19.8.06

A majority of Israelis are unhappy with the ceasefire

I wonder which world Israelis are living in ?

They are living in a mythological world made of 'righteous' biblical rights, 'absolute' force and 'moral' entitlement. The little 'morality' that was left to the Isareli society as a whole and to the state of Israel evaporated quickly with the second intifada. Nothing can distinguish Israel now form any brutal colonial state, from the Apartheid state of south Africa for example; targeted killings, criminal manipulations, indiscriminate bombings, economic, social and psychological warfare on civil populations.

This is the state of mind Israelis are living in...Absolute power and absolute entitlement so they don't understand how a little guerrilla can defeat them, they don't understand that the guerilla they want to eliminate is about 70% of the Lebanese population and the whole Lebanese territory (conservative estimates based on the percentage of shias, Christians and sunnis who support Hezbollah) . They sign bombs, they don't agree on the ceasefire, they want a final solution, they want a definitve victory...They even asked for an inquiry on why their army was not able to accomplish all this, to accomplish what their leaders have promised them.

It is time to stare at reality, to think about the amount of human suffering in the ME, to observe the fragility of humanity both in defeat and victory and to look for peace, for ways of living together, for a good and ordinary life. Can Israelis undertsand that ? Not now, I am afraid...They want their victory and they will keep trying to chase it for a while before they understand...

29 comments:

libnanews said...

it s always the case of "imported" culture vs indgeneous culture

mikealpha said...

Israelis dont want people shooting missiles at them or sneaking into their country to murder and kidnap. It's not entirely unreasonable.


Israel is not going away. Anyone sane should have learned you can't let Iranain stooges shoot missiles into Israel forever without consequences (and Hezb'allah has been shooting small number of missiles into northern Israel for years).

You won this war ? What exactly did you win ? Are you eager to repeat it ?
Unless Lebanon can control Hezb'allah it sure looks like you are going to get a replay in the near future.

Behemoth101 said...

Mikealpha - I thought it wasn't a war according to our friends Bushmert?

"Iranian stooges": I suppose Israel isn't anyone else's neo-con policy stooge in the region?

You have nothing to offer this debate. "Israel has a right to defend itself" is a completely insubstantial, meaningless claim in this context.


Sophia - How can you be so sure about those estimates of people willing to fight for Hezbollah - you must mean passive supporters, I take it? I cannot see a majority of Lebanese people giving their lives for a fanatical, oftentimes militant, Shia'a organization.

Sophia said...

Behemoth,
The support I was talking about is passive.

Can you tell me by your own arguments what makes you think that hezbollah is a 'fanatical, oftentimes militant' organisation ?

Behemoth101 said...

I'm talking group vs. individual.

The organizational structure itself has become just as uncompromising, violent, and religiously deep-seated as the likes of the IDF. I qualify that as "fanatical, oftentimes militant." Just read their charter or look at their flag. It wasn't designed to be an expressly peaceful organization in the same way the American Minutemen were not "peacekeepers."

Sophia, it is important to remind ourselves that Hezbollah is indeed (or does indeed contain) a militia, and it, as a group, does not necessarily have Lebanon's best interests in mind. Despite the "good" they may have done in expelling the Israeli occupying force, they are not saints and are responsible for their fair share of the crisis.

Now, the majority of individuals actively participating in Hezbollah are probably an entirely different story...

RoxieAmerica said...

One has to wonder if decades of failed peace plans combined with decades of violence have left people in the region to believe that violence is the only solution.

Anonymous said...

Roxie, there is no military solution to this conflict. Anyone who thinks so has another agenda .

It is now the Islamist turn to take on the Zionists. They can only dream of defeating it.

However they are best able to resist Zionist aggression and crimes.

Behemoth, I agree with "militant" but not "fanatical" in describing HA.

Do you think that a peacefull movement would have dislodged the Israeli occupation which 10 yaers ago seemed as permanent as the Golan.

"it, as a group, does not necessarily have Lebanon's best interests in mind" .

Lebanon does not exist as a normal state and never has since its inception. It has always been a collection of fuedal lords and sectarian militias in conflict with each other and serving foreign countries.

HA has made alliances with Aoun and secular Syria and is raching out to Sunnis. You cannot be too fanatical in a "sinfull" and diverse place like Lebanon.

Issam

Behemoth101 said...

Issam, you make good points.

Remember, though, non-violent movements have succeeded where no other option seemed possible. Quit India and the American Civil RIghts Movement accomplished things that non-violent partisans could never dream, when such groups were at their heights in the respective nations.

Then again, and with the sobering hindsight that history affords us, we also see that democratization and true liberty come with their prices and take decades upon decades to attain.

The problem with Palestine / Israel / the rest of the world is a gross lack of patience and good faith. Both sides have become quite intrenched in wearing the sheep's clothing, both sides have their fair share of freeloaders, and not one generation has ever understood the need for sacrifice for the sake of their children's security.

I believe a shared state is possible, but distant. If America could reunify after civil war, then I don't see why Israel and its neighbors can't create some kind of understanding. The onus is on each individual there to realize that there is a place for each and every person in the region, so long as the mentality of "modernity," and "sharing" and "inclusivity" exists.

As of now, militant occupiers like Israel only understand violence. Palestinians and the Arab neighbors would do well to study peaceful movements that really "screw with" this mindset. Gandhi didn't "screw with" the British by taking up arms, he marched to the sea to make salt to reinforce Indian sovereignty. He lived in an Asram and made his own clothing to defy the Mercantilist system. The trick is to arouse Israel's conscience, not its hostilities.

To modify an Israeli expression: They're all going to have to love their children more than they love fighting.

Sophia said...

Issam, Behemoth,

Hezbollah did not participate ine the Lebanese civil war while all other politicians in lebanon did. Hezbollah did not retaliate against Lebanese families of the SLA soldiers after Israel withdrawal in 2000 while VENGEANCE in Lebanon is a duty and a 'value' entrenched in traditional Lebanese values. Hezbollah participated in the Lebanese political process, stood with a weak government which it could have easily thrown during this crisis, reached for other political movements in Lebanon. No other political movement in lebanon has ever excercised such a restraint on itself choosing stability over its own immediate interests.

As for non violence, I am for non violence. I think non violence is the only way out of a struggle against the powerful. However, one has to put into the equation the fact that with israel you have a special kind of colonial entity, one that is dehumanizing the people it opresses to a level reached only by nazis against jews in the camps (I am referring here to the diabolisation of islam and what it implied in terms of dehumanising Muslims in Abughraib and guanatanamo. I think israel has set the conceptual framework for such a dehumanisation throught its propagandists like Daniel pipes and is benefiting from this).
Do you think non violent struggle could have worked against nazis ? Do you think that non violent struggle could have liberated Europe from nazi Germany ?
I think when there is such a strong bias, civil non violent struggle just does not work. Indiscriminate suicide bombings don't work also. I don't consider Hezbollah's struggle as a gratuitly violent one and as mere violence, it is an imposed violence. When you have an invading army, you have to fight. When you have an occupying force, you have to fight.
I don't consider Palestinians as occupied in the same sense as lebanon was occupied. Palestinians are imprisoned by Israel. When you are imprisoned I think you have to adopt a different strategy and nonviolent resistance can be an option...
In fact Israel is profiting from the fact that Palestinians and the world are considering the territories as 'occupied' . It is a fatal conceptual misunderstanding because it allows vioent retaliation from israel on palestinians. Palestinians are imprisoned and they are entitled to a struggle specific to this condition but definitely not in my opinion suicide bombing (it is counterproductive) and probably not the type of struggle Hezbollah has practised. I didn't figure out yet...

Gert said...

"They are living in a mythological world made of 'righteous' biblical rights, 'absolute' force and 'moral' entitlement."

Looking at the Israeli blogosphere and the comments I've been receiving I would say you are entirely correct: most (but not all) Israelis live in a fantasy world, detached from reality. Very sad... Things are likely to get worse before the get any better in the ME.

Behemoth101 said...

Your understanding of world history and cultures is good, Sophia, but I disagree with two arguments that you made along your circuitous statement:

1. "while VENGEANCE in Lebanon is a duty and a 'value' entrenched in traditional Lebanese values..."

Says who? Vengeance is a human foible, it is a cultural institution for peoples perhaps like the Pashtun in Afghanistan, but I sincerely doubt an organized people like the Lebanese could have such a patently maladaptive cultural institution. I could be wrong, however.

2. "When you have an invading army, you have to fight. When you have an occupying force, you have to fight."

Wrong you are! Look to Gandhi again! Look to the American Civil Rights Movement! Look to Islam when it developed in the midst of the oppresive and declining Roman Empire!

Granted, Gandhi said that Jews should have gloriously marched to their deaths (a statement for which he was very much criticized) - I'm not sure how I feel about that... but he was right that violence begets only further violence. An eye for an eye makes the world blind, he said. Perhaps one of the groups will have to "take one for the team?" I volunteer Israel, since they've been on top for far too long in their region.

Israel must give up its dream of having control over the Jewish Manifest Destiny. Jews should realize that their place in the region is a minority or plurality group in a democracy, not an oligarchy.

Behemoth101 said...

... furthermore, Sophia, you say the words "I am for non-violence," but you've hardly convinced me.

Start looking to the lessons of the past in non-violent resistance for solutions, or alternatives. Don't praise those who exacerbate the situation - Israel or America or the UN or Hezbollah or Hamas or PA.

Massive non-violent mobilization is required. People need to be encouraged to empower themselves to take their collective destiny into their own hands... they need good role models to show them that non-violence is the ONLY way out.

Jews and Muslims, no matter where, must embrace one another. They must realize that there is no imperative to hatred, no imperative to disagreement. The only imperative is to SHARE!

IMO, you have not yet made it sufficiently clear that you are concerned about this... I hope to see more trend-setting from you!

Behemoth101 said...

...I also forgot Christians, etc.

Behemoth101 said...

Sorry about all the comments---

I should also say, that early Christianity demonstrated non-violent movements at its outset. There was no major Christian civil uprising in Rome, it was a glorious, revolution that permeated from the roots all the way to the core of the state. Granted, the Christians had to endure their fair share of violence themselves - but that's what I'm talking about when I say it's not easy.

Sophia said...

Gert,
Thanks for your comment. I think the dust has settled on our old misunderstanding now, which has nothing to do with our different points of view but with the way they were handled by both of us at some point.
I, however, still appreciate your comments. Lets hope that the recent war will teach us all, but most importantly, the parties in this conflict, how to get out from this misery. I was born when this conflict was just beginning and I hope to see a beginning of a solution for a lasting peace in the region before I die.

Sophia said...

Behemoth,
When I was a child and a young woman in Lebanon, vengeance was still practised and not always legally sanctioned and punished. people will commit a crime and dissolve in Nature, hide from authorities.
During the civil war, many crimes were due to old feuds between people, nothing to do with actual sectarian fighting and there were many crimes inside one homogenous community.

As for peaceful non violent struggle, I think the most important is that the force you are resisting is sensible to this kind of struggle. British were sensitive to the image that was rendered to them by Ghandi's opposition and growing support in India. This was their weakness, beside the important point of the economic blockade inside India this kind of struggle was producing and this was another of their weaknesses. The other specifity also uis that, despite British colonisation, the idea of indian nationalism was still strong and Ghandi was able to rally a huge country around him. Palestinians are alone and they are few and they are divided. Arab nationalism is non existent, it was replaced by Islamism long financed by Saudi Arabia and its allies in the west and even by Israel !
Each struggle has its specifity. I am definitely opposed to suicide bombings from Palestinians and to answer part of Gert's commentary, I think suicide bombings have contributed to the radicalisation of israeli society...

I insist that Lebanon and Palestine are completely different. Lebanese have never been a part of Israeli society while Palestinians are. I think the solution for Palestinians is one state because this will erase psychological differences between them and israelis and allow them to be listened to in their non violent struggle for civil rights.

It was Abe Yeshohua who wrote that as long as Palestinians are isolated in a territory, Israel had the right to bomb them. I think Palestinians are in a prison,not a territory, their social network was destroyed and shattered by a painful and tyrannical occupation, therefore they cannot fight like Hezbollah and I am not sure they can peacefully resist becasue their non violent struggle will not have an impact on Israel.
The solution is to dissolve the authority (PA) and to place themselves under total Isareli occupation , which will allow them to regain a human status equal to Israelis and to hope for an impact from their non violent struggle because as long as they are seen as 'subhumans' in their prison territories, I am not sure that a non violent struggle will have an impact on the Israeli occupier !

Sophia said...

behemoth,
Can you convince Israel and the Israelis of ,not stopping, but reducing the level of their violence ? Anf how can we do so ?
I think it is more useful to work toward this goal because the amount of violence coming out from this side and its impact on the region is huge !

Behemoth101 said...

Sophia,

You mustn't doubt the power of non-violence to awaken long-dormant humaneness in the oppressor.

Palestinians are in a very interesting situation right now - they are in many ways like the Indian occupation by the British. Similarly, they face indiscriminate killings for "partisan behavior," second-class citizenship, racism, cultural/religious shame, from all the world over. India was able to overcome all of these problems and emancipate itself, while maintaining good relations with its occupiers, and sparing people gross bloodshed (that is, until the partition of Pakistan).

This meant NO VENGEANCE NO MATTER WHAT. Even if it is/was a cultural institution in Lebanon, it is a maladaptive insitution for peace.

There is a non-violent movement that must happen in Israel, and it MUST INVOLVE ISLAM!!! The Church, a long-time source of conflict for generations, became an unorganized group that mobilized for beneficial change in the American South. Similarly, the clerics there must humble themselves and inspire their people to "take up the cross" so-to-speak, to be willing to accept the slings and arrows without retaliation. Israel, despite its evils, has a conscience that can be awakened, just like the British, just like white America.

As Dostoevsky said, religion should never be excluded from politics, people are more willing to follows God's law than human law.

Islam, like Brahman Hinduism in India, like Southern Christianity, must realize that its responsibility is to trade its feudal structure for a more egalitarian, participatory model. The top-down system only reinforces ignorance in its public - it should inspire civic duty and brotherhood and should reach out to non-violent Jewish religious groups to make a cooperative movement based on brotherhood and unconditional tolerance.

Oh yeah, and WOMEN must be involved for it to work!

Such groups already exist, in fact, and they must be encouraged and uplifted by international, non-state-bound efforts. Public opinion can and will win-out on this one if the right kind of exposure is given to the peace activists.

I encourage you, Sophia, not to give up on non-violent peace efforts. Please read up on Gandhism and on the American Civil Rights Movement's religious influences. Start with Church Meetings in Selma Alabama at the Edmund Pettis Bridge, the beatings of Gandhi and his colleagues in South Africa, and go from there.

Sophia said...

Behemoth,
I think while we agree on the principle of non violence, your appreciation of the situation in the ME does not match mine. It is totally erroneous to think that Palestinias are in an intseresting situation, they are in a dead end.
Your solution to non violence appeals to Christians and muslims and more or less jews. I think if religions were to play a role, the jews being part of the problem, they should be part of the solution, the leading part I must say.
However, I am a secular person who believes that the respect of Human rights should be the starting point of any solution and, right now, Israel and its allies seem to consider Arabs, Muslims, lebanese and Palestinians as non humans.
This is a long way to go in order to settle for non violent struggle. The first premise, nescessary and sufficient for non violent struggle is equality in humanity and human rgihts and this is missing from your equation.

I think religions can play a role, only at the individual level, at the level of faith. I am against religions playing roles in Politics, in individual faith yes but definitely not in Politics, I am opposed to such a role.

Sophia said...

Behemoth,
Again I asked specifically what can be made to reduce the level of violence Israel is inflicting on Arabs, Palestinians and lebanese and i didn,t get an answer.

Behemoth101 said...

"the respect of Human rights should be the starting point of any solution"

Sophia, don't be so silly as to think that the civil rights movements in India, South Africa, America had no major group religious overtones. You cannot defy the laws of man if you don't believe God is on your side (the side of tolerance).

I am all about the separation of church and state at the federal and state level - don't get me wrong, but when it comes to political action groups, religious organizations sont completement raisonables moyens.

The violence by Israelis towards Palestinians will take care of itself once Palestinians can assert an overwhelmingly non-violent message. God knows how many countless peaceful Irish protestors, Americans, South Africans, Indians were killed in the course of such movements... what I'm saying is Palestinians will not see a reduction immediately even with non-violence. It will appear that there is no immediate incentive or gratification for their excruciating and life-crushing pains. This is why they need FAITH on their side.

Equally, Jewish morality and religious group involvement will have to compel the Israeli public to act and witness the countless acts of sacrifice by the Palestinians.

The Israelis have, until now, used their paternalistic model of Palestinians to legitimize the brutality they commit. "Oh they are just dogs and barbarians who want to kill us all and drive us into the sea, so we should kill them" kind of the same philosophy of "we should eat that cow because that cow would eat us if it could."

Palestinians need to extend the hand of friendship, even in the midst of their misery, like their previously colonized breatheren, knowing full well their non-violent self-sacrifices will pay thousandfold dividends for generations to come.

In conclusion,

The onus is on Israeli and Palestinian religious groups to mobilize people in a single, unified movement of SHARING and PEACE and RESPECT confronting intolerance and injustice. In the Southern U.S. it was once illegal to be black and in a certain place. Well, the same thing has happened in Israel with the Palestinians - it is illegal to integrate.

The imperative is to get people together, doing simple activities, like marching, or eating. I suggest you look up the "sit-in" movement in the U.S.

Once these basic things have been established and the world public realizes that harmony is attainable, all the rest can sort itself out later.

Sophia said...

Behemoth,
Morally speaking, the burden is always on the powerful to decrease tensions and violence and you are telling me that the burden is on the people of religion and faith. This is like resolving global warming by only individual intiatives without energy and economic policies and the involvement of the states.
The decrease of tensions in the region is the burden of Israel and the Isareli society first. They are the opressors. Other parties in the conflict have to act accordingly.
as long as Israel and the Israeli society feel entitled to inflict on the people of the region and palestine and Lebanon this violence, tyranny, occupation and opression in the name of 'defense', there could be no viable solution either by violent or non violent means.
I think the end of the south African Apartheid was greatly helped by the implosion of the ruling regime in south Africa and de Klerk having the courage to recognize this fact. The end of British occupation of india was helped by the British realising that there could be no other way out of the resistance of the indian national movements.
But as long as Israelis are living in a fantasy world, we are stuck in a dead end.
A non violent struggle can only work when the other, the occupier and the opressor, recognize implicitly the humanity of the people who undertake this struggle and their suffering. This is not the case we have here...
Israelis are focused on their painful and traumatic past and their governments are exploiting this in a military logic in which the other is not entitled to feel pain and suffer because the only one who suffered and are suffering are Israelis. the western coverage of the conflict is an eloquent expression of this préjugé which is superhumanising israelis and dehumanising Arabs, palestinians and Lebanese. There is an absence of an equilibrium here which could only be restored by the opressor reslising his oppression and the suffering it produces on the other...
This was the point of this post...

Anonymous said...

It is not that non-violence has not been tried in Palestine. It has but the Israelis have a policy of confronting these demonstrations and acts with violence. They have complete control over the prisons/concentration camps and can spin events at their pleasure. Rachel Corrie is a good example

I am for nonviolence too but to be successful it has to be a movement that involves Jews and Israelis first. They also need the support of Israeli civil society and the courts. When the Isreali Supreme Court legalizes the taking of hostages and torture it does not give one much hope.

We also need a Ghandi.

Alas, Palestine is not India and Palestinians have a more volitile and emotional nature than Indians.

Vengence in Lebanon is a cultural institution and sophia is right HA up until now has not used their guns internally . That may change, hopefully not.

Sophia and I agree that the PA has to be dissolved and the Palestinians need to ask for equal rights in a unitary state.

The Palestinians cannot get there by themselves.

Issam

Behemoth101 said...

I still don't see the Israeli "painful past" and "superhumanizing condition" as being unique. The British colonial force felt like it was traumatized by the experience of "socializing all those barbaric Samis" - they had just been through WWI and WWII also with their own fair share of injustices.

Just the same, the Dutch and English S. Africans were traumatized and acted in their own perception "defensively" against insurgencies (the Dutch having actually experienced the first modern, functional concentration camps in the 20th century, thanks to the so-called civilized British).

If history has taught us anything it's that Israel can be turned around, and that the pendulum swings both ways in such a conflict. The trick is to mobilize all of the Jewish mothers to realize that they won't have to send their children to die needlessly as a colonizing force when they can exist as a modestly large minority population in a secular, democratic, inclusive state.

It just takes good marketing. "Quit India" was a simplified movement - it advocated grass-roots simplification of lifestyles to reduce dependency, universal tolerance in the face of truncheons, integrated gatherings of individuals, economic factors like the home-spun movement and the resulting boycotts, and national strikes (days of prayer).

Anonymous said...

B,Palestine is more like the situation in South Africa not India.

Britain was also in decline as an empire and was exiting all its colonies. Empires in decline are very vicious in their colonies.

Are the conditions right to mobilize the Jewish mothers and who in Israel is to undertake this task? The peace movement is in disarray.

Another strategy is needed. The West needs to see the value of peace in the ME and impose a settlement instaed of arming Israel and setting it loose on defenseless people.

The peace movement needs to start there.

Issam

Behemoth101 said...

An outside-imposed peace is never a real peace. Look at any of the Western European wars in the past two centuries - such a peace has to be willed from within the countries affected.

Behemoth101 said...

And morally speaking, at least from a Judeo-Christian standpoint - it is on the wrong-ED to forgive the wrong-ER (Jacob & Esau, Jesus) - that is the only way for positive reconciliation to take place.

Behemoth101 said...

Furthermore, the Palestinian people could unify over a common goal - the establishment of a bi-national state, if they realized that their temporary collective sufferings would bring long-term peace and empowermeant to their people indefinitely.

It's certainly a better alternative than blowing oneself up.

Sophia said...

Behemoth,

The Palestinians blew themselves up out of despair and it was not an intelligent thing to do.

I was glad to read from you that you are for a one state solution a secular state for all its citizens, jews or Muslims or Christians. I would be the first person to ask for a citizenship in such a state. However I don,t understand the Judeo-Christian thing. I still believe religions have nothing to do in the peace process. States and politicians must show the example, they must look for ways to achieve peace and right now, Israel has been showing its citizen the bad example. Palestinians stopped blowing themselves up and it didn't help peace, they are living in hell, an Israeli hell...

Again this was the point of my post, if you believe that an outside imposed peace will not work and as long as inside, Israel and its rulers and those who support them are not ready for peace, Israelis will continue to live in a fantasy qorld in which they will believe that they can have absolute peace while their neighbours are living in hell, a hell made in USrael !

And I don't think that the judeo-christain paradigm is a solution to save people from real hell, from believed or imagined hells may be but not from real hells where israel is killing civilians starving them blocking their roads, bombing them, destroying their infrastructure and the fabrics of their lives for generations...

 
Since March 29th 2006