2007-05-03

Criticizing Israeli action

While Six fumes in the corner, enraged that someone in the U.S. media, somewhere, said something critical of Israel's Lebanon incursion, a hundred thousand people turned up in Tel Aviv to denounce the government's action.

Tens of thousands streamed onto a Tel Aviv square after sundown Thursday, demanding that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resign because of a government inquiry's scathing criticism of his handling of the inconclusive war in Lebanon last summer.

Olmert remained defiant, hoping to beat back a rising wave of calls to step down. A day after his popular foreign minister joined the chorus, Olmert's aides argued it was not a mortal political blow, but conceded a large-scale public protest campaign could bring him down.

Turnout on the square in front of Tel Aviv's City Hall appeared to top 100,000, but police refused to estimate the crowd's size.

The rally drew a cross-section of Israelis -- moderates and hard-liners, secular and religious, young and old, a rare mix symbolizing the widespread dissatisfaction with Olmert.


This isn't the first time an Israeli PM has earned his people's derision after disgracing himself in Lebanon:

In 1982, hundreds of thousands marched to the square to protest Israel's involvement in the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Beirut by a Christian militia, a step toward the resignation of then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and the eventual retirement of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.


In many ways, the terms of debate around Israeli actions are much broader in Israel than here.

7 comments:

sixstringslinger said...
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Paul Hue said...

Tom: I'm not sure I get your point. Many Israelis agree with you and Nadir in opposition to last summer's Israeli invasion of Lebanon. OK, so how does this counter my and Six's support for it?

We believe (I think Six shares my view here) that as in the US, many Israelis are very anti-Israeli, and also wish to deal passively with the violent forces which seek to destroy their government and replace it with a tyranny. How does the existence of and expression by these people nullify the support that Six and I afforded the Israeli military operation?

sixstringslinger said...

You're probably right Paul. Sorry. However, if the shoe fits...

By the way Tom, it would take a heck-of-a-lot more to make me "fume in a corner" (another clever one! that degree in journalism's really paying off, isn't it?) than the blatherings of know-it-all like you.

I'm sorry, I did it again, didn't I?

sixstringslinger said...

C’mon, Paul, you know exactly what Tom’s saying. He expects and will accept nothing less than perfection from free, democratic, western-style societies such the U.S. and Israel, while at the same time giving free pass after free pass to dysfunctional, death-cultish and oppressive groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. It’s the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend game played in reverse. The U.S. and by association, Israel are so hated by your brother and people like him that any group, or nation that stands up to either, no matter how brutal, or murderous they may be, receives his backing and support. It’s sick that people like your brother can’t draw the distinction between free, democratic, yet imperfect societies that occasionally make tragic mistakes and at times overreact and martyrdom-loving, suicidal, totalitarian societies such as Palestine and Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon to name only a couple.

People like your brother are sick. Sorry if that’s seen as another gratuitous insult, but it’s the truth.

sixstringslinger said...
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Tom Philpott said...

I'm just saying that in an earlier post, Six equated criticism of Israel with hating the US, and declared the media (AP, CNN, etc.) "the enemy" for criticizing Israel. that's different than merely supporting Israel unquestioningly. It's saying that anyone who doesn't is an unreliable American, and in fact, the enemy.

My point is that the very views that Six finds treasonous in the US are actually quite commonplace *in Israel*. I'm not arguing about who's write and who's wrong; merely commenting on terms of debate in the two countries.

Paul Hue said...

Tom: I don't believe that Six has called any of these dispatches "treasonous", though he and I both do view these reportings as detrimental to the war efforts of Israel and the US. And we don't view these reportings as you do, which is accurate and full revelations of war crimes and outrages committed by these forces. Instead we view these reportings as heavily slanted towards unjustifiably portraying US and Israeli forces as targeting civilians and their infrastructure.

I agree with Six that you and Nadir seem to care only about misconduct committed by the US and Israel, to incorrectly characterize many actions by these nations as misconduct, and when it comes to misconduct by organizations opposed to the US and Israel, you guys tend to excuse it, overlook it, or ultimately blame it on the US.

But I do think that Six is veering into personalizing our conflict with you guys, just as Nadir does sometimes.

Six: I believe that Tom and Nadir ultimately want what you and I do, which is the maximum number of people on this earth living safely, happily, and prosperously. They think that the most effective way for this to happen is for Hezbollah and Humas to destroy the Israeli government and take control of that land, for the "freedom fighters" attacking US forces in Iraq to prevail there, and for the US to adopt the socialist policies of Cuba and Venezuela, etc.

Please go to Nadir's website (distortedsoul.com) and get the info on a downtown performance of his next Saturday and consider meeting me and our other friends there.