Commenter Archive

Comments by George Jochnowitz
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On “On the uprising in Egypt

@ CK MacLeod:
It's the Marxist-Islamic Alliance.

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Wouldn't it be nice if the Iranian Army joined the masses to oust Khamenei?

On “There is a clear way forward for Israelis and Palestinians

@ CK MacLeod:
Speaking of one's approach, what about yours?

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@ CK MacLeod:

"To refrain from doing the right thing"? You know from reading me over the past few years that I am in favor of a compromise and a Palestinian state.
I referred to Said et al because it is important to recognize the unique nature of anti-Israel sentiment, which is the reason that there is no Palestine today. If you ignore the intensity of the Israel haters, you are making it harder to reach a solution.

@ miguel cervantes:
You are right to bring up the "Zionism is racism" resolution--an illustration of how Israel has been singled out.

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@ miguel cervantes:
You are correct that fedayeen attacks led to the 1956 war.

@ fuster:
The Israelis are trying. They've dealt with the settlements before. They would do it again if they could have recognition, peace, and reasonable boundaries.

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@ CK MacLeod:
You're being silly. When it seemed that there could never be an agreement, after the Three No's of Khartoum, it was natural for Israel to allow setlements.
It was Israel that ended the settlements in Gaza. It was Israel that dismantled a few settlements on the West Bank in 2005, as a possible beginning to a second withdrawal. It was Hamas that began launching rockets, thus warning the Israelis that putting major population centers within easy reach of rockets would be a mistake.
Your irony is a method that you use to protect yourself from noticing reality.

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@ CK MacLeod:
It's the Palestinians who have been fighting against the creation of an independent state. They could have had one many times, starting in 1947.

@ fuster:
The settlements wouldn't have become a gangrenous mess if the Palestinians had accepted independence.

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@ fuster:
They may have occurred and been recorded, but they were not the obsession of everybody in the world, as they are today.

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@ fuster:
During ther War of Independence and the 1956 Sinai Campaign, Israel was significantly less restrained than it is now. The world was partially pro-Israel during those years.
Israel's big victories during the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War hardly changed attitudes towards Israel. When the first settlements appeared in 1967, and when the government allowed them in response to the Three No's of Khartoum, nobody complained.
When Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, mothers were cited as saying they looked forward to the day when their sons would die in a jihad against Israel. That was the first time I remember reading anything like that.
Nothing, nothing, nothing made Israel look more like a bully than unilaterally leaving Gaza.

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@ fuster:
I agree it seems mathematically impossible, but that's just what's happening.

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The authors write:
"And imagine what would happen if Benjamin Netanyahu were to visit Ramallah, acknowledge Palestinian suffering and also Palestinian national and historical rights, particularly to a country of their own, on their native land."

The answer to their implicit question was given by Edward Said, among others, when Israel left Lebanon in 2000. According to Wikipedia:
"A photograph taken on July 3, 2000, of Said in South Lebanon throwing a stone across the Lebanon-Israel border drew criticism from some political and media commentators, some of whom decried the act as 'terrorist sympathizing.'.[97] Said explained the act as a stone-throwing contest with his son, and called it a symbolic gesture of joy at the end of Israel's occupation of Lebanon. 'It was a pebble. There was nobody there. The guardhouse was at least half a mile away.'[98] Although he denied aiming the rock at anyone, an eyewitness account in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir asserted that Said had been less than 30 feet (9.1 m) from Israeli soldiers manning a two-story watchtower when he aimed the rock over the border fence, though it instead hit barbed-wire.[99]"

Whenever Israel makes any sort of concession, as happened in Lebanon in 2000, in Gaza in 2005, etc, anti-Israel hatred zooms up.

On “The “Palestine Papers” show Palestinians groveling, Israelis hard-lining

@ miguel cervantes:
Shouldn't the Palestinians be proud of this? Shouldn't they be happy that Israel is being blamed for not having responded to these previously unheard of concessions?

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I find all of this very puzzling:
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/palestinian-protesters-vandalize-al-jazeera-offices-in-ramallah-1.338931

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And then there's this alternative:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/01/23/world/middleeast/AP-ML-Israel-Palestinians-Talks.html?hp

Wouldn't it be in the interests of the Palestine Authority to want to publicize rather than deny this story?

On “Delicate China

China could have evolved peacefully into a wealthy, democratic state. My own observations led me to believe that the Beijing Spring movement was enormously popular. Here is a paragraph from Chapter 2 of my THE BLESSED HUMAN RACE:

And then politics happened. If I hadn't seen it I wouldn't have believed it. The popularity of the Democracy Movement was overwhelming. On Friday, May 19th, Miriam and I went to Beijing for the weekend in order to buy airplane tickets. Even before our train arrived, we could perceive the spirit of the place. Houses facing the railroad tracks were covered with big-character posters: "We love students." In Beijing posters were on the walls, on subways, everywhere: "The people love students," "Workers love students," even "Communist Party members love students"! Ambulances were going back and forth, carrying unconscious hunger strikers to the hospital. The demonstrators had assumed the almost impossible job of directing traffic, in order to keep lanes open for the ambulances, and were succeeding beyond anyone's wildest expectations.

On “New analysis says Stuxnet created by a Western power and distributed by Israel

Iran's government was trying to get the country bombed so that a war would break out. Poor Ahmadinejad! All he got was Stuxnet.

On “Dagan made war more likely

@ CK MacLeod:
One might even say that peace is war.

Hegel would have said that if only he had thought of it first.

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Beautiful beautiful street scenes. Thank you, fuster.
I remember an overhead expressway over 3rd Avenue in 1943. I'm not sure how far it went. There was no Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel in those days, and I don't think there was a highway going over the Gowanus Canal. But 3rd Avenue, with its elevated road, seemed like the end of the world, or at least, the boundary of the parts of Brooklyn one might live in before the warehouses began.

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If my memory is correct--a big IF--the parade was always on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge. 5th Avenue, in the days of my callow youth, was at the edge of the Norwegian neighborhood.

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@ fuster:
My friends Alex and Lifen moved to Sunset Park after the events described in this memoir:
http://www.jochnowitz.net/Essays/InTheHeart.html

They no longer live there but have moved elsewhere.

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@ fuster:
Did you, perchance, grow up near the neighborhood in Brooklyn that was once considered part of Bay Ridge but is now called Sunset Park? The Norwegian population there has shrunk considerably, but there is still a parade every year on May 17, the Norwegian national holiday.

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Israel is doing its share.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15503716

On “Glenn Beck’s Jewish Problem

In the words of Irving Howe, “In the warmest of hearts, there is a cold spot for the Jews.”

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@ CK MacLeod:
Bombing gas chambers is not quite the same thing as bombing rail lines. Bombing factories at Auschwitz requires a certain amount of accuracy. The factories were bombed, but not the gas chambers.
Primo Levi, in the chapter entitled "Cerium" of his book "Il sistema periodico" (The Periodic Table), tells of how he and the other prisoners in the chemical factories at Auschwitz rejoiced at the air raids, "perche li sapevamo diretti non contro noi, ma contro i nostri nemici" (because we knew they were not directed against us but against our enemies). We cannot ever know whether any lives might have been saved by destroying the gas chambers, but we do know that bombing them would have been the right thing to do.

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.

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