it’s probably fair to say that the settlements remain a major issue, that no preference is substantively correct on the facts and that you are, at the moment, not.

Wake up and pay attention, for pity’s sake.

You should probably take your own advice.

63

Doctor Slack 07.13.06 at 2:43 pm

Correction – my comment 62 doesn’t take East Jerusalem into account. So Gaza’s share of the settler population total would have been more like 2%.

64

Dan Simon 07.13.06 at 3:55 pm

So, Dan, out of curiosity: if what you’re saying is true, why do you think they hate the Jews so much that all they want is to kill as many of them as possible?

Aah, the age-old question…surely, if so many people have hated the Jews so much, for so long, then they must deserve it–no?

Is this some kind of mass-insanity there or what?

I dunno, Abb1, I dunno…hey, maybe you have some insight–you’re obviously, shall we say, much closer to the problem than I am….

65

Doctor Slack 07.13.06 at 4:06 pm

Dan: Aah, the age-old question…surely, if so many people have hated the Jews so much, for so long, then they must deserve it—no?

Aah, the not-so-age-old sophistry… if there’s a component of anti-Semitism in the reactions of people who have been evicted, persecuted, shot at, bombed, tortured, imprisoned etc by the Israeli state, all their reactions must be mere and irrational anti-Semitism. (By which entertaining logic, since some of Louis Farrakhan’s critics are plainly Negrophobic racists, Farrakhan himself and his Nation of Islam must be quite blameless and totally non-crazy.)

And I love the way you slide in a nice insinuation about abb1’s supposed anti-Semitism for good measure. Vintage IKDF, Dan. Nice work.

66

abb1 07.13.06 at 4:21 pm

…if so many people have hated the Jews so much, for so long, then they must deserve it—no?

Indeed in Europe many people have hated the Jews and there are various explanations for that, but not the Arabs. Not until recently, anyway. You have no idea, then – just irrational hatred for no reason whatsoever, mass-insanity, is that it?

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Chris Bertram 07.13.06 at 4:28 pm

Dan S., abb1, and others. Please keep the conversation reasonably civil and on-topic.

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Rollo 07.13.06 at 7:43 pm

“…and torture them for the rest of their lives”
Steve Labonne
But there’s no need to – that’s the beauty of torture Steve, it just keeps on giving, long after the application’s ended.

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alex 07.14.06 at 2:06 am

Scott,

I don’t know what you mean by “official pronouncements” (statements by Israeli PM’s are not official? weird) so I’ll pass on that one. I’ll note though that the two-state solution was offered to the Palestinians at Camp David 2000 and afterwards at Taba.

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minneapolitan 07.14.06 at 7:03 am

One interesting addendum to the original topic of this post: On CNN’s coverage of the conflict last night, their political map, which consisted of Israel, the Occupied Territories, western Jordan, southern Lebanon and a little bit of the Sinai, the only nation/state listed was Israel, the only cities marked were Israeli cities and the borders, especially the Gaza and West Bank borders, were in a very slightly darker shade of green than the rest of the map (which was otherwise undifferentiated by color). So if we’re going to criticize 12 year-old Palestinian girls for the mote in their eye, mightn’t it be a good idea to do the same for the beam in CNN’s?

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Doctor Slack 07.14.06 at 12:39 pm

Alex: I’ll note though that the two-state solution was offered to the Palestinians at Camp David 2000 and afterwards at Taba.

The Palestinians were offered a set of disconnected bantustans at Camp David and a non-militarized, IDF-occupied state afterwards at Taba. The degree to which either proposal constituted a genuine version of the two-state solution is questionable at best.

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abb1 07.14.06 at 1:52 pm

The Taba talks, by the way, had a real potential.

However, according to wikipedia:

Since beginning of the Al Aqsa intifada much blame has been placed on former President Yasser Arafat for the ending of the peace talks in 2000 at Camp David. What most Western commentators fail to add is that talks continued at the Taba Summit in Egypt in January 2001. At these talks both sides came the nearest to agreement than at any time in the entire history of the occupation. However the Israeli Prime Minister Barak pulled out of the peace talks to begin campaigning for the Israeli elections. Yasser Arafat sensing that Taba may have been his last chance to negotioate a peace deal, called for Barak to come back to the table. This was unheeded and Barak went on to lose the Israeli election to the Likud leader Ariel Sharon.

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Scott Martens 07.14.06 at 6:24 pm

No, Alex, the Prime Minister’s statements are no more official or binding on Israel than the head of the PLO’s are on the PLO. Elections happen. The PLO officially recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and yet for most Israelis the election of Hamas seems to negate that.

The Oslo accords contain an explicit recognition of Israel’s right to exist. I want to know when Israel has made any statement comparably official to Palestinians recognizing their right to a state as sovereign as Israel on territory currently controlled by Israel. No such statement exists. Israel does not officially recognize any national rights to exist for Palestinians.

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