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Like a scripted show, the boat carrying activists and celebrities to Gaza was hijacked by the IDF, eliciting the expected responses everywhere. Rather than highlight the Gaza situation, this type of news tends to divert attention from it - which is, I'm afraid, exactly the calculus the Israeli govt. made when ordering the hijacking.

It is forgotten that the boat was sent on the 2nd anniversary of the complete blockade of Gaza Strip - where 1.5 million people live.

So a coalition of Israeli human-rights groups led by Gisha released a short film, reminding us that is is no reality show.

It is often forgotten that in Israel there is not only government, IDF and MSM; there is also a strong and committed (even if politically sidelined) human-rights community.

Much as lazy MSM reporters like NYT's Ethan Bronner want to make fun of the Israeli left, the community of on-the-ground progressive activists has remained strong and even grown this decade.

What did disappear, was the parliamentary "left bloc", which was always a misnomer because its dominant factions were never really committed to what would be described "left" or even "moderate left" in most democracies.

Anyway, the number of progressive activist groups keeps increasing, and not because of splintering; rather, it's because of new and important fields of activity. Gisha, founded in 2005, is a classic example. It deals mostly with Palestinian freedom-of-movement, especially focusing on Gaza.

Other groups sponsoring or participating in the production:

Btselem - the most reliable general source on the Occupation and its impact upon human life.

Association for Civil Rights in Israel - Israel's oldest human-rights organization (I think). Has been considered part of the mainstream, and has remained true to its principles this decade despite the immense un-popularity of holding such a stand nowadays.

Yesh Din - another relatively new organization focusing on law enforcement upon settlers who attack Palestinians.

Physicians for Human Rights (Israel) - an amazing NGO that is pretty much everywhere: acting on Occupation, helping foreign laborers, etc.

The Public Committee against Torture in Israel - another group that has been around for quite a while.

Adalah - an organization of Israeli Palestinians (a.k.a. "Arab Israelis") acting for equality, and also on behalf of their Occupied compatriots.

Hamoked ("Hotline") - a grassroots human-rights center based in Jerusalem, active since the 1st Intifada (I volunteered there in the early 90's).

We should also remember that Gaza has been under varying levels of partial blockade even before summer 2007 - essentially all the time since 1967. So it's not like they let the region "roam free", then it "misbehaved" and was placed in a cage. It has always been a cage under the Occupation. Here's a report released by Btselem in March 2005, in anticipation of the "Disengagement" fraud which actually left the blockade intact.

Finally, a link to the movie's page on the Gisha website, including a Hebrew version.

----- UPDATE ----

There has been this important comment/question near the top of the thread which I'd like to highlight.

And yet (3+ / 0-)

You frame this from the focus of the "Israeli left."  Given that this seige is incredibly brutal and inhumane, is the "Israeli left" the slightest bit closer to ending it?  Does the "Israeli left" have any support in the Knesset for such a move, or is the "Israeli left" taking any action outside of the Knesset that could bring about the end?

If that is the perspective, what are people here to do?  

Here's my answer:

The true Israeli left

Does not rely on the Knesset. In fact, the Knesset has traditionally been a rather toothless body, yet one more distraction in the sea of distractions that is I-P politics.

The groups who did this film are busy being active on the ground, and trying to talk to the public directly.

In general, we do not seek to attract attention to ourselves - as much as to the problems that need to be addressed.

The end of the siege depends upon international politics. Enough pressure, correctly applied, will end the siege.

I am not an expert on international and American politics. So do whatever you think can help this end.

Here's the deal: we in the Israeli left are pretty good by now in figuring out I-P dynamics, including how the govt., the public, the IDF, even certain Palestinian actors would respond to given events.

We are also (with due modesty) pretty good at grassroots work.

What we are not so good at - and I'm afraid, I don't know who is good at - is figuring out the geopolitics and what would finally break this nightmarish catch-22 cycle of Occupation - terror - wingnuttery on both sides - etc.

here we need YOUR help. Please help any way you can. It is your business too, you know.

...and the thread continued...

Q:

Fair enough (2+ / 0-)

But I stand by my question.  Even if you are not working directly within the Knesset, it is the Knesset (or, let us say, the Cabinet) which makes the decision to enforce the seige.  If you are gaining ground on ending it, there should be some visible results on this political level.  Does any major party support your position?  

If not, then it may require outside pressure to end the seige.  Perhaps the "Israeli left" needs to not so much call for outside support, but provide supprt to outsiders.  A simple petition by Israelis to Obama asking him to help lift the seige would help show that the seige is not an Israel-v-Palestine issue, but a simple human decency issue.

I'm not trying to take away from the hard work you are doing under very difficult circumstances.  But I don't really see where or how you will ever win and end the seige, at least not so long as Palestinians adher to their demands for a state.  Since a don't see a Palestinian surrender coming, I also don't see a victory for the Israeli left coming, at least not until the entire two-state peace deal is reached.  If help for Gaza comes before that, I fear it must come from outside.  

A:

Israel's Cabinet, Knesset, etc. (1+ / 0-)

are all a circus.

When push comes to shove the centers of power lie elsewhere.

And if push and shove come from Washington, D.C., the whole Israeli system rather quickly aligns.

Don't forget that Israel has no constitution, there is no real check-and-balance to slow down executive decisions (in either direction).

Again, to reiterate, it all boils down to the international situation.

Israel is a very small country, very dependent upon its ties with the West in general and the US in particular. As Naomi Klein very correctly pointed out recently.

The reason the right-wing has become so entrenched in Israel is the Garden of Eden it has lived in, courtesy of George W. Bush. This Garden of Eden (which is Hell for everyone else) can end pretty quickly if the world puts its mind to it.

Q:

Again (2+ / 0-)

I don't disagree with your political analysis, only with the part played by the Israeli left.  From your analysis, a dramatic event (like sending an aid ship) that demonstrates how far out of the international norm Israel is (seizing a ship on the high seas is generally considered an outrage), would be just the kind of thing to generate the push and shove.

The quiet, behind-the-scenes organizing of the Israeli left seems less likely to do so.  The only effective work of the Israeli left I really know about is exposing some of the grosser and more collusion between the government and the settlers, and also in supporting Palestinian activist in the West Bank on the ground.  But as for Gaza, I haven't seen any effect from the Israeli left.  

A1:

Well, you haven't been looking in the right place (1+ / 0-)

And maybe also you conflate the superficial image of Israel's "left" conveyed by Ethan Bronner et al., with the true left.

We are certainly not limiting ourselves to behind-the-scenes. Actually very little is behind-the-scenes. It is either on-the-ground or in the public debate that we work.

Groups like Btselem have been yelling from the rooftops about Gaza and all the other stuff, for years and years.

Thing is, the MSM sidelines us (in Israel and in America) and the political system ostracizes us.

If you start following these groups' websites directly (more links are in my blogroll) you will see what I mean.

A2:

And sometimes we do make the headlines (0+ / 0-)

Like Ezra Nawi, or the settlement-watch arm of Peace Now that got hold of secret got. documents showing most settlements sit on stolen private Palestinian land.

It's not that we are not working on the right things. It's that the geopolitics have been tilted against us like a slippery vertical wall.

Take an analogy. Imagine that the US in the 1960's did not feel a pressure to be "leader of the free world" against the Soviet dictatorship alliance. Suppose then, that the Federal govt. under Kennedy-Johnson would be reluctant to act against the White South, at that time an integral part of the Democratic base.

How successful do you think the Civil Rights movement would have been under such conditions?

I saw headlines of the Seattle Times in 1964. King was still called there, "a radical Negro". Now Seattle is in Martin Luther King County.

There's a bit more, but I think you got the idea by now.

over and out...

Originally posted to Assaf on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 11:46 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Sorry, I need to pre-empt distractions again :) (19+ / 0-)

      Note how most comments are already about the boat!

      See how the Israeli govt. is smart in manipulating Western media and our short superficial attention span?

      If they let the boat through, there might have been some attention on Gaza. Now there is none. Only the boat, the boat, the boat.

      I believe that, when President Obama spoke in Cairo and said the Palestinian situation is intolerable, Gaza was certainly one of the examples on his mind.

      In fact it is worse than intolerable. It is unlivable.

      No population should be forced to live this way. No excuse accepted.

      •  And yet (7+ / 0-)

        You frame this from the focus of the "Israeli left."  Given that this seige is incredibly brutal and inhumane, is the "Israeli left" the slightest bit closer to ending it?  Does the "Israeli left" have any support in the Knesset for such a move, or is the "Israeli left" taking any action outside of the Knesset that could bring about the end?

        If that is the perspective, what are people here to do?  

        •  The true Israeli left (5+ / 0-)

          Does not rely on the Knesset. In fact, the Knesset has traditionally been a rather toothless body, yet one more distraction in the sea of distractions that is I-P politics.

          The groups who did this film are busy being active on the ground, and trying to talk to the public directly.

          In general, we do not seek to attract attention to ourselves - as much as to the problems that need to be addressed.

          The end of the siege depends upon international politics. Enough pressure, correctly applied, will end the siege.

          I am not an expert on international and American politics. So do whatever you think can help this end.

          I am moving this thread to an update to the diary.

          •  Fair enough (5+ / 0-)

            But I stand by my question.  Even if you are not working directly within the Knesset, it is the Knesset (or, let us say, the Cabinet) which makes the decision to enforce the seige.  If you are gaining ground on ending it, there should be some visible results on this political level.  Does any major party support your position?  

            If not, then it may require outside pressure to end the seige.  Perhaps the "Israeli left" needs to not so much call for outside support, but provide supprt to outsiders.  A simple petition by Israelis to Obama asking him to help lift the seige would help show that the seige is not an Israel-v-Palestine issue, but a simple human decency issue.

            I'm not trying to take away from the hard work you are doing under very difficult circumstances.  But I don't really see where or how you will ever win and end the seige, at least not so long as Palestinians adher to their demands for a state.  Since a don't see a Palestinian surrender coming, I also don't see a victory for the Israeli left coming, at least not until the entire two-state peace deal is reached.  If help for Gaza comes before that, I fear it must come from outside.  

            •  Israel's Cabinet, Knesset, etc. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              borkitekt, Fire bad tree pretty

              are all a circus.

              When push comes to shove the centers of power lie elsewhere.

              And if push and shove come from Washington, D.C., the whole Israeli system rather quickly aligns.

              Don't forget that Israel has no constitution, there is no real check-and-balance to slow down executive decisions (in either direction).

              Again, to reiterate, it all boils down to the international situation.

              Israel is a very small country, very dependent upon its ties with the West in general and the US in particular. As Naomi Klein very correctly pointed out recently.

              The reason the right-wing has become so entrenched in Israel is the Garden of Eden it has lived in, courtesy of George W. Bush. This Garden of Eden (which is Hell for everyone else) can end pretty quickly if the world puts its mind to it.

              Please let me know this is not clear yet.

              •  Again (6+ / 0-)

                I don't disagree with your political analysis, only with the part played by the Israeli left.  From your analysis, a dramatic event (like sending an aid ship) that demonstrates how far out of the international norm Israel is (seizing a ship on the high seas is generally considered an outrage), would be just the kind of thing to generate the push and shove.

                The quiet, behind-the-scenes organizing of the Israeli left seems less likely to do so.  The only effective work of the Israeli left I really know about is exposing some of the grosser and more collusion between the government and the settlers, and also in supporting Palestinian activist in the West Bank on the ground.  But as for Gaza, I haven't seen any effect from the Israeli left.  

                •  Well, you haven't been looking in the right place (3+ / 0-)

                  And maybe also you conflate the superficial image of Israel's "left" conveyed by Ethan Bronner et al., with the true left.

                  We are certainly not limiting ourselves to behind-the-scenes. Actually very little is behind-the-scenes. It is either on-the-ground or in the public debate that we work.

                  Groups like Btselem have been yelling from the rooftops about Gaza and all the other stuff, for years and years.

                  Thing is, the MSM sidelines us (in Israel and in America) and the political system ostracizes us.

                  If you start following these groups' websites directly (more links are in my blogroll) you will see what I mean.

                  •  And sometimes we do make the headlines (4+ / 0-)

                    Like Ezra Nawi, or the settlement-watch arm of Peace Now that got hold of secret got. documents showing most settlements sit on stolen private Palestinian land.

                    It's not that we are not working on the right things. It's that the geopolitics have been tilted against us like a slippery vertical wall.

                    Take an analogy. Imagine that the US in the 1960's did not feel a pressure to be "leader of the free world" against the Soviet dictatorship alliance. Suppose then, that the Federal govt. under Kennedy-Johnson would be reluctant to act against the White South, at that time an integral part of the Democratic base.

                    How successful do you think the Civil Rights movement would have been under such conditions?

                    I saw headlines of the Seattle Times in 1964. King was still called there, "a radical Negro". Now Seattle is in Martin Luther King County.

                  •  Okay (7+ / 0-)

                    I think we are talking past each other at this point, because my central belief is that, given the Israeli political spectrum, no relief for Gaza will come from Israel before a final two-state peace deal.  If relief is to come, it must be in response to outside pressure.  But I rarely see much impact from Israeli peace groups on the pressuring the outside world to in turn pressure Israel.  That's where I'm going with this.

                    Nonetheless, thank you for your diary, I think it wisely refocuses the discussion back on the Seige itself, as opposed to the relief ship.

                    •  ...so why do U think all these groups have (6+ / 0-)

                      ..English websites?

                      These are not multi-billion-dollar operations or media conglomerates.

                      We are doing what we can, within our means. Sometimes beyond them as well.

                      •  Just back a talk by Code Pink's Kit Siemion (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Rusty Pipes, Assaf, Conure

                        about her two recent trips to Gaza. She told us about one family she go to know who lost 6 of their 9 children during Israel's Massacre in Gaza. The Husband's was put out of a job when his workplace was bombed She said that many of Gaza's families have similar accounts of family members lost in what they call "the last war". 60% of Gaza's population are children. Israel made war on a population made up mostly of children.

                        The IDF continues to snipe at farmers and fishermen in Gaza. Kit Siemion also has photos of a Gaza tunnel. The tunnels are about survival not weapons.

                        Interestingly most of Code Pink's peace delegates who volunteered to go to Gaza are American Jews committed to peace, with a large contingent from New York.

                        Code Pink is looking for volunteers for their next trip to Gaza in September.

                        Insurance, Oil, Banking, and Defense corporations all have a substantial equity positions in what's supposed to be our Congress.

                        by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 10:06:32 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  The centers of power (3+ / 0-)

                lie always with the people with the money, and with the guns.

      •  Attention? (9+ / 0-)

        You must read and view different media than I. The New York Times online this morning had nothing, zip, nada. Washington Post had a short AP story. CNN had a story, but it wasn't on the front page, so if you didn't know to search for it, you wouldn't have seen it. Likewise with BBC.

        What was predictable wasn't that Israel would stop the boat, after all, previous boats have gotten through. No, what was predictable was that the incident, despite involving a former member of Congress and Presidential Candidate and a Nobel Laureate, would be almost completely ignored by the media.

        I saw the briefest of reports on local news at noon today, but only because one of those detained was from the area. I haven't seen a word yet on CNN or MSNBC, though clearly I'm not monitoring both continuously so it's possible it's been mentioned, but it certainly isn't any kind of high profile story.

        And, as far as diverting attention from the blockade itself, is anyone foolish enough to believe that if there were no boat, the word "Gaza" would even make the media at all today? Do you really think the media was about to remind us of that? How much coverage did the Human Rights Watch report of Israeli war crimes using drones in Gaza get, just for example? Precious little (none in most media).

        Eli Stephens
        Left I on the News

        by elishastephens on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:33:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, this was a tad bit better than my diary (0+ / 0-)

      just a tad bit.

      In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

      by Paul in Berkeley on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:36:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Irish Times story confirms seizure was in int'l (9+ / 0-)

    waters: Peace activists' ferry to Gaza seized by Israeli navy:

    ISRAEL’S NAVY yesterday seized a Greek-registered passenger ferry carrying 21 peace activists and humanitarian goods plying international waters 24 nautical miles off the Gaza coast.

    Israeli sailors boarded the vessel in the afternoon and ordered its crew to sail to the southern Israeli port of Ashdod.

    The Cyprus-based Free Gaza movement which organised the voyage said the vessel, dubbed the Spirit of Humanity, had been shadowed by sometimes two, sometimes six Israeli warships, before being forced off its Larnaca- to-Gaza course.

    The boat’s navigation and communications systems were inoperative for several hours, compelling the British captain to rely on traditional navigational instruments.

    Even if the vessel had gotten closer to the coast of Gaza, would that have been Israeli waters?

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 11:53:02 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary, Assaf! (10+ / 0-)

    Tipped and recced.

    "Trolling is a sad reality of internet life...Directly replying to the content of a trollish message is usually a waste of time"

    by Rusty Pipes on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:04:08 PM PDT

  •  I have an e-mail from Int'l Action Center, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bidet

    IACenter.org, that says Cynthia McKinney and Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire are aboard the Free Gaza Movement boat, Spirit of Humanity.

    Cheney-bu$h tortured people
    To get false confessions
    To fraudulently justify
    Invasion of Iraq!

    by OleHippieChick on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:04:47 PM PDT

  •  muddying the waters... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldskooldem, fizziks

    this whole affair is more proof that context and balance is next to impossible when it comes to I/P. in my opinion this group were more inclined to grab headlines rather than get the aid through.

    its quite sad really that even 'activists' are playing political games in this mess.

    "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

    by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:17:35 PM PDT

    •  Did you think it was sad when Martin Luther King (9+ / 0-)

      used events to get publicity for his cause?

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:19:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i think... (5+ / 0-)

        martin luther king had credibility and  the interests of the cause at heart rather than grandstanding for publicity to stay in the headlines. the whole affair stinks from when the PR was issued, its contents and context.

        didn't the israeli government already release a statement to the effect that the seized aid would be shipped forthwith?

        "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

        by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:24:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maidred (9+ / 0-)

          is also a Nobel Peace Prize winner.  Not creds enuf for you?  

          What evidence do you have that this is an exercise in self aggrandizement/promotion rather than humanitarian action?

          Just what evidence?

          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

          by Eiron on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:27:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  evidence? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            borkitekt

            just my opinion is all. based on all of the facts i have read about this story to date. its possible i am wrong of course, but i don't think so.

            "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

            by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:39:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

              •  yes - thanks. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                volleyboy1

                clearly i think that list is beyond excessive. but perhaps there is a reason for this limitations...

                take for example this case.  without context it seems that denying a travel permit to a patient who needs it seems evil. yet as we see in this case a palestinian patient used her travel permit issued to her for medical reasons to attempt to attack an israeli hospital.  

                the question is, does this necessitate the strict checks?

                i guess the point is... do we want to bring about peace and aid to suffering palestinians or to promote practices used by certain self-declared 'humanitarian NGOs' of exploiting the label 'universal human rights values' to promote politically and ideologically motivated anti-israel agenda?

                "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 05:20:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  eh, what? (0+ / 0-)

                  or to promote practices used by certain self-declared 'humanitarian NGOs' of exploiting the label 'universal human rights values' to promote politically and ideologically motivated anti-israel agenda?

                  This needs some clarification.

                  From those I know who go to Israel and the occupied territories, and even the topic of many architectural competitions, school projects, theses (a friend was just awarded honors with distinction for her master's thesis in Hebron)- is how to help facilitate peace and community with both groups.

                  The only thing to be anti-israel about is their policies, but only the ill-informed coin it as such, and are not taken seriously, by anyone, anyway.

                  Perhaps some distinction really needs to be made between Palestinians, terrorists, Palestinians who have been disenfranchised, or discriminated against, and to understand their claims from their point of view. And I think this is an important aspect, one we get little to no coverage in the media on, as if they are a bunch of crazy angry arabs who simply want to kill people for no reason....

                  Likewise, Israelis, their government's policies- stated and otherwise wrt Palestinian land people, settlers, common people, and so forth.  

                  Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

                  by borkitekt on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:54:03 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  i don't get.... (0+ / 0-)

                    your response really. or rather how this is a response to mine. if you believe that  most of israelis critics merely oppose its policies and that's that....  well then as you say - only the ill-informed coin it as such.

                    as to the other parts of your comment - no disagreement from me.

                    "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                    by canadian gal on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 09:04:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The block quoted text is not clear, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      canadian gal

                      that needs clarification- especially the bold text.

                      Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

                      by borkitekt on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 09:15:10 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  hhmmm... (0+ / 0-)

                        im not sure what isn't clear.

                        there are groups that purport to be something they are not. say for example the other day - someone here inadvertently linked to a holocaust denial site as it included info relevant to their argument about gaza. why would a site like that host an article about gaza save for unsavoury ideological and political reasons?

                        let's face it, there are those that seek to promote their own agendas rather than the interests of human-rights. sadly its these groups that do more harm than good when aligning themselves to this cause.

                        "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                        by canadian gal on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 09:29:12 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Some nobel prize winners: (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CN, oldskooldem, zemblan, volleyboy1

            Henry Kissinger
            Yasir Arafat
            William Shockley (advoate for eugenics and believed that Africans are inferior)

            My point is that mere presence of a Nobel Prize does not guarantee a noble soul.  And I say this as someone who personally knows two Nobel Lauriates.

            Mairead Corrigan is an anti-abortion activist, did you know that?  According to some of the talk around DKos yesterday, this makes her a monster.

            All this wasted time learning and acquiring skills... And all along I should have just squinted to see Russia

            by fizziks on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:02:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  She was awarded the peace prize, (5+ / 0-)

              and yes, there is always debates regarding why the Swedes, or Norwegians, pick someone as opposed to possibly more deserving people- this has been quite the case in physics, and laureate Steven Weinberg (weak nuclear force) has been rather vocal about it- there've been many scientists who've been overlooked or dismissed, say, for being female. Lise Meitner (fission,) Jocelyn Bell Burnell (pulsars,) or even  George Gamow, Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman, who predicted the cosmic microwave background radiation, two others just stumbled upon it, thinking their radio telescope was broken, and were awarded the prize.

              Perhaps this is why you mention it.

              At any rate, does this diminish the real values of these people's work? No.

              Nor should it be the default pro-I position that everyone supporting human rights, in this case, must cast in a suspicious light, anti-semites all of them, in waiting.  

              Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

              by borkitekt on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:40:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hmm I guess I'll repeat my comment (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                volleyboy1

                since you obviously didn't understand it.  I was not trying to enter into a debate about the technicalities of who is chosen or who is not.

                I was simply saying this:

                My point is that mere presence of a Nobel Prize does not guarantee a noble soul.

                and provided three examples.  I was saying it in response to people in this diary taking the stand that "well, they have a Nobel lauriate on board so they must be right."

                I say that I don't know who this Corrigan is, but I do know who Cynthia McKinney is, and the presence of Corrigan and her Nobel doesn't make up for the presence of Cynthia.  You can disagree but that's my call.

                All this wasted time learning and acquiring skills... And all along I should have just squinted to see Russia

                by fizziks on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 02:11:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And you misunderstood mine. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo, Eiron, Fire bad tree pretty

                  I saw your points, and agree, sort of, that the Nobel can be a political choice for the Zeitgiest.

                  It's obvious that it is just a title.

                  My point is that regardless of title, or whatever else, it is common practice here to dismiss whomever to fit the pro I agenda. As you say, you don't know who she is, but you certainly had enough time to dig up 'dirt' on her-as you cite in other comments- she's an anti-abortionist, only seeking to negate her. I'd venture to snarkily guess that other pro-I posters are in hot pursuit of finding those connections to paint her as an anti-semite too.

                  Why is it this way, anyway? Why is it so easy to dismiss real people's lives?

                  Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

                  by borkitekt on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 02:21:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Are you saying that you think that the (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, Lefty Coaster, Terra Mystica, Bidet

          people who did this did it simply to keep their names in the headlines, not because they have "the interests of the cause at heart?"

          The Israeli government has said it will release the aid "subject to authorization."

          •  the "people"? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            volleyboy1

            maybe, maybe not.  the organization - hell yeah.

            "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

            by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:47:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And on what are you basing this? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, Lefty Coaster, Terra Mystica
              •  as i said downthread a bit... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fizziks, volleyboy1

                perhaps if they did things a bit differently i would be right on board with this. its just to me, it seems the actions and context of this group here seem to go against their stated goals.

                "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:51:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And it makes no more sense downthread (9+ / 0-)

                  than here.  Sometimes one must call attention to things to get something changed...or at least try to.  At one point, Israel wasn't letting lentils into Gaza.  I don't know if that's changed.  Or crayons.  So it doesn't seem to me that your assumption that the aid would go through under "normal channels" is necessarily warranted.

                  Never mind that part of the point may have been to highlight the blockade itself, as well as to deliver aid.  One could argue whether or not that's an effective strategy, but that's a different argument than whether or not the organization has the best interests of the people of Gaza at heart.

                  •  ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    volleyboy1

                    ah i see where you're coming from...  so perhaps this was as i suspected - more about promoting politically and ideologically motivated agenda rather than getting aid through.

                    if so - i still believe that this does nothing to bring people onside.

                    "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                    by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 05:23:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Please. (0+ / 0-)

                      You continue to make accusations with no evidence to support them?

                      Could it be that you're the one promoting a politically and ideologically motivated agenda?  Nah.  Never...  You and your uprater both.  Yes, volleyboy1, I'm talking about you.

                      •  again with the evidence? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Karmafish

                        you have asked for clarification of my position - which i gave. i guess listening to why my opinion is what it is somehow difficult to grasp.  although im not sure why really. i have stated twice now - this is my opinion. and that opinion is based on the goal of getting aid into gaza.

                        as to the other part of your comment - not sure how that adds to the conversation at all save for being impolite.

                        "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                        by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 09:55:43 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm being impolite? (0+ / 0-)

                          You write something like this:

                          ah i see where you're coming from...  so perhaps this was as i suspected - more about promoting politically and ideologically motivated agenda rather than getting aid through.

                          and you accuse me of being impolite?  You're really full of it.  

                          BTW, of course it's your opinion, but your opinion is based purely on speculation of others' motives based upon how you would do things differently.  And, then, from that, you make wild accusations.  But somehow that's okay to you.  Got it.

                    •  Civil Rights (3+ / 0-)

                      for black people was a "politically and ideologically motivated agenda." So was the vote for women and the 8 hour day.

                      If your point is that the people on the boat were more interested in exposing the criminal nature of the Israeli blockade of Gaza than they were in delivering a small amount of aid, well duh. Thats like complaining that the four college students who sat down at a Woolworth's in Greensboro, NC were more interested in bringing down Jim Crow than in having a cup of coffee.

                      Effective acts of civil disobedience are aimed primarily at public consciousness. They find a highly symbolic way to concentrate the insidiousness of a larger social structure or policy in a single act. Its not an easy thing to do and it usually involves multiple attempts and modifications along the way before the right note is struck. There were several black women arrested for refusing to give up their seats to white passengers on buses in Montgomery, AL before the ministers who would lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott decided that Rosa Parks was fit for the role. I think of those women every time I see this action attacked for the involvement of Cynthia McKinney. I wish it was Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on that boat instead too, but he's dead. If you know somebody who can fit those shoes, get on the phone. But remember they said a lot of supposedly terrible things about him too, and some of them were true. In the meantime you should stop tearing down those who are doing everything in their power to direct the world's attention on this humanitarian crisis.

                •  Could you give an example (4+ / 0-)

                  What action did this boat take that is against their stated goals?

                  Reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine

                  by ScienceMom on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:17:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  But MLK is a saint now (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eiron, borkitekt

        bit offthread but listen to the RW using MLK quotes to back up Ricci decision by SCOTUS

    •  Of course it was to generate awareness (13+ / 0-)

      a symbolic act.  What is surprising?

      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

      by Eiron on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:23:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  isn't... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fizziks, zemblan, volleyboy1

        an effective symbolic act supposed to unify and consolidate support for a cause?

        perhaps i don't get out enough - but it looks to me like most seem to view this as a publicity stunt rather than a real attempt to have tried to get aid through.

        "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

        by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:27:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most? of what? (5+ / 0-)

          most seem to view this as a publicity stunt

          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

          by Eiron on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:28:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  phew! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fizziks, volleyboy1

            my apologies - am having a hard time keeping up with the responses.

            as i said in my little corner of the world that being the news and opinions i have read, seem to demonstrate this POV.  as i stated in my first comment, perhaps if this group have tried the legal channels and cut out the games they might have received more support for their actions.

            "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

            by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:34:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No worries (8+ / 0-)

              however, it seems a narrow and self serving point of view.  What channels would you suggest as an alternative?  Israel bans shipments of cement, toys and steel.  What would your suggestion be for getting that changed?

              Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

              by Eiron on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:39:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i am prepared to accept your characterization... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fizziks

                of my opinion ;)

                what could have been changed? hhmm...

                well - first - get mckinney off the boat. she and her reputation taint the mission for various reasons. second - attempt first to deliver the goods legally.  if this fails, then at least they have bought themselves cred. and lastly - do not put out a press release until after the events transpire.. especially not with loaded and hyperbolic accusations.

                i believe that if the above had been followed - most of us would have been pretty unanimous in our support.

                "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:45:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Simultaneous to this action there were attempted (5+ / 0-)

                  crossings at several places by Code Pink and British MP Galloway.

                  Why is it ok for Israel to kidnap people 23 miles at sea?

                •  Hyperbolic accusations? (4+ / 0-)

                  can you enumerate some of them?
                  I am sure you know that truckloads of aid are blocked outside Gaza, and as you know, the type of materials this vessel is carrying is considered contraband, toys, candy, cement.  Do you think ISrael will forward it forthwith?

                  Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                  by Eiron on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:52:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  well... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    livosh1, zemblan

                    We've just received word from the Spirit of Humanity. They are 24 miles off the coast of Gaza, and are still surrounded by Israeli warships. Israeli Occupying Forces have threatened to take violent action against the small boat unless it turns around.
                    They will not turn around.

                    Our people on the boat have slowed their speed significantly and are telling the Israelis that they must not fire on unarmed human rights workers and journalists, including Nobel peace prize laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.

                    Regardless of Israeli threats, they will not turn around. They continue, slowly, sailing toward Gaza.

                    this is but a snippet of course - but irresponsible hyperbole such as this only serves to discredit opposition to the occupation.  the facts are there for all of us to see, we don't need to add these levels of histrionics.

                    and yes - i sincerely hope that the israelis will forward it.

                    "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                    by canadian gal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:00:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And help me see they hyperbole? (8+ / 0-)

                      It isn't readily apparent to me.

                      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                      by Eiron on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:01:43 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  OH MY GOD how do you not (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      livosh1, zemblan

                      see the hyperbole? Is this freakin' Days of Our Lives. Holy crap lets just get some good dramatic music - to add it. Like... Editorialized from original comment:

                      Israeli Occupying Forces (da da daaaaaa - music added by me) have threatened to take violent action (DA DA) against the small boat unless it turns around.
                      They will not turn around (Freedom choir breaks out).

                      But the small yet "grimly determined sailors slowly sail toward Gaza ready to sacrifice their cell phones (Cynthia McKinney's comment that she lost her cell phone and keys to her INQUISTORS)

                      I mean come on......

                      "In any event, you certainly are a total asshole." Timaeus

                      by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 02:28:31 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Ummm (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Rusty Pipes, Conure

                        The forces in question are Israeli and engaged in occupation, in this case of the waters of Gaza. The forces threatened and then carried out the violent action of seizing control of a ship at gunpoint after the boat, in fact, refused to turn around. The press release did not include any dramatic music and the fact that you hear some is not evidence of hyperbole.

                        •  LOL I know the Press release did not (0+ / 0-)

                          include dramatic music.... notice I said that I edited that in because I heard precisely that with the overblown and ridiculous over the top phraseology.

                          How about this for example:

                          As the boat approached Gaza, although still in International waters, it was surrounded by Israeli patrol ships who repeatedly warned the boat to turn back. The captain refused their warnings,and ocntinuing on course. The Israelis then boarded the craft, and forced it to land in Israel where the passengers were detained and released and the goods were stored and will be released as soon as inspectors clear them for arrival in Gaza.

                          Pretty much says the same thing.

                          "In any event, you certainly are a total asshole." Timaeus

                          by volleyboy1 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 07:53:47 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  The Irish Times the other day reported on (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    corvo, Eiron

                    the Red Cross report on conditions in Gaza: Red Cross report says blockade is leaving Gazans 'in despair':

                    THE INTERNATIONAL Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) yesterday released a sharply critical report on the impact on Gaza of Israel’s blockade. which it said left Palestinians "trapped" and "in despair".

                    Six months after Israel’s military offensive, "restrictions on imports are making it impossible for Gazans to rebuild their lives. The quantities of goods now entering Gaza fall well short of what is required to meet the population’s needs," the report says. Israel has decreased the flow of goods by 80 per cent since April 2007.

                    Gaza’s medical services are collapsing, hospitals "are run down" and "much of the equipment is unreliable and in need of repair.  Seriously ill patients should be given prompt and safe passage out of the Gaza Strip in order to access the specialised medical care they cannot get [there]. Drugs, disposables and spare parts must be allowed ... without delay and in sufficient quantities to ensure essential health services."

                    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

                    by lysias on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:06:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  How long must Palestinians suffer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Lefty Coaster

        waiting for aid to come across Israeli security checkpoints, while aid groups continue to send boats and try to get arrested?  

        When will Palestinians get the aid they need from relief organizations who are more interested in relief and less interested in headlines?  Thousands of tons of food and medicine rot in the salty hulls of relief boats every year waiting to be arrested.

        Snarka Snarka Snarka!

        by Hunter Huxley on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:28:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong; how can you say a nobel laureate who put (5+ / 0-)

      her life on the line is "playing political games".

      Christian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shot by Israeli Military

      •  Another Peace Laureate (5+ / 0-)

        Desmond Tutu is a known anti-Semite, I learned that here on DKos.

        Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

        by Eiron on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:48:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I seriously doubt that & need evidence (0+ / 0-)

          I believe he is too evolved for such a low life attitude.

          Since, Israel was a chief contributor to the extension of apartheid in South Africa I imagine it must have been and still could be a severe spiritual challenge not to give into that.

          •  Don't forget Israeli support for the French (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, jim d

            war effort in Algeria, and even, in the end, for the OAS terrorists who tried to block the deal giving independence to Algeria.

            The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

            by lysias on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:03:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  whoa there (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Paul in Berkeley, CN

            Since, Israel was a chief contributor to the extension of apartheid in South Africa...

            Really?  You are blaming Apartheid on Israel?  I would venture that the chief contributor to the extension of apartheid in South Africa was the Afrikaner minority government there, followed by money and investment from international corporations.

            All this wasted time learning and acquiring skills... And all along I should have just squinted to see Russia

            by fizziks on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:07:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, Apartheid ended (4+ / 0-)

              because the Berlin Wall came down and the cold war ended.  The US adjusted their policy of support of the regime and that was that.  Israel, perhaps under pressure from the US did not join with the international community in joining the sanctions regime.  Israel significantly contributed to the development of the SA arms industry, and may have exchanged other advanced technology.

              Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

              by Eiron on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:10:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't say "the chief" but "a chief" meaning (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              borkitekt, Aunt Martha

              that Apartheid in South Africa was shored up by Israel as the rest of the world was working to undermine it. I learned that several weeks ago from someone who was there and briefly described it.

              I think it may explain Israel's willingness to adapt Apartheid regime in Israel itself these many years later.

              I am interested to know the role Israel played in South Africa. Was it just supplying weapons and technology to maintain the system; does anyone know about this?

              •  SA was under an arms embargo (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elishastephens, lysias, corvo, borkitekt

                and had to develop a domestic arms industry.  The US and Israel assisted.

                Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                by Eiron on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:15:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The chief reason Israel and South Africa (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo, Eiron, borkitekt

                worked together on their nuclear weapons programs was that each got something out of it: South Africa got weapons technology; Israel got a lot of uranium ore.  In fact, that was the source of the radioactive materials for most of Israel's current nukes.

                The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

                by lysias on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:15:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The Guardian (7+ / 0-)

                  Has a lenthy article that tells the story.  Here's an excerpt.  Note the Historic and courageous references to Helen Suzman, who as a MP rejected apartheid.  She passed away this year, quite a woman

                  Vorster, the SA PM was internened as a nazi sympathizer in WWII, then he was loved up by Israel.

                  Leaving unmentioned Vorster's wartime internment for supporting Germany, Israel's prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, hailed the South African premier as a force for freedom and made no mention of Vorster's past as he toured the Jerusalem memorial to the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis. At a state banquet, Rabin toasted "the ideals shared by Israel and South Africa: the hopes for justice and peaceful coexistence". Both countries, he said, faced "foreign-inspired instability and recklessness".

                  Vorster, whose army was then overrunning Angola, told his hosts that South Africa and Israel were victims of the enemies of western civilisation. A few months later, the South African government's yearbook characterised the two countries as confronting a single problem: "Israel and South Africa have one thing above all else in common: they are both situated in a predominantly hostile world inhabited by dark peoples."

                  Vorster's visit laid the ground for a collaboration that transformed the Israel-South Africa axis into a leading weapons developer and a force in the international arms trade. Liel, who headed the Israeli foreign ministry's South Africa desk in the 80s, says that the Israeli security establishment came to believe that the Jewish state may not have survived without the relationship with the Afrikaners.

                  "We created the South African arms industry," says Liel. "They assisted us to develop all kinds of technology because they had a lot of money. When we were developing things together we usually gave the know-how and they gave the money. After 1976, there was a love affair between the security establishments of the two countries and their armies.

                  "We were involved in Angola as consultants to the [South African] army. You had Israeli officers there cooperating with the army. The link was very intimate."

                  Alongside the state-owned factories turning out materiel for South Africa was Kibbutz Beit Alfa, which developed a profitable industry selling anti-riot vehicles for use against protesters in the black townships.

                  Going nuclear
                  The biggest secret of all was the nuclear one. Israel provided expertise and technology that was central to South Africa's development of its nuclear bombs. Israel was embarrassed enough about its close association with a political movement rooted in racial ideology to keep the military collaboration hidden.

                  Guardian

                  Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                  by Eiron on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:22:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Did you know Máiread Corrigan is (0+ / 0-)

        an anti-abortion activist?

        I don't know much else about her and for all I know she's probably a great person, but the mere presence of a Nobel Prize doesn't in itself guarantee that.  Witness Henry Kissinger and Yasir Arafat.

        All this wasted time learning and acquiring skills... And all along I should have just squinted to see Russia

        by fizziks on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:05:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  How long (9+ / 0-)

    can the United States sit here turning a BLIND eye to the lying civil rights destroying thugs who  will use any EXCUSE to stop this life saving aid?

    Shameful.

    When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? Eleanor Roosevelt

    by IndyRobin on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:23:01 PM PDT

  •  At least one Holocaust survivor (14+ / 0-)

    Likened the condition in Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto, and this was back in 2005.  

    We should also remember that Gaza has been under varying levels of partial blockade even before summer 2007 - essentially all the time since 1967. So it's not like they let the region "roam free", then it "misbehaved" and was placed in a cage. It has always been a cage under the Occupation.

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:34:02 PM PDT

  •  If anyone is in the Bay Area today (6+ / 0-)

    try to get out to this wonderful one-day-only Palestinian art exhibit in San Jose tonight:

    http://www.facebook.com/...

    Eli Stephens
    Left I on the News

    by elishastephens on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 12:47:42 PM PDT

  •  The premise that the left is growing is difficult (0+ / 0-)

    to accept.

    90% of the Israeli voters supported the 3 top pro war candidates.

    Hamas had offered an extension of the ceasefire and had kept the rockets fired between May to November down to about 12.

    The Israel left couldn't build a better presence in the elections than 10% max?

    That is really sad. A lot more than here but the US doesn't have co-ops and kibbutzum like Israel does. Also all Israelis have healthcare unlike here.

    How can that many people be so blase about the massacre of 1400 people because

    12 rockets were fired over a period of 4 1/2 months
    1 combat soldier was kidnapped

    while they were maintaining a strangling chokehold on Gaza.

    I don't see the left as gaining ground.

    •  You too are conflating passive voting patterns (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rusty Pipes, juancito

      with number of activists.

      I tell you with confidence, that the number of committed progressive activists in Israel this decade has been the largest ever.

      The national political system, where the "left" has all but disappeared, is driven mostly by the international atmosphere of what our government can get away with at any given moment.

      Change that, and suddenly multitudes of Israeli voters will happily become "leftists" again like they were in the 80's and 90's.

  •  Realigning politics (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    livosh1, weasel, Assaf, Terra Mystica, juancito

    If the activist movements on the left are growing, what can be done to realign the political landscape? It seems like the political power has shifted to the center-right, with Kadima and Likud being in ascendency, and the traditional leftist party, Labour, being in serious decline.  Given the fragmented nature of the Israeli political party system, is it possible for these activist organizations to join together to build a new "peace party," or at least to throw their support behind an existing party that comes close to representing their views?  How can the balance of power be shifted back from the center-right?

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:39:36 PM PDT

    •  In one word: geopolitics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      juancito

      See my response to the comment above you.

      •  I understand the geopolitics (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        livosh1, Assaf, Terra Mystica

        and I appreciate that. If I recall correctly, the Olmert government pretty much ignored the Israeli Supreme Court rulings on the wall when it suited them.  But if Israeli governments are going to respond to international pressure from Obama, it would help if there were sufficient domestic pressure where it matters -- the potential loss of power.  Also, the long-term success of any peace efforts really will require a substantial and active part of the electorate to support it.

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:45:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Israel doesn't quite work like that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Paul in Berkeley, Rusty Pipes

          Overt public pressure is pretty much non-existent, except for very focused and usually secterian goals.

          The only exception (besides the human-rights community mentioned here, which can field thousands or even 10,000 for a demo) are the settlers - but they can be seen as a secterian interest as well.

          The Israeli citizen is trained to express oneself at the polling booth and there only. That weapon has been greatly eroded, so now Israelis vote less and expect their votes to matter less.

          At bottom line, the current right-wing sentiment, as I see it, is convenience-driven (it was very convenient to hold these views in Bush time, and it is very convenient to justify not giving up settlements etc.) and very superficial.

          Remove the convenience, change the winds and you'll be surprised.

        •  One more thing: Recall the US post-2004 elections (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Paul in Berkeley, Rusty Pipes

          with all the talk of a permanent Republican majority and books like "What's the matter with Kansas".

          It took all of 9 months and one Katrina to flip that baby around by the next elections.

          The Israeli public is even more fickle. It took 1.5 years from kicking out Bibi in a landslide, to kicking out Barak and putting Sharon in, also in a landslide. And it wasn't the first flip, and it won't be the last.

      •  I find it interesting (0+ / 0-)

        that Obama's popularity in Israel seems to have dropped, as he reaches out to the Muslim world and steps away from Bush's laissez faire approach.

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:47:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  In one word: peace (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      livosh1, CN, Karmafish, canadian gal

      The one thing that moves the Israeli public to the left is a period of peace.  If there are no rockets for a year, no murders from the vicious terrorist entities that occupy much of the Palestinian areas, the right loses its raison d'etre.  As long as Israelis are murder, the left has no hope.

      "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

      by oldskooldem on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:46:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Leading up to the elction I could see the refusal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tchrldy

      to negotiate by Livny and Barak as their pandering to a war-hungry populace.

      And so they all played their roles in the massacre. What was surprising was there was no visible anti-war alternative calling for negoatiations.

      If there was it was not reported in our left press. We were not given any information that we could push for.

      The left here could have demanded that Israelis demonstrate their committment to peace and justice by supporting that candidate or party. Since it didn't seem to exist there could be no such movement.

      I was left with the impression that way too many Israeli people are passive about the injustice their country is doing, and are busy being comfortable in their lifestyles rather than being engaged in citizen activities. When I saw the polls of how many Israelis supported the massacre in Gaza after the fact I was swept with revulsion and concluded the left or anti-war movement has to be impotent, disorganized, co-intel pro'd by Mossad or something.

      •  The people and groups mentioned here were pretty (3+ / 0-)

        vocal in their opposition to both the 2006 and 2008/9 wars, and everything in between. In the middle of the Gaza war there was a demo with thousands of people in downtown Tel Aviv, and another one near the Gaza border.

        You can check it out.

        In the Israeli press you can hear about their actions, in a very twisted manner usually.

        In the American press, you don't hear about them at all.

        •  You speak with considerable authority, Assaf. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          deaniac20, oldskooldem

          Everything that you say is said with utmost confidence and an edge of contempt.

          I wonder if it is warranted.

          "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

          by Karmafish on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 07:23:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well he knows far more than you (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rusty Pipes, heathlander, Assaf, Conure

            He's also involved in on the ground activism, he knows Hebrew, he understands colloquial Arabic, he's lived the disastrous decisions of the Israeli government. He's an engaged Israeli.

            "As president I will recognize the Armenian genocide." Barack Obama

            by palestinian professor on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 09:43:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              canadian gal

              but then you can say that Cheney knows far more than I do about American politics.

              So, yer missing the point.

              Specifically, what I wonder about is this:

              At bottom line, the current right-wing sentiment, as I see it, is convenience-driven (it was very convenient to hold these views in Bush time...

              I'm not exactly sure what Assaf is saying here, but the implication is that the Israeli electorate moved to the right because it was convenient to do so under the Bush administration.

              Is that what he is saying and is that true?

              I am not so certain.

              My suspicion is that all those Qassams and Katyushas may have had something to do with it.

              I also suspect that the Israeli electorate may not trust the international left due to its contempt for their country.

              Just a suspicion.

              "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

              by Karmafish on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 10:33:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I see U R back from the DKos "Dead" (3+ / 0-)

                So your GBCW was just another snark a la "Keith Moon"?

                Or did you comply with the ultimatum? C'mon fish, you can't leave us in the dark like that. Give us the whole story.

                As to your "comment",

                Everything that you say is said with utmost confidence and an edge of contempt.

                I wonder if it is warranted.

                U know what the first thing that jumps to my mind? why, this is exactly how you, the above-mentioned "moon", and the rest of I-P right-wingers express yourselves. You come to diaries by people from that country like me, Pal Prof, Soysauce, etc., and you act like you know better than them, you deride their reasoning, you take issue with their conclusions.

                But you really have no friggin' idea about that country. Your only sources are hearsay, and you are deeply tainted by conflict-of-interest.

                And then you come to me and accuse me of that? Oh, the irony.

                Anyway, to your question: after quite a few futile "debates" with relatives, friends and others who have suddenly become "right wingers" this decade, I can say - yes, with confidence, - yes, with a hint of contempt, and - yes, with a lot of sadness,

                - that their current opinions are very superficial, wildly un-informed, very driven by mass hysteria in the media, and very subject to change when the winds change.

                Respectfully yours. Waiting for the full story.

  •  Thank you for this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    borkitekt, Assaf

    a hartzikn dank

    Human reason is beautiful and invincible --Milosz, Incantation

    by juancito on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 01:46:09 PM PDT

  •  The apartheid policies of the nationalist gov (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rusty Pipes, WB Reeves, borkitekt, Conure

    in South Africa are a more apt historical analogy to the policies of the right wing Israeli government today than are references to the Holocaust.  Like Africans under apartheid, Palestinians are relegated to "homelands" and are subject to passes for work and travel which may be revoked for no reason.  Like Africans under apartheid, Palestinians are made dependent on "aid" in refugee camps. African land and businesses were confiscated under apartheid in ways that are similar to the ways in which Palestinian land and businesses are confiscated today in Israel.  Ethnicity in Israel today is the basis of differential rights and treatment by the government just as it was under the Nationalist government in South Africa. Just as did the Nationalist government in South Africa, the Israeli government presents itself as a victim.  The South African government claimed that it was a victim of pro-communist forces and terrorists just as the Israeli government presents itself as a victim of Islamic fundamentalism.  Afrikaners claimed to be fighting for self-determination and survival just as the Israeli government presents settlers in occupied territories.   Afrikaners claimed to have a covenant from God to rule the land of South Africa just as Israeli settlers claim to have a covenant from God to occupy disputed land in the Palestinian territory.  

    The Holocaust was a horrible genocide against European Jews (and others) and using analogies between the current situation in the Palestinian territories and the Holocaust distracts from the injustices of the current situation. South African Jews were active in the struggle against apartheid as were American Jews and other progressives.  If one wants to get Americans to see the injustices of the Israeli government's policies toward Palestinians one needs to emphasize the analogies between apartheid policies of the Nationalist government in South Africa between 1948 and 1990 and those of the current government in Israel rather than references to the Holocaust.  This mistake has been made too often and it plays into the hands of the right-wing leaders by allowing them to claim that those who oppose their policies are anti-Semitic.  

  •  more circle-jerk Israel hate (3+ / 5-)

    basically the same old diary we've seen numerous times in the last two days.

    Sorry that McKinney had to showboat and make an idiot of herself.

    "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

    by deaniac20 on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 02:57:18 PM PDT

  •  The most successful thing the left has done (3+ / 0-)

    is challenge the Army protecting the settlers in the west bank, challenge the settlers and protect Palestinian farmers in olive picking season, compile data on private lands stolen by settlers, and give video cameras to Palestinians threatened by settlers to record their thuggery.

    I think that the focus of left activism in Israel should be on the settlements which are a giant Ponzi scheme that will collapse should effective grass roots pressure be applied from within Israel.  

    "As president I will recognize the Armenian genocide." Barack Obama

    by palestinian professor on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 04:05:28 PM PDT

  •  This is not a siege. It is a blockade. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karmafish, oldskooldem

    simply as that. Sad words used to demonize Israel is just that, sad.

    "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

    by deaniac20 on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 04:55:20 PM PDT

  •  One more observation on how the left has joined (0+ / 0-)

    the pro war side from
    marcion a dailykos diary

    My very bright 17 year old cousin who volunteered for the Avigdor Lieberman campaign and is one of those students taking literary Arabic in the hopes of getting into military intelligence service, sees no possibility of peace whatsoever until all Arabs are physically removed or destroyed.  He tells me that this position has gained markedly during the last few years, with even formerly leftist teachers abandoning their traditional voting posture for Meretz or Labor and switching over at least to Kadima if not Likud or even Israel Beitenu.  The recent spectacular failure of the "unilateral disengagement" ploy attempted by Ariel Sharon in Gaza has disenchanted a lot of people to the possibility of peace.

    Anecdotal, but, I wonder

    Nonetheless, in toto I appreciate the diary; it has good references and I am always glad to know when Israeli Jews are working for justice.

    •  This is quite representative (0+ / 0-)

      But most of these people were never really progressive in their real world-view.

      Their "leftism" was relative in the intra-Israeli political map. When that map got messy, they realigned.

      If it gets messed up again, they'll realign again.

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