Refreshingly honest reporting on the Gaza conflict in Haaretz

No good reporter sycophantically allows an interviewee to dodge key questions.

And if your meaning of ‘objective’ ties into the adjective ‘insistent’, you might want to uncross your wires.

Besides - he’s reporting direct from Gaza in other footage.

Israel are shelling UN buildings:

Sorry but I don’t agree. Many across the spectrum don’t fit that model at all. Dittoheads and echo chamberists abound all across the spectrum. Adherence to any end of the spectrum doesnt make you smarter, wiser, sexier or any of the reverse of those qualities. To portray it as schools of philosophical wisdom vs think tank propaganda oversimplifies and is in fact insulting since there are in fact smart people everywhere who have something to teach me.

This is where history and context come into it. Even in the last 15 years there have been some in the Peacenik camps (there are several) who advocated for the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 figuring that would be a good concession and would work towards cessation of violence who have switched to a more “hawkish” point of view after years of rocket attacks or the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit for example.

To put it another way, is your ire reserved for Israeli hawks or do you direct it at any and all hawks anywhere? There are after all quite a few hot conflicts these days.

Which version? Hillel’s is quite different than the one later attributed to Jesus and there are other versions as well.

If thats your cutoff point you might really want to research the subject a bit more.

Indeed. But not from Ashkelon or any of the towns in Israel attacked by rockets from Gaza. Perhaps the word I wanted was “impartial”.

Perhaps the ones found to contain Hamas rockets?

It’s getting late here and I started rolling my eyes, so I won’t go on.

One end of the spectrum gives more of a shit about science than the other.

I’m talking correlation, not causation.

And cultural equivalence is idealistic wank.

After midnight here as well. FWIW I’m pretty “conservative” but have plenty of respect for science having been raised by two hard science PHD parents. Not all of us are anti-science at all, even those of us who are religious.

That would have been some amazing detective work by the Israelis then. To know that the rockets were there before shelling. Before anyone knew.

And some lovely moral balancing - kids’ lives or rockets? Very nice.

I’ll try to say it once more: I know reality is complicated. But it has a shape, with definite trends to be discerned.

Ever spend hundreds of hours surfing the Mandelbrot set?

Hamas are dicks. No one is denying that. The point is that Israel’s politicians have the choice to be dicks or not, and sadly they choose to be dicks more often than not. People don’t expect better of Hamas but we do expect better of Israel.

Your point is fairly moot considering the thing you linked to was a UN site reporting the UN condemning Hamas storing rockets in UN supported schools. The Israeli army thanks the UN for sticking it to Hamas by bombing places that the UN had designated (and informed Israel of on at least 8 separate occasions) as civilian shelters. Should the UN not condemn Hamas next time? That’s the message that is being sent.

15 dead and 100 injured at a UN shelter could easily be construed as a war crime, particularly considering Israel is kind enough to terrorise the population of Gaza by notifying them in advance of the areas they’re going to bomb. So the people who left their homes as advised by the Israelis went to the designated UN shelter for such people, only to be killed there. It’s a fucking farce for such a technologically advanced army to have even hit the place.

Any death is tragic, but the disproportionate scale of the killing is what angers the world. It is my understanding that (excluding the 3 teens murdered by some asshole) precisely one Israeli civilian has died from rocket attacks this time around. More Israelis have been killed being sent into Gaza as soldiers by the Israeli government than as a result of Hamas rockets. Almost twice the Israeli death count occurred to Palestinians and UN workers in this one bombing episode.

I believe one Israeli soldier is missing in Gaza, so be prepared for Israel to release yet another couple hundred prisoners in exchange for one guy. That is, unless he’s already met an untimely end.

The Israeli government likes to set up any opposition to its actions as opposition to Judaism, or the right for Jews to have a home in Israel. It’s blatant false equivalence that resonates in jewish expat communities around the world. The words (often in CAPS) ‘jew hater’ are almost an automatic and expected response to any online criticism of Israel, and this intellectual dishonesty annoys anyone who is able to see it for what it is: playing the race (well, religion) card for the purposes of stifling the conversation.

Have you looked through the list of items that Israel doesn’t let into Gaza? It’s almost a violation of human rights for some of the items. I don’t know if the list has changed, but last time I read through it cement was on the list. CEMENT FOR FUCKS SAKE. If that’s not punishing a populace for the actions of some I don’t know what is.

You’re a smart guy with a command of english and decent scope of the world. You have the capacity to explain to Israelis, in their own language, the grievances we’ve mentioned here (they’re fairly common ones). You know that non-Israelis or non-Jews have next to no chance of changing opinion in Israel, and I also know that it’s not easy trying to explain in the company of fellow jews (I have no jewish background, but have heard a ton of first-hand stories) that what is happening is actually hurting Israel’s chance for normalised relations in the region and damaging the outside world’s view of Israel (and, by extension, Jews as the connection the Israeli govt. wishes to draw unfortunately goes both ways for those not sensible enough to separate the two).

I literally DGAF. It makes me depressingly sad any time something like this happens but I’ve had to, over the years, put it in the category I reserve for things like US mass shootings: You’ve made your bed, now die in it. It’s the only way I can read about what’s happening and stay sane. No one but Israelis can change how shit works around there.

None of us are under the illusion that Hamas are nice guys. They consistently prove themselves to be sabre-rattling dicks. As long as Palestinians are subjected to what amounts to the world’s largest open-air prison, rockets will continue to be shot into Israel. Hamas has a stockpile of 10,000 and have fired only something like 10% of those in this exchange so far. Israel is bombing the border for the purposes of destroying smuggling tunnels. As soon as this is all over, within weeks there will be dozens of new tunnels because the Israeli embargo of various simple items (even things like livestock) means that these tunnels are both a necessity and a lucrative business prospect for Palestinians. Once the tunnels are there, anything can be brought through and the whole process starts again.

TL;DR the only way this stops is if Israel changes business as usual.



Overview of Jerusalem’s historical periods

The current government of Israel has the unprecedented opportunity to be seen as the peacekeepers and stewards of the most holy land on the planet for three major faiths. Making such landmarks welcoming, and safe, for all could have untold benefits toward world peace, not to mention ensconce the region as the number one tourist destination on the planet.

It’s very sad to see people squander the both the moral high-ground and the intrinsic economic edge of this land in favor of killing civilians in the name of “national security”.


You said a whole bunch of good things there, however only two points I’ll respond to in order to prevent this thread from going to where most of these threads go.

It’s blatant false equivalence that resonates in jewish expat communities around the world.

I strongly disagree based on having visited a number of Jewish communities around the world and on my online Jewish friends around the world. To explain without going too far into what amounts to religious politics, the Jews who say what you mention here are pretty much all in the US with a very few in the UK. Why? Those are pretty much the only places with any Reform Jewish presence. Most Jews elsewhere in the world fall within the spectrum of Orthodoxy and thus though we don’t all theologically support the current State of Israel, only one group goes as far as to claim the false equivalence you mention. There are of course other complications but I won’t go into all of that here for now.

You know that non-Israelis or non-Jews have next to no chance of changing opinion in Israel

Very correct. This is something I remind my Left leaning Jewish friends in the US all the time. If you want to influence the policy of the State move there and vote. Surprisingly or not this simple logic often falls on deaf ears.

Lastly, I should apologize to you and @peregrinus_bis for having brought up the issue of where Hamas keeps their weapons. It was not relevant to the original discussion and was an unfortunate tu quoque on my part.

Shabbos starts here in Japan in a few hours and I have stuff to do to get ready so I probably won’t be checking back to this thread for a full day or so.

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Thanks for your level-headed response. It’s an issue that can quickly turn into a dick-waving contest and, well… I don’t want to emabarrass you all (joking! I’m joking!!!)

Here in Sydney we have a ton of Jews (compared to most places), which is why I have a number of close Jewish friends. They range from blindly-unquestioning zionists who probably hate me a little for the research behind, and veracity of my views (an educated adversary is a real PITA) to people who insist on questioning various arguably outdated Jewish cultural practices at shabbat dinner, to older generation well-heeled people who, in the company of other jews, will bite their tongue over their militaristic rants regarding situations like this one now until something purely idiotic is said, at which point they blow up, set the record straight (from their perspective) and then politely excuse themselves from the rest of the dinner as they know the atmosphere is now going to be terrible while they’re there. It is these people’s stories and personal experiences who have helped colour my understanding of this issue and Judaism in general. I just want you to know that I’m not talking out my ass, which is usually all that is happening in these kinds of discussions.

I’d encourage you to watch how various Israeli government and military spokespeople come across in western television interviews. I’d suggest that the government spokespeople themselves are also responsible for pushing the false equivalence. The other thing worth remembering is that things said behind closed doors are usually much more blunt and what is said behind closed doors rarely remains there… all you need in this day is one guy who’s had too many to drink and these views end up on the internet.

Much like casual anti-semitism is a thing when people think they can get away with it, I’d also contend that casual zionism (or at least making excuses because Israel is the less bad of two evils) is also a thing when people think that can get away with it. Anyway… you pointed out that most of the people who push this false equivalence are Jews in America and some in the UK. I’d add Jews in Australia to that list and therein lies part of the problem: America + UK + Australia = a huge majority of the english speaking, internet-connected world. The volume of these voices might be disproportionate compared to people in Israel, but English speakers have next to no chance of knowing this. The world as described in one’s own language is as far as most people ever care to investigate.

Anyway man… I really don’t want to harsh your buzz on the sabbath, hope you have a good one!

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Finished stuff before sunset so I caught this reply.

Not to worry, its not something we talk about often but Ron Jeremy is not only a Jew but typical in this aspect :smiley:

Sydney is a lovely city and the Jewish community there is amazingly friendly based on my last visit a few years ago. I’d ask people for walking directions around Bondi and they’d insist on giving me a ride.

Well aware of this. Here’s the thing, Jews who are reasonably to completely assimilated into Western culture often are not like this but if you talk to Jews within the Orthodox spectrum you will encounter the same argumentative style more often than not. For us its just kinda natural to vigorously debate and argue and we don’t consider that in and of itself rude. In a way the entire Talmud is 47 odd volumes of arguments. Israelis whether religious or secular tend to be like this. This said, it certainly would behoove Israeli govt officials to get some training in Western media relations and possibly pre-vet the interviewers. Personally I’d rather not even talk to that earlier gentleman from the BBC about lawn care…

True. I’ve found also trying to explain part of the history that gets into why the Arab world is so good at playing up the sympathies of the Liberal West is far more than even many reasonably intelligent English speakers can deal with, especially those who have no living memory of the Cold War or the USSR.

And with that, I’m really offline from now! :smiley:

Jon gives the game away at 3:49.

He’s playing Devils advocate in such an awesome manner, he really draws it out of Brand.


“…for some reason you’ve got to pretend”


“…so that people get a real sense of what you think”


“Yeah, I know”

Snow is a drug reformist, thinks very lowly of most politicians and is a master of his art; even managing to cover the lampshade when Brand realises what’s happening and gives the game away (“I wish I wasn’t so emotionally volatile”).

Watch your clip again with Jon’s pinko-tinted glasses and have a laugh at what’s going on.

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People don’t have a lot of time for listening to Israel at the moment.

The breakdown of international dialogue with and opinion of the country is what gives me most pause for thought about these developments.

An Israel made more insular and disconnected because of a dearth of negative, world-wide, public opinion means an accelerated propagation of war crimes, less communication and worse public opinion. Ad infinitum.

Thanks for the link, harrowing stuff.

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Nope, I don’t buy that interpretation, because it’s nowhere near obvious that he’s supposedly playing devil’s advocate. Seems to me, his job is acting a part written by scumbags, and Brand threw a spanner in the works. There are other versions of this vid floating around (with more views IIRC), none of which show this last bit with the unmasking.

And it’s not like Brand is there every day to say, ‘I know this guy; he’s really a pinko.’

Dude’s a sell-out shill. Like many in his position, I suspect.

They probably say stuff to their bosses from time to time like, ‘Hey, can we get a bit more substance in the show so I can have some credibility and self-worth?’ And the bosses are like, ‘STFU - here’s some more fun tickets.’

Yo, I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

I’m pretty sure it can be used like that as in a debt or massive hole. I did not mean a ‘surfeit of’ but perhaps it strikes as a double negative.

Which is exactly how you are failing to perceive Snow, he is a pinko git, I’ll bet a lot of channel 4 are, or at least used to be. His appropriation of ‘Gentleman of the state’ is laughable given his left (loony-left some would say) history.

And you are right, he is in a position of power and I dare say has been moulded by that, probably even does believe one should vote and participate, not IMO that ludicrous a sentiment. I choose you @cowicide! …who also sees the value in voting in a broken system, if only for a while.

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