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Tags Israel issues , Israel-Palestine conflict , US-Israel relations

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Old 22nd May 2018, 06:34 PM   #401
TubbaBlubba
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You should reserve judgment until you have evidence that it was or wasn't.
You are right only in a very pedantic sense - I do have evidence, it is the actions and statements of Israel.

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That is not something the IDF can do.
Again you pull the sleight-of-hand of only looking at the IDF in this particular engagement, not the broader political context. I don't know if this is news to you, but the IDF answers to the Israeli government, which can do these things.


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When you compared me to people who commit genocide, what exactly did you expect people to think? Nazis are the sine qua non of genocide.
I compared your rhetoric to the rhetoric of those who commit genocide. My go-to example here would actually be the Armenian genocide, where the rhetoric is precisely, "No, we were just defending ourselves against the mean insurgent Christian bullies!!"

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And why do you place these obligations on the Israelis, but not the Palestinians?
I have already explained why, you dismissed this with your convenient theory of moral obligation, remember? I'm not going to debate those ideas of yours, it is obvious that any notion of obligation can be negated by going back to the events surrounding the creation of the Palestinian mandate and Israeli state.

But in case your memory fails, what I said was that Israel has such an enormous advantage that it can do this without exposing itself to undue risk. The Palestinian Authority/Hamas/Fatah on the other hand would be handing away their last bargaining chips in a horribly lopsided situation.

There is also the fact that Israel is a relatively functional democratic state (something that the pro-Israel crowd only seems to remember in the context of bashing its neighbours). What's the point of championing democracy if we expect no better from states that operate under it?

And let also that answer once and for all the ever-recurring whataboutisms of "where is the outrage over the actions of the Islamic world?" There is such outrage, from me and others, all over the place, in appropriate contexts. The actions of Israel carry a significant moral weight because of the moral value we attach to democracy. Much of the prevailing narrative of the Western world rests on the idea that democratic, open societies are ultimately better than undemocratic ones. Not only in the sense that we tend to attach a slew of things we already deemed positive to the notion of democracy, but also in the sense that democracy is supposed to lead to better national interests, a greater desire for peace, more cooperativeness, more respect for human rights, perhaps even more empathy. The attitude shown by Israel is, in this context, disturbing. It forces us to question whether democracy really leads to these things, whether democracy will really prevail and ultimately improve the world. If we're just going to throw up our hands and accept that this is the way things work (which is what you appear to be advocating), then we are going to risk engaging in a self-fulfilling prophecy. I haven't given up that hope yet - I believe Israel can do better; I believe that as a democracy, it can be expected to do better. And that expectation makes it meaningful to raise my voice in outrage.

The problems in extremely flawed democracies and authoritarian states exist on other levels entirely, and as such the contexts of discussions about their crimes are different. A state like Iran is disturbing in its own right, because it has been broadly successful in spite of having a government deliberately engineered to be to a great extent the many things a Western democracy is not, or is not supposed to be. Similarly, turns toward authoritarianism in Turkey and China, which seemed to be on the "right path" in the broader narrative, must also be calls for alarm.

We must ask ourselves what this means for the future of the open, democratic state. Maybe you think the atrocious actions taken by Israel are the correct response, because they are acting in defense of this society. But I will never accept such disregard for societal ethics. And not just the actions - the killings - matter, but also the way Israel presents them. I would have been more sympathetic toward the pro-Israel point of view if their starting point had been "This loss of life is a profound tragedy which we must take action to prevent from ever happening again". But instead, the starting point is blame-shifting and even derision. That is why I do not reserve judgment - Israel has already spoken for itself, and what it has said earns no benefit of the doubt from me.


And that's it from me in this thread. Seeing the excuses and the cynicism levied here is disturbing and exhausting, and only strengthens my nagging feeling that there is something deeply, deeply wrong with modern society.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 06:41 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
You are right only in a very pedantic sense - I do have evidence, it is the actions and statements of Israel.


Again you pull the sleight-of-hand of only looking at the IDF in this particular engagement, not the broader political context. I don't know if this is news to you, but the IDF answers to the Israeli government, which can do these things.




I compared your rhetoric to the rhetoric of those who commit genocide. My go-to example here would actually be the Armenian genocide, where the rhetoric is precisely, "No, we were just defending ourselves against the mean insurgent Christian bullies!!"


I have already explained why, you dismissed this with your convenient theory of moral obligation, remember? I'm not going to debate those ideas of yours, it is obvious that any notion of obligation can be negated by going back to the events surrounding the creation of the Palestinian mandate and Israeli state.

But in case your memory fails, what I said was that Israel has such an enormous advantage that it can do this without exposing itself to undue risk. The Palestinian Authority/Hamas/Fatah on the other hand would be handing away their last bargaining chips in a horribly lopsided situation.

There is also the fact that Israel is a relatively functional democratic state (something that the pro-Israel crowd only seems to remember in the context of bashing its neighbours). What's the point of championing democracy if we expect no better from states that operate under it?

And let also that answer once and for all the ever-recurring whataboutisms of "where is the outrage over the actions of the Islamic world?" There is such outrage, from me and others, all over the place, in appropriate contexts. The actions of Israel carry a significant moral weight because of the moral value we attach to democracy. Much of the prevailing narrative of the Western world rests on the idea that democratic, open societies are ultimately better than undemocratic ones. Not only in the sense that we tend to attach a slew of things we already deemed positive to the notion of democracy, but also in the sense that democracy is supposed to lead to better national interests, a greater desire for peace, more cooperativeness, more respect for human rights, perhaps even more empathy. The attitude shown by Israel is, in this context, disturbing. It forces us to question whether democracy really leads to these things, whether democracy will really prevail and ultimately improve the world. If we're just going to throw up our hands and accept that this is the way things work (which is what you appear to be advocating), then we are going to risk engaging in a self-fulfilling prophecy. I haven't given up that hope yet - I believe Israel can do better; I believe that as a democracy, it can be expected to do better. And that expectation makes it meaningful to raise my voice in outrage.

The problems in extremely flawed democracies and authoritarian states exist on other levels entirely, and as such the contexts of discussions about their crimes are different. A state like Iran is disturbing in its own right, because it has been broadly successful in spite of having a government deliberately engineered to be to a great extent the many things a Western democracy is not, or is not supposed to be. Similarly, turns toward authoritarianism in Turkey and China, which seemed to be on the "right path" in the broader narrative, must also be calls for alarm.

We must ask ourselves what this means for the future of the open, democratic state. Maybe you think the atrocious actions taken by Israel are the correct response, because they are acting in defense of this society. But I will never accept such disregard for societal ethics. And not just the actions - the killings - matter, but also the way Israel presents them. I would have been more sympathetic toward the pro-Israel point of view if their starting point had been "This loss of life is a profound tragedy which we must take action to prevent from ever happening again". But instead, the starting point is blame-shifting and even derision. That is why I do not reserve judgment - Israel has already spoken for itself, and what it has said earns no benefit of the doubt from me.


And that's it from me in this thread. Seeing the excuses and the cynicism levied here is disturbing and exhausting, and only strengthens my nagging feeling that there is something deeply, deeply wrong with modern society.
Democracies are better. But they are also justified in using tough measures when defending themselves against grave threats.

In Normandy, 1944, thousands of french civilians died and the Germans suffered disproportionate casualties (circa twice as many). That doesn't mean that the allies were in the wrong, or that democracy was invalidated as a concept.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 06:56 PM   #403
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Again you pull the sleight-of-hand of only looking at the IDF in this particular engagement, not the broader political context. I don't know if this is news to you, but the IDF answers to the Israeli government, which can do these things.
In the broader context, Hamas is the primary impediment to peace, not Israel. Hamas wants to kill all the Jews, Israel doesn't want to kill all the Palestinians.

Quote:
I compared your rhetoric to the rhetoric of those who commit genocide. My go-to example here would actually be the Armenian genocide, where the rhetoric is precisely, "No, we were just defending ourselves against the mean insurgent Christian bullies!!"
So I'm like a genocidal maniac, just not that one?

And it's also complete bull ****. What large group has EVER not valued their own people more than their enemies? That isn't in any way unique or peculiar to genocidal maniacs, that's simply basic self-interest. You won't survive as a group if you don't believe that.

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But in case your memory fails, what I said was that Israel has such an enormous advantage that it can do this without exposing itself to undue risk. The Palestinian Authority/Hamas/Fatah on the other hand would be handing away their last bargaining chips in a horribly lopsided situation.
Listen to yourself. You're saying that Hamas can't give up terrorism because then it won't have any negotiating leverage.

You're justifying terrorism. That's just ****** up, man. I've tried to believe that you're confused about the situation because you're fed a steady diet of pro-Palestinian propaganda. But dude, propaganda exposure doesn't excuse that.

Quote:
Much of the prevailing narrative of the Western world rests on the idea that democratic, open societies are ultimately better than undemocratic ones.
Quite so. But you've drawn a perverse conclusion from this fact. It has led you to favor a non-democratic oppressive society over a Western liberal democratic society in a conflict between the two. But that doesn't encourage what you claim to prefer, it encourages the opposite.

Quote:
The attitude shown by Israel is, in this context, disturbing. It forces us to question whether democracy really leads to these things, whether democracy will really prevail and ultimately improve the world.
If you're wondering whether democracy will prevail, then why are you siding against it? And if you don't understand why Israel's victory will be better for the world, and even for the Palestinians themselves, than Hamas' victory, then you haven't actually been paying attention.

Quote:
Maybe you think the atrocious actions taken by Israel are the correct response, because they are acting in defense of this society. But I will never accept such disregard for societal ethics.
You keep playing bait and switch with this. You label the shootings as an atrocity, but when challenged for evidence that the IDF had any better option, you change the subject to the "broader context". But if the IDF had no better option, if the shootings were justified in order to protect Israeli lives from attackers intent on massacre (as Hamas has stated and repeatedly tried), then this incident is not an atrocity. And the broader context is made up of many such clashes, and your case there starts to crumble as well. You've built your entire position by never actually looking in detail at anything.

Quote:
And not just the actions - the killings - matter, but also the way Israel presents them. I would have been more sympathetic toward the pro-Israel point of view if their starting point had been "This loss of life is a profound tragedy which we must take action to prevent from ever happening again". But instead, the starting point is blame-shifting and even derision.
Why is it wrong to blame Hamas if Hamas is in fact to blame? What can Israel possibly do to prevent Hamas from sending their own people to die? And why is the public relations impression that you get, which is primarily NOT determined by Israel but by a hostile press, the relevant metric by which to judge Israel?

Quote:
And that's it from me in this thread. Seeing the excuses and the cynicism levied here is disturbing and exhausting, and only strengthens my nagging feeling that there is something deeply, deeply wrong with modern society.
Indeed there is. But you have utterly failed to grasp its actual nature.
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Old 24th June 2018, 07:07 PM   #404
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
It's just not worth it to debate with those who look at the death of an 8-month old child at the hands of Israeli fire and think "Damn Hamas and their violent protests!" If that is your STARTING POINT, then there is no fruitful debate to be had.
So, additional follow-up to that story. I pointed out before that there were problems with trying to blame Israel for it. Well, now we know why they tried to blame Israel anyways.

Hamas paid the family to blame Israel.

This is par for the course. Palestinians regularly lie about Israeli "atrocities". They regularly stage fake injuries for the cameras. It's propaganda, from top to bottom.
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Old 28th June 2018, 10:19 PM   #405
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
So, additional follow-up to that story. I pointed out before that there were problems with trying to blame Israel for it. Well, now we know why they tried to blame Israel anyways.

Hamas paid the family to blame Israel.

This is par for the course. Palestinians regularly lie about Israeli "atrocities". They regularly stage fake injuries for the cameras. It's propaganda, from top to bottom.
Hamas operatives are suddenly trustworthy now?
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Old 29th June 2018, 12:43 AM   #406
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In a related (to the OP) move, State has requested that the SecDef send a Marine guard to the non-embassy in Taiwan.

This looks suspiciously like in-fighting. Mattis just came back from the first Beijing visit at his level in decades. This request has evidently been out there since the opening but was only leaked this week. Pompeo and Bolton would be my bet. Trying to rewrite foreign policy and they know that if they catch the big dummy in the right mood he'll fall for it.
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Old 29th June 2018, 04:58 AM   #407
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Hamas operatives are suddenly trustworthy now?
On its own it wouldnít be. But there is considerable supporting evidence, such as the known prior health problems undisclosed by the family.

There is a pattern here, which you seem at pains to ignore.
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Old 29th June 2018, 05:11 AM   #408
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I mean, there's certainly a pattern in the evidence you highlight and the events you attach significance and trustworthiness to.

There's also a pattern in that I don't play the same game you do in this discussion. Hamas operatives lied to spin a narrative, news at eleven. What do you think that proves? That Hamas is bad, or some other truism?

It doesn't matter. Israel needs to do better. Oh, sorry, I forgot that my point of view on what Israel ought to do doesn't matter.
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Old 29th June 2018, 05:43 AM   #409
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
I mean, there's certainly a pattern in the evidence you highlight and the events you attach significance and trustworthiness to.

There's also a pattern in that I don't play the same game you do in this discussion. Hamas operatives lied to spin a narrative, news at eleven. What do you think that proves? That Hamas is bad, or some other truism?
You've missed half the pattern, which is that the press helps Hamas by uncritically repeating their lies.

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It doesn't matter.
Like hell it doesn't. You justified your response to this incident on the basis of a lie. Seriously, you cited that baby's death as fundamental to your reasoning. And it was a lie. Most anti-Israel sentiments are based on exactly such lies.

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Israel needs to do better.
You have yet to give any credible explanation as to how.
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Old 30th June 2018, 07:02 AM   #410
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Hamas operatives are suddenly trustworthy now?
In general when a source normally considered untrustworthy makes a statement against its self-interest you give credence to that statement because it's against their self-interest.

It's like if Big Tobacco, after decades of lying about the dangers of smoking, comes up with a statement admitting they supressed research they didn't like and were fully aware of the dangers of smokeing even while publicly denying them, you don't cite their previous falshoods as a reason to disregard that statement.
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Old 30th June 2018, 07:27 AM   #411
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
There's also a pattern in that I don't play the same game you do in this discussion. Hamas operatives lied to spin a narrative, news at eleven. What do you think that proves? That Hamas is bad, or some other truism?
It places Israeli actions in its proper context and it also illustrates where the greatest room for improvement is.

It's kind of Orwellian to acknowledge how bad Hamas is, then shrug it off as a reason the conflict continues ad naseum while saying we have to look at Israel and only Israel to make improvement.

Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
It doesn't matter. Israel needs to do better.
Israel needs to do better than what?

Or to put it another way, how perfect does Israel need to be before you are willing to acknowledge Hamas as a contributor to the ongoing conflict?
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Old 30th June 2018, 08:05 AM   #412
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Like hell it doesn't. You justified your response to this incident on the basis of a lie. Seriously, you cited that baby's death as fundamental to your reasoning. And it was a lie. Most anti-Israel sentiments are based on exactly such lies
.
You are mistaken. It was merely the most egregious example.
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Old 30th June 2018, 08:08 AM   #413
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
In general when a source normally considered untrustworthy makes a statement against its self-interest you give credence to that statement because it's against their self-interest.

It's like if Big Tobacco, after decades of lying about the dangers of smoking, comes up with a statement admitting they supressed research they didn't like and were fully aware of the dangers of smokeing even while publicly denying them, you don't cite their previous falshoods as a reason to disregard that statement.
You think he said something the IDF wanted to hear against his self-interest? You can conceive of no reason for why he would say thus (whether true or not) except a sudden desire to be truthful?
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Old 30th June 2018, 08:15 AM   #414
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Or to put it another way, how perfect does Israel need to be before you are willing to acknowledge Hamas as a contributor to the ongoing conflict?
I already do "acknowledge Hamas as a contributor to the ongoing conflict". However I am saying Israel, being in a position of power, needs to use its relative advantage to establish more goodwill, something it can afford to do without weakening its position. E.g. evacuating all settlers from the West Bank.
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Old 30th June 2018, 11:47 AM   #415
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
You think he said something the IDF wanted to hear against his self-interest? You can conceive of no reason for why he would say thus (whether true or not) except a sudden desire to be truthful?
I think the most likely reason is one individual saw the evidence wasn't there and came clean, but if you can present a more plausable motivation, I'd love to hear it. \

Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
I already do "acknowledge Hamas as a contributor to the ongoing conflict". However I am saying Israel, being in a position of power, needs to use its relative advantage to establish more goodwill, something it can afford to do without weakening its position. E.g. evacuating all settlers from the West Bank.
Except Israel has done that on a number of occasions already, but since their opponents are fanatics they don't respond in kind.

What is your reasoning for excusing Hamas from any responsibility in making peace? Does that rest solely on Israel being the more powerful?
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Old 30th June 2018, 11:50 AM   #416
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
What is your reasoning for excusing Hamas from any responsibility in making peace? Does that rest solely on Israel being the more powerful?
What is your reason for putting words in my mouth and constantly shifting the subject? Is Israel so hard to defend?
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Old 30th June 2018, 12:38 PM   #417
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
What is your reason for putting words in my mouth and constantly shifting the subject? Is Israel so hard to defend?
I didn't think I was putting words in your mouth, I thought (and still think) that's a legitimate representation of your opinion. If that's not correct, I invite you to elaborate.
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Old 30th June 2018, 04:20 PM   #418
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
I already do "acknowledge Hamas as a contributor to the ongoing conflict". However I am saying Israel, being in a position of power, needs to use its relative advantage to establish more goodwill, something it can afford to do without weakening its position. E.g. evacuating all settlers from the West Bank.
I'm pretty sure it's never the case that having the upper hand in a negotiation creates an obligation to capitulate. Usually, the party with the upper hand gets to dictate terms. Why do you want to deny Israel their clear prerogative?
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Old 30th June 2018, 08:48 PM   #419
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
You are mistaken. It was merely the most egregious example.
But it wasn't the most egregious example. It wasn't an example at all. It was a total fraud. And not the only one either.

Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
What is your reason for putting words in my mouth and constantly shifting the subject? Is Israel so hard to defend?
Yes, actually Israel is incredibly hard to defend. Why? Because so many people, including you, are so ready to believe lies about it. And arguing against lies is actually pretty hard, because people who readily believe lies don't generally want to hear the truth.
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Old 30th June 2018, 08:50 PM   #420
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
I already do "acknowledge Hamas as a contributor to the ongoing conflict". However I am saying Israel, being in a position of power, needs to use its relative advantage to establish more goodwill, something it can afford to do without weakening its position. E.g. evacuating all settlers from the West Bank.
That isn't how human nature works. Israel's own history of goodwill gestures also proves this is folly. And you still can't come to grips with what happened when Israel evacuated all the settlers from Gaza.
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Old 30th June 2018, 09:10 PM   #421
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
That isn't how human nature works.
Maybe that isn't how human nature is supposed to work according to contemporary reactionary nihilist thought or something, who knows, but a profound lack of trust is a problem in this situation.

The negotiations have been plagued by issues on both sides. Arafat's peculiarities, paranoia and contradictory behaviour. Opposition parties in Israel creating doubt about whether any agreements with one government will be honored by the next. Hamas being, well, Hamas.

None of this justifies Israel's actions (and inactions).
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Old 30th June 2018, 09:20 PM   #422
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Maybe that isn't how human nature is supposed to work according to contemporary reactionary nihilist thought or something, who knows,
Anyone who has spent time observing humans in conflict knows, that isn't how humans actually work.

Quote:
but a profound lack of trust is a problem in this situation.
No, actually, it isn't the problem. The problem is that the Palestinian leadership is not trustworthy. Having trust in someone who isn't trustworthy and wants to kill you is a very bad move.

Quote:
None of this justifies Israel's actions (and inactions).
You cannot even accurately describe Israel's actions, let alone propose realistic alternatives.
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Old 30th June 2018, 09:32 PM   #423
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No, actually, it isn't the problem. The problem is that the Palestinian leadership is not trustworthy. Having trust in someone who isn't trustworthy and wants to kill you is a very bad move.
They believe the same about Israel.



Quote:
You cannot even accurately describe Israel's actions, let alone propose realistic alternatives.
Yes, how dare I have an opinion on what the powers that be do. Clearly I should shut my mouth and leave it all to the Status Quo Warriors. Israel is, after all, powerful and therefore always does everything right to everybody's best interest.
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Old 30th June 2018, 09:50 PM   #424
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
They believe the same about Israel.
The Palestinians know full well that Israel isnít trying to slaughter them all.

Quote:
Yes, how dare I have an opinion on what the powers that be do.
You made a claim about facts, a claim which was wrong. That isnít just an opinion. And you donít get to pretend your errors of fact donít matter, or are not subject to criticism.

Quote:
Clearly I should shut my mouth and leave it all to the Status Quo Warriors. Israel is, after all, powerful and therefore always does everything right to everybody's best interest.
You can do better than this absurd straw man, canít you?
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Old 1st July 2018, 11:53 AM   #425
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Maybe that isn't how human nature is supposed to work according to contemporary reactionary nihilist thought or something, who knows, but a profound lack of trust is a problem in this situation.
Why is the onus greater on Israel to address the lack of trust Palestinians may have, but non-existant on Palestinians to address the lack of trust Israelis have for their leaders?
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Old 1st July 2018, 11:54 AM   #426
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I didn't think I was putting words in your mouth, I thought (and still think) that's a legitimate representation of your opinion. If that's not correct, I invite you to elaborate.
Yeah, I figured you wouldn't.
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