Re: Blood

1

Southern Illinois?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 6:49 AM
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When that's your best option...


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 6:50 AM
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Carbondale isn't that bad, I've heard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:18 AM
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My mom's a big fan of this writer. She sometimes translates his articles for me. His stuff is usually funny. This will make her very sad (I guess she must already know).


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:28 AM
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Sad story. I think he's right to get out. In fact, all rational people should get as far away from that region as possible.

I don't know while people persist in referring to it as the Holy Land. All the available evidence points to the opposite conclusion.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:31 AM
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while s/b why


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:32 AM
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The people I know at UIUC like it well enough, I think. Cool houses for cheap, at least. And any post-structuralism is likely to be purely academic, as opposed to architectural.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:36 AM
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This thread will hopefully be about whether or not it was worth it for them to take their winter clothes and whether they'll enjoy their new digs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:44 AM
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I wouldn't call UIUC southern Illinois.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:56 AM
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I spent much of that article being distracted by trying to sort out why he can't afford to ship anything.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:56 AM
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Me too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:57 AM
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9: But Carbondale is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:59 AM
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9: you should definitely write to the Guardian.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:59 AM
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The stunningly creepy article about the IDF and Deleuze, to make the reference in 7 explicit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:59 AM
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7.2: Nice.
8:One can only hope.

I remember one of the Hamas leaders some years ago remarking that he had a live-and-let live attitude toward the Jews, and didn't begrudge them peace and prosperity in, say, Minnesota.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:01 AM
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When I first saw this link elsewhere, it reinforced my growing conviction that, despite having read and heard as much as any reasonable person of comparable position could expect to have read and heard about the Israel-Palestine conflict, I do not think myself capable of furnishing an intelligent child with a satisfactory explanation of (i) what is going on or (ii) why.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:01 AM
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Yes, Carbondale is.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:02 AM
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10,11: FWIW, I once tried to ship an only moderately large box of books from the UK to the USA, and all the quotes were in the mid 3 figures. If that's representative, I would not even want to imagine shipping a middle class family's entire belongings from Israel to the USA.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:02 AM
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16: As someone in that position, I concur. My productive interaction with my kids is largely focused on which adults we know to stay away from the topic with, or at least to respond to the topic with variants of "Mmm" and "It's all so terrible."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:06 AM
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Certainly the whole situation is FUBAR, but I don't actually understand what points are hard to explain... I mean it'll take a little while to run through Zionism, the Holocaust, the 48 war, the Nakba, the Jewish exodus from Arab countries, the 67 war, the intifadas, and the way Gaza and Hebron have been turned into the world's largest prisons, but each step is clear enough.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:14 AM
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I find the sentiments expressed in 16,19, etc, really baffling. Where are you bogging down, exactly?


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:15 AM
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"So, what's the solution, then?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:17 AM
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What's hard is communicating to kids that people are being super destructive and hurtful out of ongoing hatred, for so long past any semblance of happy resolution. I don't find it exactly hard to say to kids, but it's hard to get them to understand (because it's a very hard thing for anyone to understand.)

(We've been talking a lot about Pocahontas and Jamestown and that sort of thing. Not the same as talking to teenagers, but still involves a lot of people killing each other.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:18 AM
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It's a bit strange, kids seem to find sharing difficult, be prone to fighting when forced to share space, and vindictive, so I don't see why it would be hard to understand that nations are the same way.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:24 AM
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Mostly because kids want a tidy narrative - there was a problem, and there was a clear cut villain, and there was a resolution. Or if the resolution hasn't yet occurred, there's a clear path forwards and some promising signs. And by "kids" I mean "everyone".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:26 AM
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What's hard is communicating to kids that people are being super destructive and hurtful out of ongoing hatred

I can't think of any conflicts though where the aggressors think they're acting out of hatred. It's always protecting themselves, standing up for themselves, etc. That's much easier to understand.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:27 AM
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I was looking for more about him and christ.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:27 AM
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I do not think myself capable of furnishing an intelligent child with a satisfactory explanation of (i) what is going on or (ii) why.

Why try to explain it yourself when you can just voxsplain it?


Posted by: This is Not Ezra Klein | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:27 AM
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26: yeah, but is that how you'd explain it? It's easiest to understand as "God hates half of them!" but I'm not going to go that route, either.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:28 AM
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Not so much of Unfogged parents, but in general when a parent says that something is hard to explain, what they mean is that their kid forces them to be very explicit about awful details that the parent usually compartmentalizes away, and the parent really doesn't like having to say those words so bluntly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:30 AM
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It's easiest to understand as "God hates half of them!"

"God hates all of them" seems to be an even easier way of understanding it.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:32 AM
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29: It's easiest to understand as "God hates all of them," but I can't buy that for various theological reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:32 AM
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And I'm pwned.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:33 AM
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29: If you insist on the "both sides are terrible, good heavens" position, sure, why not? Something along the lines of "Both people feel the land's theirs, and they can't settle on a proper way to share it, so they're fighting."


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:36 AM
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There's hardly anything in the world that I can explain in a manner that I find satisfactory. So when my stepdaughter asks me that kind of question, I hem and haw and admit that I don't really know, and it's fine, because she just likes to ask questions, she doesn't usually care about the answers.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:37 AM
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34: I don't find any of this hard to say. Good luck finding the bottom of the endless pool of questions, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:39 AM
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So, here's one thing I am a little confused on. Why did all the neighboring Arab states treat Palestinians so shittily? (Yes, I know, not all Arabs are the same ethnic groups, but neither are all Jews and Israel did a lot for Jews from the rest of the middle east.) Especially Gaza and Egypt, given all the pan-Arabism in Egypt and given that Egypt is huge, why wouldn't they do more for Gazans?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:40 AM
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34: here, I'll play toddler: they can't settle on a proper way to share it

"Why not?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:40 AM
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36: Isn't the bottom always, "Bedtime!" or "Go watch TV!" or the like?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:41 AM
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Why did all the neighboring Arab states treat Palestinians so shittily?

I thought conventional wisdom was to escalate the conflict and help bring on a war that caused the destruction of Israel.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:41 AM
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38 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:41 AM
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38: Because I said so.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:42 AM
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I don't have any problem understanding, say, why Hamas finds it reasonable to lob rockets into Israel. But the justification for that behavior is complicated and comes from some dark places in human nature and human history.

This is an expression of American privilege, of course, and it helps explain why Americans are so dumb. (Al Quaeda doesn't like us because that organization is evil and insane.) In these situations, we shy away from explanations that involve putting ourselves in other folks' shoes.

But I think my kids can wait a little bit to understand the horror of it all. Contra 24, my kids don't actively plot to kill each other or the other neighborhood kids, and if it takes them awhile to appreciate that homicide is actually a live option for many human beings, that's okay with me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:42 AM
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38: Because a certain fraction of each side consists of stone cold cunts. Every population has such people, but they only really come to the fore in situations like this.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:43 AM
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42: good job. Good effort.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:43 AM
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38: Or alternatively: "The same reason you can't share anything with your siblings and friends without me yelling at you first, but there's no one to yell at the Israelis and Palestinians, because God is dead."


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:44 AM
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Contra 24, my kids don't actively plot to kill each other or the other neighborhood kids...

Enough with the humblebrag.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:44 AM
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But I think my kids can wait a little bit to understand the horror of it all.

What I'm finding with Hawaii and Hokey Pokey, though, is that they can happily discuss murder and slaughter without getting particularly emotionally tied up in it. Which may vary tremendously from kid to kid, but that's how I also was as a kid - the emotional horror only struck me bit by bit, starting in middle school and not really consistent until I was 18-19.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:45 AM
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"It's this way, Susie. A great many people, deep down, despite lots of hypocritical protestations, really like the idea of killing other people, including children, and don't need much of an excuse to indulge. Now shut up and go outside to play."


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:45 AM
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38: Remember when you were mad that Hawaii played with one of your stuffed animals? Now imagine that Hawaii took over your room, burned all your stuffed animals, and made you live in the closet. Would you want to share with Hawaii then?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:45 AM
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It's easiest to understand as "God hates all of them," but I can't buy that for various theological reasons.

Really? There is ample scriptural precedent. This is "The Book of Job II". God is sitting with the Devil on a hilltop overlooking the entire region, pointing down and saying, "Let's really fuck with these people and see how long they can take it before they stop believing they're doing it in My name. I bet they can keep it up for generations."


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:45 AM
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Specifically where I have trouble is "So what do you think should happen?" Because really, I don't have any better idea than a one-state solution. Gaza and the West Bank are Israeli territory, everyone residing within those borders is a citizen who votes and with precisely equal civil rights. I can't see a two-state (that is, Israel controls the West Bank and Gaza militarily, but somehow stops fucking them over domestically) solution working at all, or at least I can't see how to get there from here.

OTOH, I buy the demographic argument (combined with a belief that there really is a fairly settled hostility to Jews in the region) to mean that under a one-state solution, it is very likely to be a fairly short time, measured in decades, before Jews in Israel are in significant danger of having their civil rights curtailed (or whatever more apocalyptic spin you want to put on it). Which seems like a really bad outcome too, and I'm desperately uncomfortable advocating a position that I do actually believe will lead to that kind of outcome.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:46 AM
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37: What else do you want them to do? You might as well ask, why doesn't the US do more for Israel. It's entirely within the resources of the United States to relocate the entire country to (as noted above) Minnesota.

When residents of Gaza petition Egypt to move there, maybe a deal can be arranged. It's pretty understandable why Jordan doesn't want to take over administration of the West Bank.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:48 AM
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We're having a lot of conversations about how "yes, the books say 'Indians' but there's a whole nother country called India, so it's better to say Native Americans" and "Yes, they're still many Native Americans living today, but they wear western clothes" and "Well, they do some of those [awful stereotypes] from the Disney movie as part of religious ceremonies, but it's not funny and ridiculous" and "no, if we stop in a reservation in Montana we can't ask them about their great-great-grandmother Pocahontas" and why they forced Pocahontas to be a Christian and so on.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:50 AM
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Oh, I certainly understand that discussing solutions is hard. I just didn't understand why describing the problem was difficult.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:51 AM
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But 52b is precisely the situation of Palestinians in Israel, for decades...


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:52 AM
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and don't need much of an excuse to indulge

Ah, but that's the thing. By my reckoning, at least, everybody has plenty of excuse to indulge. If you're not willing to stare into the horror of it all, then it really does seem senseless. I don't think it's senseless at all.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:52 AM
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55: haven't we been saying this since 22/25?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:53 AM
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It's entirely within the resources of the United States to relocate the entire country

It isn't.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:53 AM
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37: So, here's one thing I am a little confused on. Why did all the neighboring Arab states treat Palestinians so shittily?

The reasons differ, but in some cases it's because the Palestinians have not been terrific house guests. In Jordan, for example, they did this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_September_in_Jordan
In Lebanon, I would imagine it's because the government since 1948 has been based on various extremely fragile accommodations between the different confessional and ethnic groups, and having hundreds of thousands of Palestinians pour into the country hasn't made the balancing act any easier for native Lebanese politicians.
In Syria they were treated fairly well.
In Egypt it's because the Palestinians, basically, make the Egyptian government look bad (by opposing Egyptian efforts to seek peace with Israel) and because the Gaza Palestinians are Hamas supporters, and Hamas is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, whom the Egyptian government hates.
In the Gulf states it's because the Palestinians (foreign workers, mainly, rather than refugees) cleverly decided to support Iraq's annexation of Kuwait in 1990 and this annoyed the Gulf Arabs more than somewhat.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:54 AM
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55: Well, describing the problem involves describing what Israel is doing (and what Palestinians attacking Israel are doing) as wrong. At which point the natural next question is "Well, what should they be doing instead?" At which point I want to end the conversation and have a drink.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:56 AM
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60.last: Aren't the Gulf states assholes to pretty much all non-Western foreign workers anyway?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:58 AM
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59 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:58 AM
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Imagine you are trying to share this toy, and part of each of you thinks that holding onto the entirety of this toy is the key to redeeming a long history of suffering.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:01 AM
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Part of what makes the whole thing so frustrating is that even if you take the rosiest possible view and suppose that, say, only 5% of the people on either side are irredeemable shitheads, the situation is such that those 5% can pretty well indefinitely prevent anything from improving.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:01 AM
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I would *love* if we could just all agree to move everyone in Israel to Minnesota, or Alaska like in that Michael Chabon book. I don't consider any particular piece of ground to be sacred, but I do want there to be a Jewish state somewhere.


Posted by: dz/torque | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:01 AM
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So, here's one thing I am a little confused on. Why did all the neighboring Arab states treat Palestinians so shittily? (Yes, I know, not all Arabs are the same ethnic groups, but neither are all Jews and Israel did a lot for Jews from the rest of the middle east.) Especially Gaza and Egypt, given all the pan-Arabism in Egypt and given that Egypt is huge, why wouldn't they do more for Gazans?

Ashkenazi Jews tend to be pretty shitty to Mizrahi and Ethiopian Jews, which is a pretty big social justice issue that often gets overshadowed by the I-P conflict. I have a friend who studies identity construction within Israel, and there's a lot of pressure to read as "white" or "European" for Israelis. In fact, many Misrahi Jewish women will bleach their hair blonde to avoid being mistaken for Palestinians. I found that fact kind of sad and poignant, given the backstory of the creation of Israel.

But anyways, re. Arab countries, people have always shitty to other people over fairly arbitrary yet still socially real distinctions that appear meaningless to those outside the context. There's also the issue that refugees are a headache, especially for a developing country, even if you're supposed to feel some sort of kinship with the refugee group. There are also political reasons for not absorbing Palestinians into local society (i.e. it's harder to demand they be repatriated if you've absorbed them into your own society).

Related to the above point, the difficult issue is explaining the I-P conflict to kids in a way which make them understand why it's so unresolvable when an obvious solution is already there. Understanding how nationalism works and how public discourse and collective affect shape people's behavior in a way that appears unreasonable to outsiders is a much more complex conversation.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:02 AM
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On the warning kids who to not talk to, I think that has diminished as an issue over the past few years as the the hot button issue used to be american jews who flinched/protested vociferously at any suggestion that the IDF's actions were perhaps disproportionate or in any way not completely righteous. Given the impetus behind this lessening as an issue, it is hard to see this as an "improvement." At this point I know only one person who I would avoid the subject with on the basis that she would vigorously and categorically defend all Israeli actions.

Re: discussing various mires of human created and perpetuated misery, oppression & injustice with your kids, as they get a bit older (from about 5 or so), I've found you can wear the little buggers down from their own staunch instincts to go for a heroes and villains take by bringing into the conversation myriad examples where their own family/community/nation is implicated (native americans, chattel slavery, colonialism pretty much everywhere etc etc not like there is a dearth of possibilities!) and pretty soon the poor little dears are so depressed they give up. Not necessarily recommending this approach, mind you.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:03 AM
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Books which I am surprised exist.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:04 AM
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or Alaska like in that Michael Chabon book

Uh, I don't think you were actually supposed to come away from that book with the perception that it would be a great idea.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:05 AM
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"when an obvious solution is already there"

Do tell.


Posted by: dz/torque | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:05 AM
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Aren't the Gulf states assholes to pretty much all non-Western foreign workers anyway?

Yes. And in that case the answer is "because they can".

Moving seven million Israelis to Minnesota would involve building another Chicago there, or two more Minneapolises and two more St Pauls (for a total of six; by analogy with the Twin Cities and the Quad[ruplet] Cities, the region would therefore become known as the Sex Cities). This would cost, at a very rough estimate, $2 trillion. It's unlikely that the Israelis themselves would be able to pay any of this because, historically, when you successfully kick the Jews out of your country, you certainly don't let them take any assets with them.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:07 AM
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I'm not trying to deny 67.1, of course I'd expect that if Palestinians had been allowed to integrate into Egyptian society they would have faced discrimination, but the situation in Gaza is way way way worse than run of the mill racism.

I think 60 mostly answers my question though.

I can't even begin to understand what 53 is saying. If the situation in Israel were as bad as Gaza, I think the US would allow a bunch of Israelis to move here (though I doubt Minnesota is where most of them would pick).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:07 AM
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I can't see a two-state (that is, Israel controls the West Bank and Gaza militarily, but somehow stops fucking them over domestically) solution working at all, or at least I can't see how to get there from here.

Revealing my almost total ignorance, but I though a "two-state solution" meant precisely that Israel would stop controlling Gaza and the West Bank militarily, and grant them independence. No?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:08 AM
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60.last: Aren't the Gulf states assholes to pretty much all non-Western foreign workers anyway?

Yes, and Palestinians are seen as foreigners. Gulf states are very insular. Linguistic differences are a huge problem, as Levantian Arabic is looked down upon in the Gulf. My cousin is now a Saudi (culturally not legally since non Saudis can never become citizens). She had several years to prepare for her move, and her husband told her not to learn Arabic in the States because if she spoke Levantian or Egyptian Arabic in Saudi Arabia it would be worse than not knowing Arabic at all. Interestingly, her FIL caused a major scandal by divorcing her MIL and taking up with a Palestinian refugee half his age. Of course this being SA her MIL still prepares three meals a day for her FIL and leaves them on his door step.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:09 AM
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54: I've vivid memories of the indoctrination / pep talks my mother would give us before we entered California missions that were still owned by the church, about how the blood of our ancestors indelibly stained the entire building and to not believe a single word anyone associated with the church told us about the place. But that nonetheless it was our solemn duty to see what our ancestors had built. Terrified me, thought the elderly nuns might snatch me. Gruesome crucifixes added to the gothic effect.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:12 AM
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74: I'm not claiming to be less ignorant, but I had thought not: that what gets referred to as a 'two-state' solution generally assumes that the Palestinian state wouldn't have a military, because given the assumed levels of belligerence and the unfortunately wasp-waisted nature of Israel, that'd go badly immediately.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:14 AM
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74: Usually when people talk about a "two state solution" they don't mean Palestine would be a real state with full sovereignty. For example, here's part of Wikipedia's description of the terms that Arafat was offered:

"The Israeli negotiators proposed that Israel be allowed to set up radar stations inside the Palestinian state, and be allowed to use its airspace. Israel also wanted the right to deploy troops on Palestinian territory in the event of an emergency, and the stationing of an international force in the Jordan Valley. Palestinian authorities would maintain control of border crossings under temporary Israeli observation. Israel would maintain a permanent security presence along 15% of the Palestinian-Jordanian border. Israel also demanded that the Palestinian state be demilitarized with the exception of its paramilitary security forces, that it would not make alliances without Israeli approval or allow the introduction of foreign forces west of the Jordan River, and that it dismantle terrorist groups."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:15 AM
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"when an obvious solution is already there"
Do tell.

Two state solution along the pre-1967 borders. Guarantee military protection of these borders to both countries. This is an easy solution if you're playing hand of God and move people where you feel like. It's not a tenable solution if you're dealing with current political realities. But again, if you're giving a simplified explanation to kids, this is the "duh isn't it obvious" solution. (Or the 1948 boundaries, or whatever).


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:17 AM
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I took a seminar in college on the history of the Middle East from WWII through the present, but we covered almost nothing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because the professor believed that conflict was "over", and so no longer important. Oops. We spent most of the course talking about the Kurdish nationalist movement.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:17 AM
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80: Probably another war was going on in that Middle East Studies department.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:25 AM
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The "guarantee military protection" part seems like it could be tricky even assuming we can relocate everyone without trouble. That's why Israelis are leery of that, right?

Maybe we could gerrymander a situation where Israel has the same area as it would under pre-67 borders, but less surface area.


Posted by: dz/torque | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:26 AM
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If you're completely ignoring logistics, details, and the opinions of any of the parties to the conflict (as you are), then I really don't see why the obvious solution isn't a Jewish homeland in some nice part of Germany, or alternately a 51st Jewish state on Long Island.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:27 AM
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There could even be a divided capital in Brooklyn/New Jerusalem!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:29 AM
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83.last: It would at least be amusing to see what kind of terrorism NYC area WASPs are capable of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:29 AM
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Maybe we could gerrymander a situation where Israel has the same area as it would under pre-67 borders, but less surface area.

We put part of Israel underground? We crumple it?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:31 AM
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That would work too, though I was thinking circle vs. long thin rectangle.


Posted by: dz/torque | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:33 AM
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We give the Israelis gills!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:33 AM
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If you're completely ignoring logistics, details, and the opinions of any of the parties to the conflict (as you are), then I really don't see why the obvious solution isn't a Jewish homeland in some nice part of Germany

Isn't the obvious solution, under these conditions, that they all just get along?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:34 AM
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It would at least be amusing to see what kind of terrorism NYC area WASPs are capable of.

Wouldn't they just get some terrorists for hire (and when things got messy, complain about how hard it is to find good help these days)?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:34 AM
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I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of whatever bomb Ina Garten could improvise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:35 AM
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83
Or Birobidzhan!

Sure. Except the whole point of drawing up boundaries and laying out plans for two countries in this part of the Levant was with the goal to establish two countries in the Levant, so you might as well go with the already existing plans. And at least at some point you have had people on both sides of the issue say they'd be willing to agree to a two-state solution on the 1967 borders, or something close to. They may have been lying, but why not call their bluff.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:35 AM
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Taking that a step further, they could bring a bunch of Palestinians as temporary workers, cram them into camps with terrible conditions on the border with Queens and force them to become suicide bombers!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:36 AM
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Although, she's not a WASP probably.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:36 AM
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92: But those plans were *terrible plans*. That's the whole point. Those plans are exactly what got us here.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:37 AM
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95: indeed. They've already tried having a Jewish state that was just within the pre-1967 borders. It didn't go well because all their neighbours decided that they actually wanted a Jewish state within the pre-1947 borders.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:38 AM
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The best and by far the most plausible solution is climate change induced flooding renders Israel uninhabitable for centuries.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:39 AM
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Or totally forested for centuries. I think that's why people keep paying a charity to plant a tree there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:40 AM
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In the 1940's, "to establish two countries in the Levant" was clearly a war crime - ethnic cleansing, specifically. (Not that people necessarily saw it that way, but it was.) Today, that's a fait accompli, and seeking a two-state solution is an attempt to do the best we can in the aftermath of all the crimes committed in the name of Israel.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:42 AM
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97 sure is creepy!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:44 AM
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In the 1940's, "to establish two countries in the Levant" was clearly a war crime - ethnic cleansing, specifically.

If you're alluding to the Balfour Declaration, this does say "it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country". Setting up two countries and designating one as "the Jewish national home" isn't a war crime in that context.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:47 AM
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95: indeed. They've already tried having a Jewish state that was just within the pre-1967 borders. It didn't go well because all their neighbours decided that they actually wanted a Jewish state within the pre-1947 borders.

Except there's pretty convincing evidence that in the past 50 years the neighboring Arab states have mostly come to terms with Israel. Tensions between I-P and fallout into neighboring states and neighboring state politics are mainly what keeps relations antagonistic.

From wikipedia:
In 2002, Saudi Arabia proposed the Arab Peace Initiative in The New York Times, which was endorsed unanimous at a summit meeting of the Arab League in Beirut. The plan is based on UN Security Council Resolution 242 and Resolution 338, but makes more demands, essentially calling for full withdrawal by Israel "to the 1967 borders" (i.e., the 1949 Armistice line) in return for fully normalized relations with the whole Arab world.

In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres stated: "... the Saudi step is an important one, but it is liable to founder if terrorism is not stopped... It is ... clear that the details of every peace plan must be discussed directly between Israel and the Palestinians, and to make this possible, the Palestinian Authority must put an end to terror, the horrifying expression of which we witnessed just last night in Netanya", referring to the Netanya suicide attack.[22]

The Arab League has since re-endorsed the Initiative on several occasions, including at the Riyadh Summit in March 2007.[23] On 25 July 2007, the Jordanian foreign minister Abdul Ilah Khatib and Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit - appointed by the Arab League as its representatives - met with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, foreign minister Tzipi Livni, and defense minister Ehud Barak in Jerusalem. This was the first time that an Israeli government received an official delegation from the Arab League

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_League_and_the_Arab%E2%80%93Israeli_conflict#After_2000


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:50 AM
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97: it is always better to have the actual high ground rather than merely the moral high ground.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:51 AM
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Jerusalem is 2,500 feet above sea level. I'm only 1,200 feet above see level. If I understand how fluids work, I think I'm on team "not flooding Israel."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:53 AM
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101: I'm alluding to the Nakba, not Balfour.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:54 AM
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So basically, both sides have actually agreed to a two-state solution on the 1967 borders, but they are locked in a game of chicken. Plus massive bad faith, internal disagreements etc.

What could maybe work is that NATO forces provide massive defense to Israel (Iron Shield x10 and all that) and then Israel fully withdraws from Gaza & Westbank and destroys all the settlements (w/NATO help). If the Palestinians still retaliate, NATO crushes the retaliation with support of the entire world. If the Palestinians peacefully go about their business, then NATO leaves Israel and the Israelis peacefully go about their business. Again, I know this isn't gonna happen any time soon, but it's not crazy like saying "why not make Long Island a Jewish state!"


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:57 AM
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Or we could give most of Silicon Valley to Israelis on the condition that they turn that desolate wasteland into vibrant cities.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:59 AM
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Cut the baby in half.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:00 AM
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If the Palestinians still retaliate, NATO crushes the retaliation with support of the entire world.

This sentence sounds to me a bit like crazy-talk. When you say "crushes the retaliation", what precisely were you envisioning, and what level of retaliation would trigger it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:00 AM
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I think it's misleading to say that both sides have agreed to a two-state solution on the 1967 borders. First that doesn't address most of the main issues (right of return, Jerusalem, security concerns, etc.), and second, the people haven't agreed to that and in the event of the leaders making such a decision at least one (and probably both) of the leaders would be assassinated and at least one (and perhaps both) of the governments would fall.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:01 AM
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109: come on, that whole paragraph is bananas nonsense. Why limit yourself to the one sentence?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:02 AM
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"And if it moos wrong, we gut the spherical cow with our frictionless knife!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:07 AM
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I've never had a clue as to what the logic is behind a one state solution. The Israeli population is clearly even more opposed to it than it is to a two state solution. The Palestinians have rather well founded reasons to hate the Israelis. At absolute best it would be Lebanon, but only after the two groups had decided they're really sick of killing each other. Plus, how would we convince the Israelis? Military invasion against a well armed state which also has nukes and is completely paranoid and into lashing out in a violent way? Cutting off aid sure as hell wouldn't be enough.

99 It was a pretty well established way of dealing with ethnic conflict at that point - see the then still ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Germans, the then just recently concluded ethnic cleansing of the Polish population of Ukraine, or the way the Greek-Turkish conflict was settled a generation before that.

IMO we should propose a settlement along the lines that Abbas has been pushing for, i.e. those East Jerusalem Jewish neighbourhoods that existed prior to Oslo, plus those settlements in the West Bank that did back then and are right next to the border, all in total about two percent of the Palestinian territories, compensated with equal good quality swaps. A token right of return. Strict limits on Palestinian military forces. Shower the Israelis with tons of money, shower the Palestinians with even more. Tell the Israelis that if they don't accept they'll be subject to modest but non meaningless sanctions (e.g. a ban on entry of anyone living beyond the Green Line, penalties on companies that employ people who live there), tell the Palestinians that if they don't accept they can look forward to an indefinite future of more of the same. If this doesn't work, oh well, we can't solve every fucked up situation in the world.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:09 AM
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I think the root crazy in 106 is the idea that the problems stem from a lack of Israeli military superiority.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:10 AM
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Just out of curiosity, which of these events do you all think will happen first?

A) The Israelis and Palestinians come to an agreement that brings about stable, long-term peaceful coëxistence between them.
B) Scientists discover proof of intelligent extraterrestrial life.

My money is on B.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:11 AM
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111
Because the current situation is tenable?

There's a reason I referred to this as a sort of 'hand of God' type of solution. But speaking of the 'will of the people' as some sort of force of nature is also bananas insane. People's attitudes are malleable. Years of inflammatory rhetoric and demonization and stupid retaliation on both sides have created the current situation. This situation, if it going to be undone, will also have to be undone by human activity (unless we're going with the global warming plan). To say it's impossible right now, sure. To say it would be immensely difficult to achieve and it seems impossible any time in the near to medium term future, sure. To say it can never be done is a stupid and dangerous sort of fatalism of the sort that justifies all sorts of ethnic hatreds and terrible stuff.

Jerusalem: 1) Divide in half. 2) Right of return: allow Palestinians to return to Palestine. 3) Security issues: reassure Israel they have a much more powerful military than all their neighbors and that there's a point security concerns slip into security neuroses. Appoint UN Peace Keepers to monitor the borders for X number of years. Whatever. Somehow other areas manage to form two states in contentious circumstances without security concerns making it totally and inconceivably impossible.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:13 AM
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Just thinking outside the box, maybe the problem is that one or two states is not enough states? Could I-P follow California's lead and work on a six state solution?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:13 AM
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I'm pretty sure the Israeli Palestinian conflict could survive any science fiction scenario you care to imagine. Aliens could occupy the earth. Our robots could rise up against us. The singularity could occur. But there would still be fighting in Israel/Palestine and it would still be a problem that exacerbates every other problem we have.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:15 AM
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The singularity solves it. Once everyone is a brain in a vat, you just make two identical copies of the area in the computer and give one to each nation.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:17 AM
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114

Um, that's not what I meant to suggest. The Israelis go on about security concerns, so call their bluff. Offer to provide them with defensive support. Yes duh, they have more firepower than the entire region combined. But since they bring it up as a stumbling block, take it off the table as an excuse.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:17 AM
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Because the current situation is tenable?

Because the ideas are unworkable nonsense! "If you do not agree with me that we should cover Israel with sticky foam for ten years until people learn to live in peace and also get tired of being immobilized in foam, you are clearly on the side of HamasLikud Amalgamated!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:17 AM
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How does adding our fire power stop rockets from being fired into Israel?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:17 AM
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122

Are you not paying attention to the Iron Dome development?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:19 AM
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117 is thinking small


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:24 AM
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121

So you think a two-state solution formally agreed to by the Arab league and the last non-insane Israeli PM is the crazy nonsense equivalent to coating people in sticky foam, and I'm the crazy one?

What's your solution? TFR in Gaza is over 5.19. TFR of Westbank Settlers is 5.08. Slo mo ethnic cleansing? ISIS funded invasion of Israel when Gaza gets too desperate?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:27 AM
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If a one or two-state solution is too out-there crazy, maybe a stateless solution would work. We could invite Al-Shabaab in to run the whole area.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:39 AM
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The problem isn't the absence of reasonable compromises and well drawn maps. The problem is no one in the leadership on either side wants peace.

You could build a physical dome over Israel and station every soldier in NATO around the border, and the Israeli leadership would still say the nation is insecure, and must continue to occupy and oppress Palestinians for self preservation.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:47 AM
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You're the only one who said there's a simple solution. I'm not sure why I need to propose an alternate solution to disagree with your claim.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:51 AM
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[now arguably off-topic]

ogged, thanks so much for sharing the article in the OP. I've never known how big a role that supposed superiority complex plays in, say, diplomacy, on a scale from "none, it's a racist caricature" to "it's a real problem."

Did you by any chance read Treacherous Alliances? I pulled it off the shelf at random and it made an impression, but I don't have a whole lot of context, as you would. I'd also entertain recommendations (from anyone) for a good follow-up to The Iron Wall, which was interesting in particular for its portrait of different generations of Israeli politicians (pioneering Zionists/military types give way to career politicians, etc.)

In high school I had a friend whose parents had been friends with Netanyahu at Harvard and remained such in the mid-1990s; "of course we don't agree with Bibi's politics," she assured us. It's funny how much that introduction to the man and his ideas, frozen in time, still follows me through the daily news, day after day, as if everything since the second Intifada has been a glorified sequel to This Side of Paradise or something. I hope Kashua's books are better than that.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:53 AM
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127 is totally ridiculous.

Buttercup is winning this thread by default.


Posted by: dz/torque | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:54 AM
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So you think a two-state solution formally agreed to by the Arab league and the last non-insane Israeli PM is the crazy nonsense equivalent to coating people in sticky foam

No, I think your magic NATO force wand is crazy nonsense. The rest of it I merely think is vanishingly implausible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 10:57 AM
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127

Right, it's totally politically untenable and well impossible into the foreseeable future, as I've noted repeatedly in my comments. (Are they too long? Do people not actually read what I write?) But anyways, I guess I get frustrated when people claim that political problems are totally intractable and will exist forever and ever and ever. There's not an enduring enmity built into the natures the Israeli and the Palestinian, or the Jew and the Arab, or whatever creepy way you want to phrase it. If we care about preventing human suffering, then there are certain totally doable steps we could take to ameliorate the situation--pressure Netanyahu, support Abbas, etc. This Guardian article made me kind of optimistic:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/mar/16/israel-slapped-america-bibi-hillary

tl;dr: the situation is FUBAR, but there reasonable steps we can do in the here in now that will hopefully lead towards a reasonable two-state solution in the distant future.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:00 AM
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I'm surprised at how closed minded people are being about Sifu's sticky foam solution.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:00 AM
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129: Well, that "superiority complex" can play in different ways. My mother remembers being taught not to hate Arabs -- something like "They may hate you for being a Jew or an Israeli, but you're better than that."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:01 AM
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133: you could even make it flavored sticky foam so people would enjoy being immobilized.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:01 AM
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134: Of course, the occupying imperialist Brittish were a different matter.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:03 AM
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This is what I wrote:

Two state solution along the pre-1967 borders. Guarantee military protection of these borders to both countries. This is an easy solution if you're playing hand of God and move people where you feel like. It's not a tenable solution if you're dealing with current political realities. But again, if you're giving a simplified explanation to kids, this is the "duh isn't it obvious" solution. (Or the 1948 boundaries, or whatever).

Again, do people actually read my comments? Or do you put it through some google FOX News translator or something and then go THAT'S CRAZY TALK!!


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:03 AM
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120: Further enmeshing the U.S. militarily in the region is basically the opposite of any solution I'd picture.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:03 AM
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This situation, if it going to be undone, will also have to be undone by human activity (unless we're going with the global warming plan).

Buttercup doesn't believe in anthropogenic global warming. Insane!

I wouldn't exactly agree with 130, but I do think Buttercup's interlocutors are missing the point.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:04 AM
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If the foam were flavored, wouldn't people eat their way out?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:04 AM
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Oh, and then I wrote this:

Related to the above point, the difficult issue is explaining the I-P conflict to kids in a way which make them understand why it's so unresolvable when an obvious solution is already there. Understanding how nationalism works and how public discourse and collective affect shape people's behavior in a way that appears unreasonable to outsiders is a much more complex conversation.

But seriously, are my comments too long? I know long comments can be a pain to read.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:05 AM
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141: We don't have any meaninful disagreements here anymore, and this place needs arguments or it will go fallow. It's sort of the opposite of Gaza.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:08 AM
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Guarantee military protection of these borders to both countries

Hey, look, it's the impossible thing.

This is an easy solution if you're playing hand of God and move people where you feel like

Hey look, it's another impossible thing.

this is the "duh isn't it obvious" solution

I may have found the problem!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:09 AM
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This is long, good, and dark from the New Republic.

What I would like to happen next is at the end: "In the United States, top Middle East voices are urging Kerry to bypass Abbas and Netanyahu and put forward his own detailed peace plan. "It would set U.S. policy on a sound basis," said former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer. "After forty-seven years of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and sixty-six years of its independence, we would finally have a view with respect to how the conflict comes to an end. To back away in anticipation of failure is unlike anything we do anywhere else in the world.""


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:10 AM
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I think the issue is calling the solution you're spelling out 'obvious'. I know you've explicitly said that it's got serious practical difficulties, but when I look at it, the level of obvious practical difficulties seem to me to pull it well outside the space of things I'd call obvious solutions. I haven't got anything better (well, the one-state solution, which makes more sense to me but which I recognize also isn't going to work), but that seems to me to mean that there is no obvious solution.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:11 AM
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145 to 141, and essentially meaning to say the same thing as 143.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:12 AM
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How about a seven state solution, like with the horcruxes?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:12 AM
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143

Ok, at this point you're purposely misreading to keep the arguments going. I get it.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:12 AM
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I have an obvious solution, too, but it requires a time machine.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:13 AM
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143 cont'd: I mean, you could just as easily say "the obvious solution is to combine Israel and Palestine into one state, pay repatriations where necessary, and develop a constitution that protects both Israeli and Palestinian interests to their satisfaction!" Okay, given current political realities that might be a teeny bit tricky, but it would obviously work. Duh!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:13 AM
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148: I'm misreading by... directly quoting you?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:14 AM
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but that seems to me to mean that there is no obvious solution

Right, this. "Well, of course there's the obvious solution that is impossible currently or under any imaginable future scenario without invoking an actual hand of god, so the real question is why we can't just do that?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:15 AM
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140: The foam is ham-flavored.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:18 AM
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113.3 actually does present an "obvious" solution (i.e., a reasonably clear, conceivably workable, although not right now actually possible because of intransigence, largely from the Israelis) that has actually been proposed by one side.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:18 AM
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if you're giving a simplified explanation to kids, this is the "duh isn't it obvious" solution.

Selective quoting can be misquoting. Since you left out the leading clause, the statement no longer is accurate.

This is an easy solution if you're playing hand of God and move people where you feel like.

So, I said, to outsiders with a simplified view of the issue, e.g. kids, this seems like an easy solution if this totally implausible thing were to be the case, i.e., in reality not easy or plausible at all. You dismantled the statement so it meant the exact opposite of what I actually wrote, implying I'm thinking we can play hand of God.

Now, where we disagree is that I think the current situation is FUBAR, but the two-state solution is the most plausible of all the implausible solutions, and we could start taking concrete steps now with that very longterm goal in mind and hope we get somewhere not worse than where we are now. I'm not actually sure what you think on the issue.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:23 AM
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But anyways, I guess I get frustrated when people claim that political problems are totally intractable and will exist forever and ever and ever.

I get frustrated too, despite the fact that I am currently one of those people.

It seems to me that the nitty-gritty details of who gets which plot of land are a secondary problem right now. The main problem is that both sides are currently led* by people who point to the other side and say, "The only thing those people understand is force." And yet it's a prisoner's dilemma, in which neither side has sufficient incentive to be the first one to make concessions and offer the olive branch. Until that changes, I don't think either side is in a position to accept any concrete solution, no matter how detailed or even-handed it may be.

* (to the extent that the Palestinian side currently has actual leadership in any meaningful sense)


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:24 AM
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154: It's stronger on the 'might actually happen' front than most solutions, although I think weaker on solving the problem long-term than the alternatives. But closer to 'might actually happen' still looks like 'there is literally no chance this is going to happen for real' (that is, I just don't believe Israel is pulling out of the settlements under any plausible circumstances).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:25 AM
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'there is literally no chance this is going to happen for real' (that is, I just don't believe Israel is pulling out of the settlements under any plausible circumstances)

Yeah, I mean, as an outsider my sense is that any serious move against the settlements by the Israeli government would result in at best the dissolution of that government and at worst (maybe I shouldn't say "at worst" w/r/t I-P, but anyhow) something like a civil war within Israel.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:27 AM
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155: But if you're playing hand of God, then any solution is workable; I don't see what makes yours preferable to any other. Like, it seems clearly inferior to one state, everyone has equal rights, somehow through the power of stipulation this stays stable and peaceable and no one oppresses anyone else solution. Neither is going to happen, but we're no closer to one than to the other.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:27 AM
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155: Well, yes. But on the global warming thing, you've got no defense whatsoever.

Now, where we disagree is that I think the current situation is FUBAR, but the two-state solution is the most plausible of all the implausible solutions

This might have been an interesting conversation. I was rather interested in LB's 52, and I took your original comment as being responsive to that.

Maybe we could do another 100 comments misreading 52, and calling LB to account for ridiculously saying that there's a plausible one-state solution.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:31 AM
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You could build a physical dome over Israel and station every soldier in NATO around the border,

I thought at first that you had suggested building a physical dome over every Israeli soldier, which made a nice evocative image, at least.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:32 AM
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BTW I don't think NATO occupation is a good idea, but it's an idea. If we want to resolve the security issue, which has been raised as a stumbling block to peace, we either have to 1) tell the Israelis their security fears are irrational, or 2) indulge them by beefing up their defense. What I think is the right idea is (1), but if route (2) is better/easier, what would be another way to do that?

Yes, this is all currently impossible, but it's not insane, and there's a difference between the two. Saying "there should be a peaceful two state solution" is not on the same level as saying "Martians should settle the Levant?" or something.

Secondly, the problem with saying "oh, this conflict is intractable, trying to solve it is crazy, etc" is it gives credence to some very unsavory actors and viewpoints. Again, if there's not permanent ingrained ethnic enmity, why is this conflict unsolvable past the endtimes? Shouldn't there be a conceivable solution, no matter how impossible implementing it now would be? Whether that's one state, two states, 5 states, who knows. It's highly possible something will happen and a 1-state solution will be easiest.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:33 AM
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156: I'm going to side with Unfoggetarian at 110 on this. Sure, there's a leadership problem, but the regular folks really, really hate each other, too.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:33 AM
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Couldn't we just create a new Palestine by annexing, say, the northern portion of Iraq, move all the Palestinians there and give them a bunch of nuclear weapons to make sure no one causes them any trouble?

I mean, that's the sort of thing we used to do in this kind of situation. Sure some of the people who already live there might have to move around a bit to make room but how much trouble could that cause?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:34 AM
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The one state solution seems to me doomed on the basis that everyone hates each other so much it's only a matter of time before one side gets the upper hand and screws the other into an Apartheid like situation.

I think the two state solution is the only plausible one, but I don't see it happening absent some shock to the whole system that upsets the current equilibrium of hostility and extremism.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:36 AM
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164: Why move just one side? Everyone has to go. Israel will be empty.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:37 AM
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155: so, here's what I'm trying to point out: the problem with talking about this to kids is that there is not a "duh, isn't it obvious" solution. The fact that you are able to construct a "duh, isn't it obvious" solution by means of introducing impossible conditions doesn't actually help explain the situation to kids. It misleads them. Not only that, but construing the problem such that you're able to say "well, there is an obvious solution mutatis mutandis various things" is sweeping essentially the entire problem under the rug. It is no more helpful as an explanatory tool than "because I say so".

As far as what I personally think, I guess maybe I could have been more clear that I have no fucking idea. It seems really dangerous and terrible, and the only advantage a two state solution has over a one state solution is that it is the practical impossibility that is maybe more politically palatable to the actual actors in this drama in the short term. But aside from exerting nonspecific eceonomic pressure I don't know what the fuck there is to be done, and I suppose I mostly just hope nobody ends up getting nuked. Perhaps luckily, it really doesn't matter what I think.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:37 AM
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Sure, there's a leadership problem, but the regular folks really, really hate each other, too.

True, the leadership didn't get there by accident.

Maybe we could force the Israelis and Palestinians to play an infinite number of games of tic-tac-toe, until they realize that the only winning move is not to play.

Or maybe that's what they're doing now.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:40 AM
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160
Maybe her comments don't go through an automatic Fox News translator?

159
Yeah LB, I think logistically a 1 state solution is more implementable at this point, given how interwoven infrastructure is. I attended a lecture by a member of the PA about 10 years ago now making this argument. With a one state solution though, you have to give up any pretense to having a Jewish state, and given demographic trends, you'd very likely have a minority Jewish state of Israelstine or whatever. It might be easier to uproot Jewish settlers than to de facto eliminate a Jewish state in the Holy Land.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:40 AM
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The obvious solution is genocide. Of who by whom is a detail we can leave to a neutral panel of experts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:44 AM
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170: Too soon. Give it another 21 years.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:47 AM
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159.last is right, of course. All the solutions are unworkable.

Actually, you know what we need? A one state solution, and Zombie Immortal Marshal Tito to hold it together. There's a man who could keep the lid on intractable ethnic conflicts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:48 AM
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I meant 169 last.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:49 AM
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20 the way Gaza and Hebron have been turned into the world's largest prisons

Well, for one thing, there's the fact that if you use that characterization an awful lot of people are going to get very angry and probably call you an anti-Semite.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:50 AM
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There's a man who could keep the lid on intractable ethnic conflicts.

I mean, he had to kill like a tenth of the population to get there, but then, sure, he managed it for a bit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:51 AM
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Picky, picky.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:51 AM
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The obvious solution is penalty kicks.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:52 AM
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(Actually, this reveals my ignorance of modern Balkan history, but I hadn't realized he was that bad. I thought Yugoslavia under Tito was totalitarian but not all that murderous.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:52 AM
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Perhaps luckily, it really doesn't matter what I think.

Too bad the NSA is keeping track of this thread and unfogged commenters are going to be invited to Camp David.

I understand the move to despair. I used to pay pretty close attention to this issue through the 90s and early/mid 2000s (I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when Rabin was assassinated), and then gave up in disgust. Not that my paying attention meant anything, but it seemed like a case where both sides wanted the situation to continue as is and were basically trolling any and all well-meaning attempts to help.

The reason a two-state solution would IMO be more 'duh' to someone not really paying attention is the whole 'right to ethnic self-determination' issue which seems to be the first requirement for any solution for the Israelis and also the Palestinians. Then there's the fact that plans have been drawn up and supposedly agreed to for two states, and that's not the case for one state. If anyone pays attention for more than a few minutes, they can see it's complicated, but to me a 5 year old would see this as an obvious solution.*

*When I was 5 and my parents were telling me about the Reformation, they were trying to explain that being excommunicated from the Catholic Church was a big deal back in the day, because atheism was not an option. I responded, "so why didn't he just become Jewish?" In my mind, Luther needed a religion, there were two religions in Europe, he had been kicked out of one, ergo, joining the other would be easier than starting his own.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:54 AM
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The one state solution seems to me doomed on the basis that everyone hates each other so much it's only a matter of time before one side gets the upper hand and screws the other into an Apartheid like situation.

It seems like a generation ago, Israelis didn't hate Palestinians that much, before the Israeli government intervened to greatly expand the settler and ultra-orthodox communities. So, theoretically it could go the other way.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:54 AM
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178: well, I was mostly thinking of during the war, so it's not like the majority of the deaths were his fault, exactly, but he certainly arranged things so that a lot of potentially rivalrous groups would be dead postwar.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:58 AM
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Although I'm sure it's useful in the case of Israel, it must be annoying in general for the president to have to do so many meetings with ceremonial heads of state for no better reason than reciprocity - Elizabeth, Akihito, Joachim Gauck, Michaëlle Jean, etc.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 11:58 AM
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180.1 strikes me as about right, although I don't know what the situation was like on the ground before Ariel Sharon decided to kickstart the Second Intifada as a way of turning out the vote.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:04 PM
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Not that zombie Tito is going to happen, but he also kept a lid on things by outlawing ethnicity. I couldn't see that flying in I-P.

I think one issue that the I-P conflict is masking is the difficulty of keeping Israel functioning as a religious ethnically homogeneous democracy. The tensions between secularism-theocracy & representative democracy-ethnic chauvinism/apartheid are really huge, and somewhat fundamentally incompatible to keeping everything running smoothly. I had an Israeli friend who argued that Israel needed the I-P conflict to prevent internal breakdown. Maybe a multi-state solution would actually be the best. You could have Orthodoxstan, Kibbutzland, and whatever Palestinian states you wanted.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:05 PM
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136: yes (-- although I like the alternate reading that your mom was taught to go right ahead and hate all those condescending British fuckers). How did she take that lesson?

I don't know why the thought of telling a kid that the Israelis and Palestines just won't share seems so gagworthy. I suppose, if my kid asked, I'd say something like that without thinking. I might also explain that they just kept doing worse and worse stuff instead of saying sorry, until they were so mad and so scared that they forgot how to be sorry at all and just wanted never to see each other again, ever, that this happens to people sometimes, and that it is sad, and so Mom and Dad are sad too, but that you, small child, have never done anything so bad that you can't say sorry and be forgiven, so that's good. This also seems pretty gagworthy. I definitely endorse comment 16, although I think Flippanter will be forgiven if he apologizes for setting this argument off.

14 not seen until now: yeah, it makes my skin crawl, but I'm not sure I can pin down exactly why.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:06 PM
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174: Hence the one ironclad rule of the I/P conflict: never discuss Israel with another mathematician. But if your own children start calling you an antisemite for that explanation, then you have bigger parenting problems than explaining I/P to your kid.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:08 PM
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well, I was mostly thinking of during the war, so it's not like the majority of the deaths were his fault, exactly

Tito's wasn't even in the top three most murderous factions in Yugoslavia during the course of the war (which says more about the rest of the country than about Tito). His forces were way overrepresented in the post-war score-settling atrocities, though.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:08 PM
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But closer to 'might actually happen' still looks like 'there is literally no chance this is going to happen for real' (that is, I just don't believe Israel is pulling out of the settlements under any plausible circumstances).

I guess, but now we're in "gun control will never happen because gun nuts are nuts" territory. At least we know that we're dealing with blamable crazies whom we can blame for being crazy (IMO, in the I-P conflict there are most definitely blamable crazies on both sides, but the Israeli blamable crazies are now substantially more responsible for not getting to a plausible solution), not some kind of metaphysically insoluble riddle of justice.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:10 PM
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Yugoslavia wasn't that murderous under Tito and there was a limited bit of muliethnic society created during his regime. Some of the borders go back to the Balkan wars pre-WWI and the negotiations that created them included such well-intentioned European contributions as "no fucking way are we giving Serbia a port" which then got rolled into Yugoslavia postwar.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:10 PM
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Oh, you're all talking about pre break with USSR Tito.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:14 PM
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180 -- I don't think that omelette can be unmade. As much as a two state solution might be the better endpoint, it seems to me that a one state solution is the only thing that can be done with these people.

(I've mentioned before a pre-9/11 Shimon Peres speech I was at -- it was more or less a ratcheted-down-state state solution, with customs unions free movement of people and commerce, and the like. This ship having sailed, any reasonable 2 state solution is gone with it.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:14 PM
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Or maybe just two states, but put all the conservative/fundamentalist/crazies together in one state, and everyone else in a different, secular democratic one. With strong enough border control to keep things from spilling over this might work, because the people who mostly just want to get along could do that and the crazy fundamentalists could resolve whatever issues they have with each other on their own.

It would be like the Thunderdome except without a big net with chainsaws hanging off it for them to use. Or maybe with a big net with chainsaws hanging off it for them to use. Whichever seems more appealing to them I guess.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:17 PM
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10: it's like you've never moved your stuff from one continent to another before. I laid down 30K ND just to move a shipping container to a remote part of indonesia. to a port! from one of the biggest ports in the world!
85: it's like you've never been to a cocktail party when someone's wife and ex-wife were there and everyone was being very polite to one another. or spoken to my grandfather. truthfully, if the terrorism could plausibly involve sportsmanship in any form the WASPs could do it themselves: "let's sail a little 35-ft sloop in there and attach that baby we made from the black powder we normally use to fill shotgun shells!" otherwise they would hire someone, yes. but not pay them all that much money.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:19 PM
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a one state solution is the only thing that can be done with these people.

I suspect an apartheid state is a more likely outcome of a one state solution than a stable democratic binational state. In fact, I increasingly fear that's what we're going to get, with annexation of the occupied pieces of the West Bank and Bantustans in the rest. I sure hope not, but the political and demographic trends in Israel don't give much cause for hope.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:20 PM
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192 last -- I had a friend who similarly proposed just turning 10 square miles around Jerusalem into religious nutjob Thunderdome. Christian, Muslim, Jewish -- you want to fight it out for the right to control the Rock, you have a free pass to do so, anyone can emigrate in for the greatest battle for souls in history. Everyone else can hang out on the nice Israeli beaches and party.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:21 PM
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I guess "emigrate in" should just be "immigrate." Whatevs, we need more Thunderdomes as solutions for real world problems.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:22 PM
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189 Yes, at least once you get past the early postwar period (Kusturica's Papa's Away on Business is worth watching). And Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq also got along much better and were far more integrated than the Israelis and Palestinians, or even the Israelis Jews and Israeli Arabs. And yet they happily killed each other in great numbers over a) borders and b) who gets to be top dog in a unified state. And looking at Sunnis vs. Shiites as opposed to Croatia vs. Serbia is a nice argument for a two state as opposed to one state solution.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:23 PM
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A hitherto undiscovered area of agreement between Halford and the goths at Burning Man.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:24 PM
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it's like you've never been to a cocktail party when someone's wife and ex-wife were there and everyone was being very polite to one another. or spoken to my grandfather.

I haven't done either so far as I know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:24 PM
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192: I think to a certain extent this is already happening. The state with the conservative/fundamentalist/crazies is Israel/West Bank/Gaza, and the one with the moderates is southern Illinois.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:24 PM
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I agree with 194 in terms of the likely outcome over the next 25 years. But it's not a stable outcome for more than a generation, right? South Africa didn't last forever.

I think any scenario counts as optimistic if it doesn't end with genocide.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:26 PM
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when I've explained the situation to my kids they've come to the (as independent as one can manage) conclusion that the palestinians are getting fucked over pretty hard.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:27 PM
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191 A one state solution just offers so, so many more opportunities for the two to interact, with much higher stakes. To reference Iraq again, after god knows how many deaths the Sunnis are still willing to kill and die to avoid being in a subordinate position. Or if you prefer, do you really think we'd have gotten to a nice multiracial South Africa if the Afrikaners made up a narrow majority overall and an overwhelming one on eighty percent of the territory with minimal dependance on Black labour and that had been the situation for generations?.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:31 PM
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199: I guess I've been at a cocktail party where my granddad's first two now-ex-wives, and his current wife, were there, but not his third wife who was cray. very subtle knife-twisting, and no one overtly anything no matter how drunk they got. smooth facade of aesthetic unity over all. this is why it'd be hard to catch the WASP terrorists later.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:32 PM
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170, 201

On the plus side for people thinking about committing genocide, if you haphazardly document it and refuse to apologize or acknowledge you did anything wrong people tend to forget about it about in 50-100 years (if they ever pretended to care at all).

A homeland for religious fundamentalists around the world is an appealing idea. We could establish it in Birobidzhan and rename it Theocratia.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:35 PM
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204: In my family, there would have been stabbings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:37 PM
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Using guns at family functions was strictly shanty Irish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:38 PM
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Camp David

But the very name of the place is biased.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:40 PM
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204

I've been in the sauna of my mom's boyfriend's ex-girlfriend. Everyone was naked. We also paper over large conflicts until we get drunk enough. It's less icy politeness and more taciturnity. We did invent the Molotov cocktail so we'd be ok at the terrorism front.

Speaking of ethnic-conflicts, I'd like to see what sort of resistance the Italians would put up if you turned Long Island into a Jewish homeland.



Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:40 PM
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I sure am glad that for the last week I've been far away from my militantly racist Ukrainian-Israeli colleague.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:42 PM
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209: OMG, its the new naked reality show: Naked Awkward Conversations in Saunas!

So much better than that stupid buying-real-estate-naked show. I mean seriously, that one sounds about as interesting as naked tax preparation.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:43 PM
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204: I was at an uberWASP event with remarried exes (BFF's parents) being coolly polite to one another. At the end of the evening they were shitfaced and making out.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 12:58 PM
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180 is interesting. We need someone to do some Pikettiesque research plotting levels of hatred over time.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 1:01 PM
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Were they out in public or were you creeping around the place?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 1:01 PM
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211,212: New reality show: Naked WASP Cocktail Parties. Naked, but still coolly polite.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 1:01 PM
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192 - Isn't an apartheid state basically what they have there now, and have had for quite some time? If not it's close enough in the important moral respects that it doesn't matter too much. I suspect the main problem is that there just isn't much chance for a stable democratic state in the area given the massive overwhelming insistence on the part of (at the very least) one of the sides of the need for a non-secular state to exist in the first place.

I suspect that one of the only things that let South Africa get away with a transition to a democratic/secular state was that the powerful side of the conflict really had no choice but to recognize that the other side had a genuine claim to live in the general area*, no matter how much they qualified/restricted what they meant by that, and the ANC/etc. were willing to grant the same thing to them. There's really not much of that going on with Israel/Palestine, and I think Israeli Jews have a valid worry that a majority-Palestinian state might not have much sympathy for their claim to have a right to live in the area, especially if that includes a massive disparity in resources. (It makes at least some difference deep down when the colonization happened, and how fast the situation deteriorated.)

*When one of your (racist) terms for them is "natives" it's hard to avoid this.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 1:04 PM
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212: I saw that movie! Adam Scott was there?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 1:09 PM
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216's asterisk is less true than you might think. Terminology changed in the mid-20th century from "natives" to "Bantu" precisely to avoid ceding that point. There was a whole fake historical claim about the Bantu Migration meaning that black people hadn't been living in SA any longer than white people had, and that the only real indigenous people where the Khoe/San, who were conveniently mostly dead or absorbed into the category of Coloured.

Side note: "African" was out as a label because that's what Afrikaners call themselves.

About I/P, I know nothing.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 1:22 PM
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Less pedantically: the inevitability of the end of apartheid in SA, if it existed, came from getting white business interests on the side of compromise. That, in turn, came from sanctions and a dawning understanding that immiserating 85% of your population is not the best way to create a thriving domestic economy. No idea how this translates to Israel, except that the kind of sanctions that actually affect the economic interests of important corporations seem very, very far from politically possible at the moment.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 1:25 PM
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218.1 Wasn't that historical claim repeated in Guns, Germs, and Steel?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 1:41 PM
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218/220: I thought the Bantu Migration was real--or at least real in a cultural if not necessarily in a genetic lineage sense--but many, many centuries earlier than white colonization?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 1:46 PM
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Isn't the Bantu migration still considered to have happened? I've seen anthropologists refer to it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 1:51 PM
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Looking at wikipedia doesn't help much, but seems to suggest that although there were certainly non-San Africans within the borders of what is now South Africa when Europeans settled, possibly they weren't in the southwesternmost parts of the country, where the initial European settlements were? But I don't know anything beyond wikipedia (and having read the James Michener South Africa book when I was ten or so.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:02 PM
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I thought at first that you had suggested building a physical dome over every Israeli soldier, which made a nice evocative image, at least.

The origin of the Daleks.

-----

I fuzzily remember, when I was following this for high-school debate, that an Israeli plan to build good integrated housing for Palestinians was bullied down by Hamas-plus-Cold-War-interests. That is, the attempt to build a healthy single state was being attacked not just by rightwingers in Israel, and Palestinian separatists, but by distant countries explicitly keeping the conflict going as a proxy for their own purposes. This was so sad and bewildering that it's about when I stopped following the politics closely.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:02 PM
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People speaking Bantu languages and other related members of the Niger-Congo family are know to have migrated into southern Africa from their original home in Palestine, but nobody is sure exactly when.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:03 PM
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Right, 223 is the version of the claim that I remember. More specifically that the Cape had a climate suited for European crops but not Bantu crops, and so the Bantu weren't able to expand into it until after they got crops from European settlers. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it's the claim I remember from GG&S.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:15 PM
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People speaking Bantu languages and other related members of the Niger-Congo family are know to have migrated into southern Africa from their original home in Palestine, but nobody is sure exactly when.

You laugh, but Afrikaaner theology held that the local Black skinned population were the cursed descendants of Ham, Noah's son. Also, some particularly misguided Voortreker tried to march to the Holy Land from South Africa. The northern South African town formerly known as Nylstroom (now Modimolle) was so named because the settlers thought they had found the Nile River.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:21 PM
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Who knew the Afrikaaners were Mormon?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:25 PM
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225 - You may be more right than you think...


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:27 PM
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the ngoma was used in battles, and would explode and be rebuilt.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:37 PM
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Hooray for making shit up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:40 PM
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That is pretty incredible. How did I not know about this discovery? And they said that "King Solomon's Mines" was made up.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:41 PM
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Sorry, yes, the Bantu Migration is a real thing. There's a debate over how much of the "migration" was physical replacement of populations versus cultural assimilation, but genetic studies are suggesting it was actual physical population replacement. However, Bantu-speakers arrived in South Africa several centuries, at minimum, before Europeans did. Afrikaner versions of history liked to fudge the chronology to have everyone arriving at the same time, thus bolstering their own claim to land ownership.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:41 PM
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227

Common racial/linguistic theories in the late 19th century held that there were three branches of the "Caucasian" race, which corresponded to the three descendants of the sons of Noah:AryanIndo-European (Japheth),* Semitic (Shem), and "Hamitic" (Ham) language families. The IE and Semitic language families are still considered valid in contemporary linguistic theory, and the 'Hamitic' language family was a motley assortment of non-Semitic languages in the Afroasiatic language family. The 'Hamites' then were non-Semitic peoples in North and East Africa (e.g. Berbers, Ethiopians, ancient Egyptians), and were considered the least developed of the Caucasian races, though superior to Sub-Saharan Africans and other non-Caucasians.

*For some reason Japheth didn't get his branch named after him. People squabbled over what to call the language family, with German philologists proposing "Indo-German" as a possible name, which didn't go over well with the Brits and the French. Finally Max Mueller, an advocate for better treatment of Indians on the subcontinent and hoping to encourage pan Indian-European solidarity, suggested the sanskrit word 'Aryan' as alternative. Unfortunately his hopes that once Europeans realized they all spoke an "Aryan" language it would lead to everlasting peace were woefully misguided.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:45 PM
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And I can't see "Japheth" without thinking of David Bowie in Labyrinth even though I know it's Jareth. Stop the over-free-associating, brain.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:47 PM
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226: Was he making a claim that they were not there or just that they couldn't develop into a state or state-like body before they met Europeans?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:50 PM
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Yeah, the Lemba! Worth noting that Tu/dor Par/fitt, shall we say, represents the views of the Lema as being closer to contemporary mainstream Judaism than they really are. The Jewish claim is actually kind of side-lined in contemporary Lemba identity, which revolves more around establishing themselves as a specific chieftaincy in contemporary South Africa. Also, several of the things he points to as evidence of Judaism (particularly circumcision) are in fact quite common in Southern Africa. I don't know if the Lemba do infant circumcision, though - that would, in fact, be unusual.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:51 PM
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Germans still call Indo-European Indo-Germanische. (Which I don't understand the derivation of -- it's not like they call it Indo-Deutsch.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:52 PM
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238

In my limited understanding, Germanische in German translates into something like "Germanic" or "Teutonic" in English, whereas Deutsch is German. I.e., Germanische is more an explicitly ethnicized term. Of course 'deutsch' and 'teutonic' share the same root.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 2:59 PM
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The Lemba seem like they could really should be uncontested Number 1 world champions on the indigenous-people-to-graft-bizarre-pseudo-historical-theories-upon list, yet I hadn't heard of them until now. How do we know that they aren't the lost tribe of Israel? You could have some kind of alternative Mormonism in which the original Moroni left one tablet in America for Joseph Smith, and another in Zimbabwe for someone else to find (perhaps appointing the discover as the new head of a hierarchical, polygamous sect ... hmmm).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 3:07 PM
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Sifu and LB, I feel like you went full obtuse in this thread. Buttercup's scenario is the bog-standard international outline of a solution to the I/P situation, and what all the peace plans suggest, more or less. Unlike any random wackadoodle solution, it's only "impossible" due to intransigence and not, say, the laws of physics. Europe, the US, and the Gulf Arab states all have the resources and leverage to make a real difference, but choose not to bring them to bear. That's the real issue.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 3:09 PM
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But as long as I'm probably talking to myself, Indo-Germanische makes more sense as the term than Indo-Deutsch, because a big part of the German Indiologist/philologist project was to establish the Germans as the rightful heirs to the glory of the Indian civilization, so 'German' would be a racial term rather than a political/national identity term.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 3:16 PM
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I think I agree with 241, but am maybe a bit more skeptical about the notion that outside powers have either the resources or the leverage to solve the problem.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 3:19 PM
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The origin of the Daleks.

Awesome.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 3:46 PM
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The Lemba are super cool. I went on a deep wikipedia dive recently about all the small Jewish and possibly Jewish groups around the world, so much interesting stuff. For another example, I'd never heard of the Romaniots.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 4:07 PM
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245.last: like a combination of a Romanian and a Pluot?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 4:28 PM
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83: My preferred fantasy solution is Diasporism. Is the risk of another holocaust* real enough to outweigh the reality of at best constantly, violently defending a homeland surrounded by let us say non-fans? Now of course this fantasy is easy enough for me because I didn't grow up there and can't imagine having my home existentially called into question but I actually wish people who are the most outraged by offenses against Palestinians would bear this in mind a little, people in the US with no skin in the game who don't understand why people born long after the founding of Israel or, say, born in settlements don't just say "oh, sure, yeah. I get it. Let me just pack."

*this is mostly the justification for a homeland, right? I've never been interested enough in the idea of Israel to find out. NYC is the homeland for Jews like me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 6:21 PM
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the region would therefore become known as the Sex Cities

No sex please, we're Midwestern!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 6:24 PM
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It would also be nice if some of Israel's critics understood that people who lived through the Six-Day and Yom Kippur Wars -- not to mention the Holocaust (of whom there aren't a ton of survivors still around, to be sure) -- are deeply skeptical of the notion that the international community can be trusted to look out for their best interests. Yes, this is fundamentally at odds with a world in which the United States treats Israel like a favorite child, but still.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 6:34 PM
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Which is not to excuse the Netanyahu administration's conduct, nor the majority of Israelis, who increasingly seem to be overtly racist in their politics.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 6:38 PM
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249: that was 40 fucking years ago! You wouldn't have much sympathy with an American making an argument premised entirely on the geopolitical situation back then, unless you're way more sympathetic to Republicans than I think you are.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 6:40 PM
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251: hella banned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 6:43 PM
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251: The argument is based on psychology, not the specifics of geopolitics. Forty fucking years ago is a blink of the eye when it comes to trust and distrust between peoples.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 6:45 PM
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251: I understand the psychology just fine. I just have no sympathy for it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 6:50 PM
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251: I don't have a ton of sympathy for that argument coming from Israelis now, actually, but I do think it's worth taking a moment to realize that many of the leading voices in the Knesset and the IDF today were on the front lines in 1973, and they genuinely believed, with very good reason, that they were all going to die while members of the international community looked on and twiddled their thumbs. Really, the idea that four decades is ancient history seems demonstrably false to me. As I've tried to point out above, those events happened much less than a lifetime ago. They were foundational traumas for people who already had plenty of historical trauma upon which to draw. Which is to say, there's a reason these people don't trust the United States, no matter how obvious it seems to us that they should.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 6:58 PM
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Making peace with Egypt made Israel more secure. This stuff, not so much!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:03 PM
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255: Just why would anyone not sitting on big oil reserves trust the US to guarantee their safety these days?


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:11 PM
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In my view, 256 is unequivocally true. I think, further, that the Netanyahu administration has always pursued policies that are fundamentally misguided and maybe even suicidal, and I can't stand the fact that the Likud now seems to have the wind of public opinion in its sails. But I'm not sure that has much to do with what I wrote above about some of the reasons that otherwise non-crazy Israelis don't trust the international community or even the United States.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:11 PM
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I don't think anyone should trust the United States, generally, as far as they can throw us. But is a lack of trust in the United States really the most acute problem in the Israel/US relationship?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:12 PM
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257: my point was pretty narrow: that it's shortsighted for many of Israel's critics to take it as a given that Israelis should rest easy because the United States has their back -- even though, yes, the United States has their back!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:14 PM
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I guess there's no even remotely plausible path to peace in this situation without US involvement, but really I wish the US would stop having anyone's "back" and just let Israel solve its own damn problems on its own dime while we focus on our own interests. And, maybe there's no remotely plausible path to peace even WITH our involvement so we should just get the hell out. I realize that this may be even more unrealistic than Israel agreeing to stop building settlements, but there you have it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:24 PM
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261: the problem with "on its own dime" is that you can make a pretty good argument that the reason Egypt and Israel have been at peace since the '70s is that the US has been paying them to do so.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:29 PM
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Shorter 260: you can't reason with crazy people.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:31 PM
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262: and, of course, the US backing away from its involvement would prove Netanyahu &c right a/f/a the suspicions VW mentions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:34 PM
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Israelis should rest easy

No one is saying this. We're saying what you just said, that their policies are counter-productive, so saying "they're worried about their security" only goes so far when they seem to be actively undermining it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:37 PM
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No, I know, 262 is what gives me pause and I don't see a plausible end to the I/P crisis that doesn't involve us bribing both sides (and we're already spending the money). But still, it would be nice if we weren't locked into this position of being the financier and main partner of a really terrible government and military, with abandoning that support perhaps leading to the government and military becoming even more terrible. And maybe it's all hopeless anyway so we should just say fuck it and leave the entire region to its own devices (not that this is going to happen).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:39 PM
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263: that's not what I'm saying at all, but it's not worth an argument.

265: I think lots of people are saying exactly that, actually, though perhaps not lots of people (other than Buttercup, who I well may have been misreading) here.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:42 PM
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What worries me about the two-state solution (which is, certainly, what all the peace processes have been aiming for -- it seems closer to possible than anything else) is that the end state still seems profoundly unstable. A situation where you've got a Palestinian 'state' that's disarmed, made up of non-contiguous areas, and still overcrowded and grindingly poor, bordering on the much richer state that militarily dominates it, seems like a setup for continuing resentment and violence even if the settlements were removed somehow and Palestinians had internal control over their areas.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:42 PM
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Which is sort of meant to agree with VW -- that the best plausible near-future outcome, if everyone starts behaving well, still looks unstable and scary. At which point it's not surprising that it's hard to get people on board for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:44 PM
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267.1: are you new here and/or to Israel-Palestine discussions?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:45 PM
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262: Can you make an argument that there was another reason?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:47 PM
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Sorry, just to be clear, my point was that "they're worried about their security" isn't the end of the story, because my (our?) answer to that -- give up the occupied territories, accept a two-state solution, etc. -- presupposes that the US or some international body will police the peace for a very long time, and many Israelis, including non-crazy, non-racist Israelis, don't think that's a viable alternative.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:47 PM
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The money really isn't the problem. We give the Israelis $3 bn a year and the Egyptians about half that. Add in some to the Jordanians and it's still approximately one third of one one thousandth of a percent of our GDP. Adding another that much for peace solving the I/P problem would be a very low price to pay. And I'm sure the Euros would be happy to chip in a ton of money as well. From a purely 'realist' point of view the problem isn't that the Israelis are killing lots of people, but rather that this fucks up a key strategic area that's already very unstable without the I/P conflict and hurts our relationship with a whole bunch of countries.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:48 PM
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They wouldn't really be relying on the US, they'd be relying on their ability to do what they're doing right now and the not so unreasonable assumption that the Palestinians would be somewhat less resentful and simultaneously feel like they have more to lose.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 7:52 PM
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Well, if 272 is the case, shouldn't the response of the United States/international community be to say something like, "fine, you don't want our help, no more aid and you can do this on your own, and if you keep acting like a human rights pariah we'll treat you like one with sanctions, etc." Just because the response of some members of the Knesset is humanly understandable doesn't mean the rest of the world is required to accept that response at face value.

I agree with 273 -- if we could cut a check for 10x what we pay now and settle the conflict, it would be an incredible bargain. I do think the US's overall national interest in the middle east has been hurt by being linked to really lousy Israeli governments, though at this point we've done so much to hurt our reputation and interests entirely on our own that it might not matter.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:00 PM
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Well, that's one problem solved.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:06 PM
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The BDS movement strikes me as the only glimmer of hope to have emerged in my lifetime, precisely because it is a nonviolent movement of nonstate actors. It is not tied up in the variable shittiness of the Palestinian government and it is not dependent on goodwill or even intelligence burbling up from within the U.S. as caretaker/handholder.

Liberal Zionist critics of BDS (some of whom support boycotting the settlements) dislike it because it is silent if not coy on the continuation of Israel as a Jewish state; it is unwavering on the right of return, and if all those people and their people and their people's people returned to the land that they, er, left in 1948, there goes Israel as a Jewish state. But I think that's vital to reframing the debate as one about history and dispossession. (I also think that there will come a time that it gets negotiated into reparations.) As Omar Barghouti says, we acknowledge the terror of the Holocaust, but why do we have to be punished for it?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:09 PM
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*this is mostly the justification for a homeland, right?

This is a matter of some debate. For the early Zionists, the historical claim was the justification, but the enormity of the situation as it came out at the end of the war paved the way to 1948. Norman Finkelstein has made a lot of enemies arguing that Zionism has transformed from a utopian socialist enterprise to a Holocaust exploitation machine.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:11 PM
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Finkelstein's website is a nightmare. Here's an interview at Counterpunch.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:13 PM
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In their defense, living in a kibbutz would have to get really annoying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:17 PM
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shouldn't the response of the United States/international community be to say something like, "fine, you don't want our help, no more aid and you can do this on your own, and if you keep acting like a human rights pariah we'll treat you like one with sanctions, etc."

yes it should, but how you get there from a 100-0 vote in the Senate is a bit of a who-will-bell-the-cat, innit? The dead children are the real bummer here, but sometimes the persecution complex of my relatives is what actually stokes my ragefire.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 8:17 PM
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Yup.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:04 PM
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You mean the telegenically dead children?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-21-14 9:51 PM
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I have an obvious solution, too, but it requires a time machine.

I HAVE DISCOVERED AN OBVIOUS SOLUTION, WHICH THIS MARGIN IS TOO NARROW TO CONTAIN.


Posted by: OPINIONATED PIERRE DE FERMAT | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 2:40 AM
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19: My productive interaction with my kids is largely focused on which adults we know to stay away from the topic with

In my case this includes my wife. My unilateral decision to stay silent on the subject within her earshot, let me mention it to you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 3:53 AM
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. For the early Zionists, the historical claim was the justification, but the enormity of the situation as it came out at the end of the war paved the way to 1948

Originally the historical claim was the justification for why the Jewish homeland should be in Palestine, but the justification for a Jewish state was always about antisemitism first and the dangers of assimilation a distant second.

Re: BDS, I strongly dislike it, and not because I have anything in principle against using BDS against Israel (though I'd probably make an exception when it comes to academics and non mass culture type stuff, and definitely would not apply it to individuals) Partly the right of return issue, for which I see no moral justification at this point - or at least no more than the right of Israel to keep all the settlements - i.e weak in the absolute and a hell of a lot weaker than the right of on the one hand the Israelis to keep their own state, and on the other the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own. I also find their demonization of Zionism to be really fucked up - it's the same as the Pam Geller types views on Islam: Lots of bad shit being done by Muslims/Zionists in the name of Islam/Zionism, shockingly widespread nasty views among Muslims/Zionists etc. And finally the fact that one of their demands for ending the BDS is a complete end to discrimination against Israeli Arabs. Given that when it comes to mistreatment of a minority, the situation of Israeli Arabs is not only not the worst in the world, it doesn't even particularly stand out, we're really veering into objectively racist territory. I mean why not Brazil, or China, or Russia, or Turkey, or India, or Pakistan, or Germany, or Hungary or...


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:21 AM
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This is completely irrelevant to addressing the current situation, but as long as we are engaging in untethered speculation, I've sometimes wondered if there ever was any push at the end of WWII to establishing a small European state--presumably carved out of Germany. Presumably the emerging East/West tensions would have precluded anything getting very far even before bringing the objections of the directly-affected parties.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:23 AM
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My adviser is super active in pro-Palestinian causes (he has snuck into the West Bank to interview people) but I have never talked to him about it. I'm not sure why. It's not like I'd probably disagree with him on any macro level. He forbid us getting a sodastream for the lab, which seems reasonable enough.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:26 AM
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"Sodastream" always puts "Kodachrome" in my head.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 4:30 AM
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Sorry, just to be clear, my point was that "they're worried about their security" isn't the end of the story, because my (our?) answer to that -- give up the occupied territories, accept a two-state solution, etc. -- presupposes that the US or some international body will police the peace for a very long time, and many Israelis, including non-crazy, non-racist Israelis, don't think that's a viable alternative.

Yes, what I tried to argue was that for any peace process to work, this is something we needed to take seriously, no matter how irrational these fears may appear to outsiders given current military imbalance. People didn't like the NATO peace keeping option, but for peace to happen, the rest of the world has to show a real commitment to assuaging these fears and to taking them seriously. Maybe this could be as simple as reminding the Israeli govt. that we give 3 bn in military aid and that is enough to protect them, or maybe it would mean providing an international peace keeping for when any land exchanges occur.

Both sides are locked in a game of chicken, but given the current state of affairs Israel as the more powerful and currently oppressive partner will have to act first. If they need an even more lopsided military defensive presence for Israelis to seriously consider this, then it's worth trying. It's going to be cheap in the long run if it results in peace.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:08 AM
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I still don't get this. I'm sure Israel is convinced the U.S. will give it money. What it wants/needs to be convinced of before a NATO peace keeping option is accepted is that NATO or whoever would kill hundreds or thousands of Palestinians in order to protect them. And, even if one wants to assume that is a good idea, there's no way to do that without providing to the Palestinians we aren't a partner in peace.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:22 AM
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291

Well, IMO this is where we need carrot/stick. I think Netanyahu is evil and dangerous to everyone, Israelis as much if not more so than Palestinians. We need to use a credible threat of withholding money to get in an Israeli government really willing to support peace. The Gu/ardian article I linked to pointed out that N's coalition is fragile enough if he caves at all on oppressing the Palestinians he loses his far right coalition partners and the government collapses. IMO that would be a very good thing.

But anyways, we need to make it absolutely clear that if the Israelis act in good faith to bring about peace by dismantling settlements and withdrawing from the occupied territories, we'll support it 100%, even in ways that seem unnecessary (e.g. redundant military protection). If they don't, we'll cut off the money. I don't doubt that the current Likud administration sees American money as a given and is going to do whatever the fuck they want to the detriment of Israeli and US interests, and will say whatever they thing pushes the most buttons in domestic US politics.

I *do* think that there is a very real fear among most Israelis, rational or not, that being Jewish and living in a Jewish homeland is precarious and there's a history of people actively disliking the Jews. There's also a sense, rational or not, that the world likes Jews when they're doe-eyed victims passively going to the slaughter, but not when they fight back. Call it cultural PTSD, call it whatever. The point is that, even if it's not *rational,* as most PTSD fears aren't, it exists and a thing that needs to be seriously dealt with. Extended holocaust trauma. It has absolutely been cynically manipulated by terrible and evil people for terrible ends, but that doesn't mean it's not real. Acknowledging Israeli feelings of vulnerability is IMO a prerequisite for an actual peace process to succeed.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:38 AM
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shorter me: Just because the "holocaust exploitation machine" exists doesn't mean that there isn't holocaust induced cultural PTSD that has longlasting political and social ramifications, and these need to be dealt with with compassion and understanding by the international community if peace is going to happen.

I think it should be possible to acknowledge the ongoing psychological effects of the historical memory of genocide without tolerating or funding ethnic cleansing or an apartheid state.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 5:42 AM
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I'll go farther and say that the fear that there's a history of people actively disliking the Jews is not just understandable but *completely justified*. Jews have been exiled, crusaded against, Krystalnachted, etc. pretty much everywhere they've lived pretty much all the time. It's important for there to be a nation where that will never, ever happen and Jews will be safe from oppression.

I think Netanyahu's policies A. do not serve that end in any way and B. don't value Palestinian lives highly enough. But come on, people are saying that Jews have nothing to worry about because it's been 40 years since the Yom Kippur War and because the current U.S. government is friendly to Israel (for unclear reasons)? Get back to me in 160 years.


Posted by: dz/torque | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 6:29 AM
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Are Jews really uniquely persecuted? The Roma come to mind. It's kind of a universal fate of minorities.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 6:38 AM
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295. Speaking as a gentile, I'd say the Jews have been uniquely persecuted. I cannot think of any other ethnos ho have been officially persecuted in so many ways over so long. Jewish persecution was well established in Europe before the Roma even arrived.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 6:46 AM
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I cannot think of any other ethnos ho have been officially persecuted in so many ways over so long.

Probably correct. But to know for sure, you'd have to control for time of exposure. Most other ethnic groups haven't existed for so long.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 6:49 AM
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I've sometimes wondered if there ever was any push at the end of WWII to establishing a small European state--presumably carved out of Germany.

Not to my knowledge. I wouldn't think it would appeal to many Jews, frankly. Hey, we've decided to give you a homeland where you'll be safe from persecution and genocide! Where is it? It's that little blob of land there, ENTIRELY SURROUNDED BY NAZIS. Er, no thanks.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 6:52 AM
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Maybe a NATO guarantee would have helped.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 6:52 AM
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NATO didn't exist until 1949.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 6:54 AM
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299 was maybe not entirely serious.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 6:59 AM
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No sort of military guarantee would have worked. The US didn't have the military clout in Europe (thanks to Truman, who was, let's be honest here, a pillock), and the Jews could legitimately have remarked "Oh, Britain and France will guarantee our safety, will they? Remind me, what happened to the last country whose safety you guaranteed? Began with a P, I think."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:02 AM
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Israeli fears that the US will not step up in their hour of need are completely justified. Ukraine gave up it's nuclear weapons in exchange for an international guarantee of security, including US promises to protect it's borders. Look how that is turning out.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:03 AM
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Plus, how do we know that the cruelly-displaced German refugees wouldn't have become an international scandal in exactly the same way as the cruelly-displaced Arab refugees have? Sure, you could argue "Germany started a war of aggression and lost, so it's fair that they give up some of their territory to Israel", but that argument doesn't work with regard to any of the Arab nations that started wars of aggression and lost.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:07 AM
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"Oh, Britain and France will guarantee our safety, will they? Remind me, what happened to the last country whose safety you guaranteed? Began with a P, I think."

What, they declared war. Should be good enough, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:07 AM
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So our solution for Middle East peace is to first invent a time machine...and even given that we can't agree on a solution?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:10 AM
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Former Nazis, please.

I wouldn't think it would appeal to many Jews, frankly.

Sure, did not think it would*. Also not a historic holy land--although the attachment and sense of "ownership" about the latter by various groups being a big piece of the continuing problem.

*In particular my bringing the subject up in a speculative manner one time was part of a rapid and vociferous establishment of the rule that my wife** and I are never to discuss Israel although she reserves the right to yell at the TV and the computer about it.

**My wife's mother warned her off gentiles at an early age saying that any such relationship would end in her being referred to as a "dirty Jew." From time to time she says she's waiting to see if that is how it works out in the end with us***.

***Actually to my knowledge she never even dated any Jews.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:11 AM
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Germany started a war of aggression and lost

Don't forget the mass exterminations!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:12 AM
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304: There were a whole lot of German refugees, though, and in many cases it was a real humanitarian crisis. The western third of Poland used to be part of Germany, the Baltic Germans were kicked out quite harshly by the Red Army to form Kaliningrad, the Volga Germans (who really didn't have anything to do with anything as far as I can tell) were forced out, etc. For whatever reason it doesn't seem to be mentioned much.

The difference might be that 1) WW2 was uniquely bad among wars of aggression, 2) it might not have been politically feasible to do much about it during the early Cold War, and 3) those German refugees did have right of return into West Germany (and maybe East, but if you had to choose..), even for those who might have been culturally German but whose ancestry had been outside the German Empire's territory for centuries. That's not really comparable to the status of Palestinians in other Arab territories.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:15 AM
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I think part of it is few minority ethnic groups have such staying power. Being a minority for 2,000 years is kind of unique. Most other minorities eventually assimilate into majority populations, get wiped out, or settle down somewhere where they become the majority.

The parallels between Jews and Armenians in the Ottoman empire are quite striking, and not just because the Armenian genocide was the Holocaust 1.0. You had a mostly stateless people with memories of a historic homeland, a wealthy-ish cosmopolitan merchant-minority in Istanbul, and lots of poor religious peasants in Western Anatolia. Several years ago, I was reading a French physical anthropology text from 1915 (one of those called something like 'The Races of Man') and the description of the Armenians described them as the "Jews of Asia Minor," as they too were a fairly contained minority with a very strong sense of a unique enduring identity. The text also noted that these types of ethnic minorities are frequently targeted for extinction by the majority powers that be.

[Disclaimer: Just in case it's in doubt (which I assume it shouldn't be but you never know given how people read my comments) I read these text for research purposes only, not because I think they're valid in any way.]


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:19 AM
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I was thinking southern Bavaria so some external border. But to be frank, I did not realize that Bavaria only barely touched Switzerland, so to improve on the warm, gooey feeling from adjoining Austria would need to pull in part of Württemberg.

304: And sure it would have certainly been its own ongoing international scandal/discord. In retrospect*, one that I think would have been less destabilizing over a long time scale. And there would almost certainly still be Zionist pressure to return to Jerusalem.

*So yeah, this one is all about 20/20 hindsight.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:20 AM
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What, they declared war. Should be good enough, right?

The end result of that was that the murderous dictatorship which had invaded Poland* annexed half of it outright and occupied the other half for forty years. That's not a great result and the Poles, I understand, felt pretty let down by it.

*one of them, anyway


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:25 AM
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That's not a great result and the Poles, I understand, felt pretty let down by it.

Well, at least they got a victory parade out of the deal. That sh.... oh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:28 AM
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311

Would you pick Bavaria because it's the birthplace of Nazism so extra retribution? I'd want to stay the hell away from Austria and Bavaria if I were a European Jew. Schleswig-Holstein would be the obvious choice since it was already a disputed territory, and in 1945 I would imagine the Danes would rather it become a Jewish homeland then remain part of Germany. Also, my guess if there's one nation postwar European Jews would be willing to build a homeland next to, it would be Denmark.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:36 AM
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OTOH, if you are worried about the Germans trying to murder you again, you might want to be somewhere slightly more defensible. Schleswig-Holstein (and the rest of the Jutland peninsula) are about the most invadeable places in Europe.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:39 AM
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Were the Arabs of the Levant really more pro-Jew than Northern Europeans were in 1948?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:42 AM
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316: Northern Europeans had really set the bar quite exceedingly high.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:43 AM
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A postwar Palestine where the British were inclined to hang around and oversee a relatively peaceful transition to independence and partition under the Balfour Declaration would probably have been a better thing than a postwar Palestine where the British couldn't wait to get out because the Irgun and the Stern Gang were busy blowing them up. Just a thought.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:45 AM
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316: they were much less competent at the whole invading/slaughtering thing, therefore they were objectively more pro-Jew.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:46 AM
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315

True, and yet the Danes managed to keep their entire Jewish population alive, even those deported by the Germans. Plus, we're talking about actual postwar Europe, not some alternate universe where the Germans never surrendered. The desire to keep killing Jews dissipated pretty quickly (and was replaced by intense shame), Germany was weak, and the international community could and would have kept any further German violence under control.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:47 AM
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320 reminds me of ObTomLehrer:

Once all the Germans were warlike and mean
But that couldn't happen again!
We taught them a lesson in 1918
And they've hardly bothered us since then...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:51 AM
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On the subject of creating a Jewish state in Europe: given experiences of the previous 50 years, was there much reason to expect 70 years of general peace in Europe* after 1945?

*Yes, I know, I'm excluding the small spot of unpleasantness in the Balkans...


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:54 AM
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My favourite answer was that the allies should have liberated Spain on the grounds that Franco was a fascist enabler, and given the Jews the Canary Islands as reparations, because they're both defensible and dead nice. But sadly the Canary Islands do not contain Jerusalem, so it wouldn't work.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 7:57 AM
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I can't see what's so great about finding almost the only bit of continental Europe not to have been invaded and occupied in the previous five years, and invading and occupying it. Like the Spanish hadn't suffered enough recently.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:03 AM
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given experiences of the previous 50 years, was there much reason to expect 70 years of general peace in Europe* after 1945?

Or indeed given the experiences of the previous 1000 years.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:04 AM
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If somebody did create a Jewish state in Europe, they should have just gone ahead and called it the Pale of Settlement when convincing the Jewish people to settle there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:04 AM
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The desire to keep killing Jews dissipated pretty quickly (and was replaced by intense shame)

Well, that's certainly the impression that the Germans tried very hard to give at the time.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:05 AM
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327

Well, given the their behavior in the subsequent 70 years, I'd say it's a pretty accurate impression.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:18 AM
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I agree that Jews probably had negative desire to stay in Europe, and hindsight is 20/20 and immediately postwar there was no premonition western Europe was going to experience unprecedented peace and prosperity. I just think if you're going to make a Jewish homeland in Germany, Schleswig-Holstein is the best choice.

No one (besides me) has mentioned Birobidzhan, the other Zion.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:21 AM
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My suspicion is that it was a rather slower and more partial process than the Germans would like one to believe. Defeat in war just doesn't change people's views that quickly. Take the American South - they didn't all suddenly decide that slavery was Bad in 1866.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:24 AM
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No one (besides me) has mentioned Birobidzhan, the other Zion.

The good thing about the Russians, after all, is that they have no word for "pogrom".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:25 AM
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I was thinking southwestern Germany, somewhere on the border of France for ease of escape. Somewhere based around the Saar valley is the obvious choice given that it was occupied for a long time anyway, or further south and throw in Basel as a fair trade for all the stuff in the Swiss bank vaults.

Anyway, the point that leaving Europe was the whole point is reasonable enough.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:53 AM
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I hear the Yukon is nice.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 8:56 AM
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I hear the Yukon Sitka is nice.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:01 AM
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Heh, scrolling through I was wondering if I could entrap Ajay into making a comment like 318. The love for the Empire is strong in that one. Not that I necessarily disagree.

The various existing two-state proposals all require foreign peacekeepers on the ground and managing the borders; the idea is that the great powers/NATO/UN would have to retaliate if it's its own guys getting killed. But it seems like the two state solution is dead for the foreseeable future anyway.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:01 AM
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I'm to lazy to look it up now, but there were polls done in the late forties and early fifties where a shockingly high proportion of West Germans were basically 'the Jews had it coming'. Even the German government's policies against anti-semitism and for reconciliation with Israel were much more part of a pragmatic strategy by Adenauer and his top advisor, Hans Globke, was the legal mind behind the implementation of Nuremberg laws. The West German government was riddled with former Nazis. The German press was filled with outrage over any punishment for ex Nazis, and indeed the German ministry for expellees was the Bundesministerium fur Heimatvertriebene und Entrechtete, i.e. people targeted by the de-Nazification process. The longtime BHE minister was Theodor Oberlander, a Nazi activist from the Beer Hall Putsch days, war criminal, and key intellectual figure in setting out Germany's 'Bevolkerungspolitik' aims in the East (all around lovely figure, like most pre WWII German East Europe experts). Even liberal, genuinely anti-Nazi figures (e.g. Marion Doenhoff) with excellent Nazi era 'pasts' were capable of making some pretty over the top equivalences between the treatment of Germans after the war and the treatment of the Jews by the Nazis. In the early sixties the CSU was taunting Willi Brandt with the fact that he'd fought the Nazis during the war, while 'we' fought for Germany.

tldr. The Germans didn't even start coming to terms with what they had done until the late fifties, and the kind of broad social consensus concerning German guilt only really emerged in the seventies.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:07 AM
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323, 324 How about Ireland? Make NI the Irish Republic, move the Unionists to Scotland and everybody's happy, right?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:10 AM
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330
The American South is a poor comparison because they've never even pretended to be repentant.

I agree about changing hearts and minds, though Germany was pretty unique in the success of its denazification. Images from the Holocaust and universal moral condemnation really did change a lot of attitudes right then and there, and deeply shamed a lot of people who were not necessarily ardent supporters of genocide but pretty ok going with the flow on the Nazi thing. It also made Nazism more socially toxic than Satanism. Even most unrepentant Nazis no longer wanted to be called Nazis (the others mostly fled to South America). At that point, if you're unwilling to say anything or act in a way that would make someone label you a Nazi, what's going on in your heart and mind isn't as important. This also radically broke the transmission of Nazi beliefs, because kids were getting anti-Nazi messages at school and radio silence on the topic in the home. I don't know if you've ever tried to talk to an elderly German* about the war, but it's practically impossible to get anything but the 'party line.' You have to be really sneaky to get anything besides "of course I hate Hitler stop talking about this immediately" if you press you maybe can get a "how were we supposed to know/we had no idea about the you-know-what/you wouldn't understand/Hitler was an Austrian." Getting more requires some pretty sophisticated interrogation techniques applied over a long period of time.

*I mean old enough to have served in the German army. Germans who were kids in the Third Reich talk about the war all the time.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:16 AM
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336: Something I hadn't thought about until watching The Baader Meinhof Complex a few years ago is how the fascist/Nazi past influenced the "youth revolt" of the late 60s. The older generation that the kids were rebelling against was the generation of national socialism and the holocaust (or the generation of fascism in Italy or of Vichy in France).

It gave the "generation gap" a much sharper edge than it had in the English speaking world. Apparently that partially explains why terrorist groups in continental Europe like the Red Army Faction had more public support than similar groups in the US or the UK.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:16 AM
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336

Huh. We have a friend who was an aide to Adenauer in the post-war period, and that's a very different picture from what he paints. He describes the prevailing attitude of pretty deep despair and shame bordering on nihilism, with a general moratorium on talking about the war among ordinary people.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:20 AM
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But then, given 338, he would say that, wouldn't he?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:23 AM
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The Farm Hall transcripts are relevant in this context: there's a lot of shame and despair there, but not because Germany started the war and committed atrocities: because it lost. One of the British intelligence officers involved in Farm Hall wrote that he was struck by the absence of any sort of moral judgement. Atrocities were wrong because they were a diversion of resources from the war effort, or they antagonised the subject populations unduly - that is, they were wrong on practical grounds. He tried to push them on the moral issue and got blank looks in response; it just didn't compute.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:27 AM
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Worth noting that one of the three main victors in WWII (the USSR) was openly anti-Semitic by the early 1950s, and there were some pretty shockingly horrible things done in eg Poland to Jews who had managed to survive there. I agree with Teraz that the Holocaust didn't become central to the memory of the war in any country, including but not limited to Germany, until the 60s-70s.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:27 AM
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Would the victims of a completely successful genocide count as more victimized? I know it is hard to come up with genocides that are 100% successful, but some are damn close. The Aztecs? Carthage? (Actually, I don't know much about the destruction of Carthage.)

I have a weirdly optimistic theory that what makes the Holocaust unique was not its brutality, but that it occurred at a time when people were beginning to think that such brutality might actually be wrong. This goes along with Pinker-like thoughts about the decline of violence at the global-historical level.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:29 AM
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I don't know if you've ever tried to talk to an elderly German* about the war, but it's practically impossible to get anything but the 'party line.

Not my experience when interviewing a few elderly expellee activists. I don't mean that they were all 'yay Hitler', but some were certainly of the opinion that Germany was treated horribly for no reason and that the Expulsions were much worse than anything Germany had done. And these folks knew my background. Not like my friendly neighbour in Bonn, my age, liked to get stoned with me, we fooled around once and not long after that 'you know I used to think that what Hitler did to the Jews was really bad, but...' We didn't fool around again.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:30 AM
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344: If you treat the genocide of Native Americans at a tribal level, I'll bet (without detailed knowledge) that there were plenty of tribes that were entirely eliminated.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:32 AM
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we fooled around once and not long after that 'you know I used to think that what Hitler did to the Jews was really bad, but...'

My God, what did you do to the poor woman to make her react like that?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:33 AM
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345 -- I recall reading that the expellee types were the most pro-Nazi bloc in postwar Germany, particularly the ex-Sudentenland Germans who formed a substantial political bloc. Would be happy to learn more.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:34 AM
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347 was is great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:35 AM
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I'm tenses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:35 AM
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A whole bunch of people were taken from Africa to the New World in chains, and worked until they dropped. Their children were kept in chains, and on down for centuries. (Also cultural genocide, and frequent destruction of family ties.) Even today, the descendants of those people endure discrimination beyond anything any reasonable person should be willing to accept.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:37 AM
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Would the victims of a completely successful genocide count as more victimized? I know it is hard to come up with genocides that are 100% successful, but some are damn close. The Aztecs? Carthage? (Actually, I don't know much about the destruction of Carthage.)

The Aztecs didn't so much genocide their enemies as occasionally carry out ritualized and dehumanizing "wars" as part of the subjugation process.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:37 AM
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I don't even see "is."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:37 AM
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In conclusion, we're all bozos on this bus.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:39 AM
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352: And then Spain came, because the universe like irony.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:40 AM
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Verbs are a problem for me today.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:41 AM
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Talking generally about genocide, I get morally worried about myself thinking about solutions to longstanding ethnic enmities.

I really find the zombie Marshal Tito solution appealing (and kind of think that if Yugoslavia had just had another few generations being welded together like that, you would have gotten enough intermarriage to prevent the violence that ended up happening): strong social and legal pressure to disregard ethnicity as unimportant until people give up on hating each other on that basis. On the other hand, what I'm thinking of there (ultimately, say, an Israel where Jewish or Palestinian is about as important as Jewish or Italian is in present day NYC)is kind of the sort of thing that people describe as cultural genocide, which makes it sound like an outcome I should be conflicted about rooting for.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:44 AM
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It was strange having visited Spain recently for the first time since I was 14. For reasons I can't really remember, when I was 14 somehow I thought that Spain was the good guys in the Reconquista. Returning now, it was suddenly clear just how horribly horribly wrong that was. Catholic Spain was one of the worst forces ever unleashed on the world.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:46 AM
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341

Heh. He was actually born in 1932 and spent the war in hiding because his parents were members of the resistance, so he loves to talk about the war and avoided most of the Hitler-Youth indoctrination. He started working with Adenauer in around 52 as a law student, and served as his aide through the 60s. It could also be that a lot happened between 46-52.

I'm also not sure Nazis retaining their positions is a good proxy of actual support for Nazism. Many former Nazis turned out to be pretty, uh, flexible in their political views. As Tom Lerher says, "once ze rockets are up who cares vere zey come down, it's not my department says Werner Von Braun." But more seriously, not removing most Nazis was part of the allied strategy for rehabilitating Germany, IIRC. Burying the hatchet and getting people to accept collective guilt also meant not singling out people whose actions weren't egregious enough to be tried for war crimes.

I think poll though, fits with my theory that that the Germans denazified (or the Allies successfully denazified the Germans) through changing acceptable social behavior and policy, rather than through changing hearts and minds. Demonizing Nazism but not actual former Nazis. If you build anti-anti-semitic policies, you will eventually get an anti-anti-semitic society. But anyways, it would be interesting to look at newspaper articles and public discourse. I might be completely wrong about the immediate postwar period, but my impression was that there was a pretty strong moratorium on any views which didn't fit with the narrative being constructed, which was roughly: we're all horribly wrong, let's not pry any more deeply, and let's stay focused on rebuilding the country

I agree that actually grappling with the immensity of the horror of the Holocaust didn't happen until the late 60s and the baby boomer generation.

But anyways, yes. Jews very understandably wanted to get the hell out of Europe.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:46 AM
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the point that leaving Europe was the whole point is reasonable enough.

Though my knowledge of historical Zionism is minimal, I would think that--even for secular Jews--returning to a land from which you've been exiled for 2k year after suffering the culminating horror of that exile was a large part of the point. A reservation somewhere in the Great Plains or Australia does not have quite the same narrative/emotional arc.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:48 AM
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*Lehrer


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:51 AM
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On the other hand, what I'm thinking of there (ultimately, say, an Israel where Jewish or Palestinian is about as important as Jewish or Italian is in present day NYC)is kind of the sort of thing that people describe as cultural genocide

Meh...if it involves something like people being forbidden to use their native language or kids being taken from their parents and placed in homes of the dominant culture or laws preventing teaching cultural practices (in private schools, that is), then, OK, cultural genocide.

On the other hand if we're talking about the fact that peoples culture and behavior tend to change when the live in close interaction with different kinds of people...I'd say "cultural genocide" is a bit overwrought.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:52 AM
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There was the rabbi at my cousin's wedding that said that mixed marriages in the U.S. are another Holocaust. Have I told that story before?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:54 AM
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345

Yikes! There's likely a sampling difference going on. I'm pretty much only acquainted with West Germans and don't know any expellees. I could see how expellee activists might provide a sample skewed particularly in a certain direction.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:55 AM
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If you're thinking about smoothing out cultural differences into an indistinguishable mostly secular mass as a deliberate goal... even if your tactics aren't terribly oppressive, I think a lot of people I'm predisposed to agree with would think of the goal as questionable. OTOH, it seems like the only end state likely to have fewer people trying to kill each other, and I'm all in favor of that kind of end state.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:56 AM
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I know it is hard to come up with genocides that are 100% successful, but some are damn close

The Taíno went from controlling the Caribbean to an estimated less than 500 people in 50 years.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 9:57 AM
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348 Hard to say which of the Landsmannschaften was the most Nazi. THe SL was in a peculiar position because of the Munich problem - the German government was reluctant to fully repudiate Munich, but they were absolutely unwilling to actually endorse it. All the Landsmannschaften as well as the BdV in its various incarnations (the umbrella expellee organization which contained both expellee organizations by geographic origin and current place of residence) included people with anti-Nazi backgrounds in leadership positions, as well as many more who were pretty hardcore ex Nazis. There was a deliberate policy on the part of both the Ministry for Pan-German Affairs (supervised and funded the expellee movement) and some of the more pragmatic hardliners (generally ex-Nazis) to have some anti-Nazi people in prominent positions. The rank and file started out as a pretty representative cross section of the expellee population, but as the German population moved towards accepting the fact that there would be no return to the 1937 the moderates left/were pushed out in an ever repeating process, leaving only those who were either the most hardline or most unable to come to terms with their loss. It also moved from a focus on social and economic demands to more cultural/irredentist ones, partly because the Wirtschaftswunder partially solved the economic issues, partially as part of the CDU's policy of co-opting the movement.

Ummh, how much do you want on this? This was my diss topic, or half of it, the other half was on the Polish settlers, with a focus on the in the end failed attempt to maintain a local group identity on the part of the expellees (but initially very successful) and the mirror image process in Poland. I can go on at great length and excruciating detail.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:01 AM
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The genocide of the Tasmanians was complete.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:01 AM
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I know it is hard to come up with genocides that are 100% successful, but some are damn close. The Aztecs? Carthage? (Actually, I don't know much about the destruction of Carthage.)

Tasmania. Of course the British succeeded.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:02 AM
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"Yishi, last of his tribe."

The Tasmanians were also completely wiped out.

But lots of Indian and Australian tribes were completely decimated.

The neanderthals?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:02 AM
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I can go on at great length and excruciating detail.

Let's do this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:03 AM
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363: Besides poorly thought-through speculations about the pluses and minuses of a post-WWII Jewish state carved out of Bavaria, an untimely crack as to how US culture was succeeding where Hitler failed is another reason I decided to just shut up about some aspects of the Jewish experience in front of my wife.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:04 AM
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The rare hat trick pwn


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:05 AM
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The neanderthals?

Morphologically, they died out, but their interbred descendants are alive and kicking on this very blog. There are part Tasmanians around too, though not as many.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:06 AM
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There was the rabbi at my cousin's wedding that said that mixed marriages in the U.S. are another Holocaust. Have I told that story before?

Hopefully this wasn't part of the service and it wasn't a mixed marriage? Because that would get pretty awkward pretty quickly.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:08 AM
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Think of how socially and politically significant the differences between different European ethnicities were in the US before the suburbanization of the mid 2oth century and how relatively insignificant they were by, say, the 1980s. It doesn't seem to me that the government made any particular push to make that happen, it mostly happened because lots of people who used to live in their own distinct sections of cities were now sharing the same neighborhoods.

If something like that is going to happen more or less spontaneously, then I think that the people railing against are the ones with the burden of proof to explain why it should be prevented.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:08 AM
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Tasmania. Of course the British succeeded.

I thought so too, but I note from Wikipedia that this is disputed by some self-identified Tasmanian aborigines.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:10 AM
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One of the things that's so shortsighted about Israel's behavior since Sharon's started the war back up again, is that as we see in discussing German claims to East Europe, one thing that weakens people's desire to a right of return is spending a generation somewhere else that's rich and prosperous. If the West Bank were say as rich as Turkey, it'd be way way easier for Israel to negotiate peace. But instead Israel has spent 15 years making sure that Palestine has no hope of prosperity during anyone's lifetime. Which is just insanity.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:11 AM
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If something like that is going to happen more or less spontaneously, then I think that the people railing against are the ones with the burden of proof to explain why it should be prevented.

Sure. But I find myself thinking not that that sort of thing is likely to happen spontaneously in the Middle East (because it isn't), but that if there were any way at all not in itself horribly wrongful to make it happen deliberately through intentional action, that would be a wonderful thing. And then I start wondering about whether that sort of deliberate, intentional action would be wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:12 AM
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375: bizarrely unsuitable and offensive things seem to be said at weddings (by the officiant) quite a lot. I can't help thinking they need better training.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:13 AM
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377. The distinction between Tasmanians defined as people all of whose ancestors had been isolated on the island for thousands of years, and people some of, even most of whose ancestors had been.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:14 AM
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it mostly happened because lots of people who used to live in their own distinct sections of cities were now sharing the same neighborhoods.

I think the proximity of living has less to do with it than the post-War economy affording people of European descent the ability to become aspirationally middle-class. We bourgeois are deracinated, having at most a sentimental relation to cultural roots.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:24 AM
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We bourgeois are deracinated, having at most a sentimental relation to cultural roots.

Ok, new solution:

We buy every Palestinian and Israeli an SUV, flat screen TV, and some Williams Sonoma kitchenware. Peace in no time!


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:32 AM
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375: Not a mixed marriage, but my Conservative not-religious cousin was marrying a guy from an Orthodox family. The groom was not religious at all, but his parents were quite serious about their orthodoxy, and so to make them happy, my cousin agreed to have their rabbi officiate the wedding, and he made her go through some religious instruction, since of course whatever she learned at a Conservative synagogue was wrong, and she agreed to this too, but she only asked the rabbi not to say anything during the wedding that would offend her cousins (my brothers and sister) that married outside of the faith. I guess this was like a waving a red flag in front of a bull.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:35 AM
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In the nineteenth century, some of the proto-Zionists proposed Uganda rather than Israel as the Jewish homeland. That would not have worked out very well.

Europe was not practical for the Jews after WWII, but French Guiana might have worked (and apparently was considered at the time). At that time, the population per wikipedia was 28,000 people spread over 32,000 square miles. This is my preferred time machine solution. Today, it has a few more people and massive subsidies from France. Also a spaceport.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:37 AM
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We bourgeois are deracinated, having at most a sentimental relation to cultural roots.

I suppose it depends on what counts as culture. I'm not prepared to sign on to the idea that post war American middle class culture (for the purposes of this comment, I'll stick with the most cliched SWPL version, e.g. rock n roll music, high school proms, popular TV shows & etc.) is somehow not "real" culture, whereas whatever the peasants in Galicia were doing on a Saturday night 150 years ago was "authentic".

Maybe I'n being pissy on this point because I've been reading a fair bit of history related to the Habsburgs and the regions associated with them (currently on the early chapters of The Sleepwalkers), and a consistent lesson seems to be that people obsessed with cultural "authenticity" have tended to be assholes more often than not.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:38 AM
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whereas whatever the peasants in Galicia were doing on a Saturday night 150 years ago was "authentic"

Roller-skating, pretty sure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:41 AM
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By that standard, I'd guess that both antisemitism and Semitism are authentic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:45 AM
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The Beothuk in Newfoundland were also completely wiped out by the British.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:46 AM
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currently on the early chapters of The Sleepwalkers

Me too, and it's exacerbating my long-existing, somewhat but not completely justified tendency towards Hapsburg nostalgia.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:51 AM
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At that time, the population per wikipedia was 28,000 people spread over 32,000 square miles. This is my preferred time machine solution. Today, it has a few more people and massive subsidies from France. Also a spaceport.

What, the Jews shouldn't have a spaceport? They're constantly getting rockets lobbed at them by Suriname!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:52 AM
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Assimilation of immigrants is a bit easier than assimilation of locals. Plus what are the Palestinians and Israelis supposed to assimilate to? Some sort of generic English speaking international Western culture? Closest thing to that that I can think of would be what I've occasionally read about Narnia, but not sure to what extent that goes beyond the elites, and how deep it is even among them.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:54 AM
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my long-existing, somewhat but not completely justified tendency towards Hapsburg nostalgia.

For settling the I-P conflict, instead of resurrecting zombie Marshal Tito perhaps we should get zombie Franz Joseph instead. I'm sure he'd be able to sort things out...


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:55 AM
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I just looked through the terms that Arafat was offered by Barak and Clinton at Camp David and... they're terrible! I don't see how anyone could possibly think they would have lead to permanent peace, even if Arafat had signed them. The most shocking detail to me was that Israel was going to keep Kiryat Arba. It's inconceivable that you're going to have long term peace together with an armed outpost of virulently racist settlers in the middle of your largest city.

Which isn't to say that Arafat shouldn't have taken signed the agreement, gotten assassinated, and let the next generation fight for a better deal. It worked for Ireland.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:55 AM
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(Er, the West Bank's largest city. Of course Gaza is larger.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:56 AM
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Although I definitely wouldn't recommend Franz Josef Land as a new homeland for anyone.

Well maybe the Tea Partiers.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:57 AM
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On 376/79, traditional cultures die "natural," non-genocidal deaths all the time (especially in modernity, but also in pre-modernity); languages become extinct, traditions get lost, people intermarry, etc., and the world moves on. I am on the whole generally in favor of this process and increased cosmopolitanism although it's obviously not without its costs, but in any case it tends to proceed unless there are specific and strong measures put in place to prevent it. Judaism is somewhat unique here (though there are of course analogues in other cultures, e.g. Parsis), because in many ways Rabbinic Judaism should be seen as a 2000 year, very organized, very successful project to keep the natural process of cultural assimilation from happening to a particular culture.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:01 AM
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The Israelis went quite a bit further in Taba in Dec-Jan 2000-2001. (see map. From what I understand the key objections on the Palestinian side were Maale Adumin and Ariel. The Israeli negotiating team was apparently willing to make major concessions on the size of those blocks which would leave the bulk of the territory in Palestinian hands while the bulk of the population would become part of Israel and the Palestinian negotiating team indicated that that would be acceptable. (THey'd also come to an informal meeting of minds on the refugee and security issues) Barak flipped out and pulled the plug on the negotiations. Fucking asshole.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:15 AM
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One of the latest oddities of the Zionist movement is Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, which FWICT was still seen as a worthy object of major ongoing charity by US Hadassah (HWZOA) for decades after Israel instituted universal health care. It stayed dependent on those subsidies and avoided learning how to do business in their rather Teutonic health-plan-led system, and when HWZOA's contributions started dipping (members dying off?), they immediately found themselves in a major fiscal crisis. The Israeli government has been giving them some assistance to try to climb out, but they still had a three-week strike due to not paying salaries.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:36 AM
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Yeah, I was just looking at Taba, and it is much better. But, there was zero chance that Barak had the political capital to make that deal work. Even his first terrible deal was opposed by a majority of Israeli Jews. It doesn't really matter if Barak hadn't pulled out, he still couldn't have gotten anything passed and would have still lost the election.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:36 AM
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This is something that I should actually look into rather than just complaining that I don't know about, but how does title to land work in the West Bank settlements? Is the land title system all screwed up so there's no way to legally establish prior owners? Was there some type of purchase, fraudulent or otherwise, by which settlers acquired title Israeli courts regard as valid? Are there Palestinian owners with title that could somehow, theoretically be established, but there are procedural barriers to getting heard in court? Does anyone know offhand?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:38 AM
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I haven't the slighted idea what Hadassah does, but they have offices right above the liquor store so they can't be that bad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:39 AM
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Just looking at the map Maale Adumin and Ariel do seem like the obvious problems. It's interesting how much having the highways on the map makes things look more or less reasonable. If you just drew the outline it looks great, but once you look at say how to get from Bethlehem to Ramallah it doesn't really look workable.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:43 AM
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I really don't see how you can get a workable longterm peace without Palestine getting a good highway between Bethlehem and Ramallah. You can work out something by building a new bypass of Jerusalem, but not as long as Maale Adumin is there.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:48 AM
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401 -- I'd wondered about that too once and read an article. IIRC, the pre-1967 title system in what's now Palestine was incredibly screwed up and ambiguous, and that has subsequently been egregiously exploited by the Israelis, who claim that lots of what is very clearly privately owned land is either untitled or appropriate for them to seize for military purposes and then give to settlers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:49 AM
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Article on land title in the West Bank.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:50 AM
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Title insurance must cost a bunch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:51 AM
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406: Thanks -- that's the sort of thing I wanted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:56 AM
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403 404 IIRC the informal discussions in Taba assumed a both sided set of bridges, e.g. the strip leading out to Ariel proper would basically be barely more than the width of a road with other roads crossing it. Expensive, but that's what the US and EU are there for.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:01 PM
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OT but title relevant, the little village near the MH crash site is apparently called 'Rozsypne'. In Polish that roughly means 'I'll pour stuff out and scatter it all over the place' . Seeing photos of debris with the caption 'crash site in Rozsypne' is surreal. I wonder if it means the same thing in Russian or Ukrainian.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 12:20 PM
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I feel like narrow little bridges just aren't all that viable. What happens when some dumbass teenager decides to throw some rocks off that bridge? What happens when you need to repair the bridge? Is the US going to pay for maintenance of Palestinian highways forever? What happens when you have growth and the highway is too small?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 3:06 PM
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Mass transit?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 3:34 PM
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Ramallah sounds like a good place to test out the Hyperloop.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 3:36 PM
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I agree with 362 and 397.

On Parsis, Zoroastrianism is currently having a huge crisis, as conversion is not allowed and children of mixed marriages are by strict standards not considered Zoroastrian. I have a friend who is half Zoroastrian but who is active in the community, and he says Zoroastrians are going to have to change their attitude on mixed marriage & conversation ASAP, since there are less than 200,000 left in the world and not many of those people are of marriageable age, so expecting in-marriage to continue at any reasonable rate is not going to happen. He married a white American women, though he's raising his kids in the faith. According to wikipedia the birth-death ratio is 1:5.

404

I think that for peace to happen, we're going to have to dismantle all the settlements, even the ones that are now technically cities. It's not reasonable to expect peace to occur without displacing Israelis, given the past 40 years of illegally building on Palestinian land. Squatting on contested land is risky, and sometimes the risk doesn't pay off. Dismantling the settlements/moving people could be something an outside peace keeping force could do, which would allow the Israeli army not to take heat from settlers.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 10:28 PM
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I think that for peace to happen, we're going to have to dismantle all the settlements, even the ones that are now technically cities.

To the objection that they are way too established to ever leave, someone recently gave the example of Algerian decolonization, which I thought apt.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-22-14 11:09 PM
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Dismantling the settlements/moving people could be something an outside peace keeping force could do

The German army has a particularly deep reserve of institutional knowledge in this area.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 2:01 AM
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I'm to lazy to look it up now, but there were polls done in the late forties and early fifties where a shockingly high proportion of West Germans were basically 'the Jews had it coming'.

According to Ian Kershaw, an Allied opinion poll in October 1945 found that 20 percent "went along with Hitler on his treatment of the Jews, and a further 19 per cent remained generally in favour but thought he had gone too far."

Also, "According to Allied opinion surveys in the immediate post-war years, about 50 per cent of Germans still thought National Socialism had been in essence a good idea that had been badly carried out."



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 5:14 AM
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And then everybody threw the baby out with the bath water.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 5:19 AM
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417.2 bears out 342: that the opinion of a lot of Germans immediately postwar was, roughly, that it was only wrong to butcher babies in your sitting room because you'd never be able to get the blood out of your carpet.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 5:20 AM
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The older generation that the kids were rebelling against was the generation of national socialism and the holocaust (or the generation of fascism in Italy or of Vichy in France)... Apparently that partially explains why terrorist groups in continental Europe like the Red Army Faction had more public support than similar groups in the US or the UK.

The RAF deliberately played to that sentiment in their choice of high profile targets.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 5:30 AM
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Ok, I have a question. Does anyone know much about radical leftist Italian groups similar to RAF? Because my partner's mom has a pretty wild past she only talks about in intriguing snippets, and one involves firing kalishnikovs in the Syrian desert. She doesn't give a date but I imagine it's mid/late 60s-early 70s. If you ask her why she explained she went there 'with a man.'


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:00 AM
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The Red Brigades.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:02 AM
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Was that man named Aldo Moro? Did she leave him there?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:04 AM
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They had guest facilities at PLO training camps, for some reason (well, the proximate reason was that the Czechs negotiated them, but hat they thought they stood to gain from doing so escapes me.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:10 AM
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A lot of Germans of the wartime generation also had pretty wild pasts that they would only talk about in intriguing snippets.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:11 AM
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I think we can thank Simon Wiesenthal for the fact that they couldn't talk about it loudly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:24 AM
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The Baader Meinhof movie has some scenes on that. La meglo gioventu touches on the Red Brigades a bit.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:34 AM
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+i


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 6:39 AM
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They had guest facilities at PLO training camps

The scene in the Baader Meinhof movie where the RAF people are arguing with the PLO guys about nudity and free love is great.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 7:13 AM
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Did the PLO ever convince the RAF to try nudism?


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 7:16 AM
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D'oh.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 7:19 AM
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I've been meaning to push back on 303. The US did not commit to militarily protect Ukraine's borders. It (and the UK) committed to take any issues to the Security Council, where, obviously, Russia has (and had) a veto.

The UK did take the matter to the UNSC earlier this year.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 7:32 AM
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Russia, on the other hand, did commit to respect the existing borders of Ukraine; not to use military force against the territorial integrity or independence of Ukraine except in self-defence; and not to use economic coercion to undermine Ukrainian sovereignty. All of which promises they have pretty comprehensively broken.
But you're right; there's no mutual defence agreement between Ukraine and, well, anyone.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 7:38 AM
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There is also no formal mutual defence agreement between the US and Israel. AFAIK Israel has no formal mutual defence agreements with anyone.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 7:52 AM
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I agree with Teraz that the Holocaust didn't become central to the memory of the war in any country, including but not limited to Germany, until the 60s-70s.

In the United States, we see this when Hogan's Heroes brought it all home for the common citizen.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 7:54 AM
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424. Cite? I'd be interested to learn more there.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 7:59 AM
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I spent far too much time yesterday reading about Israel/Palestine history yesterday. There were way more random Nazis than I expected... Israel's main allies in Lebanon: modeled on the Fascists. Grant Mufti during the 48 war: a Nazi. Major Jewish terrorist group later run by a long-time Prime Minister: wanted to ally with Nazi Germany since they were clearly less of a threat than England. WTF.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 8:03 AM
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Also, how had I never heard of the Madagascar Plan? Madagascar?!?!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 8:05 AM
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This book has several interviews (as I recall; it's been a while) with women who were active in the Red Brigades and gives a good sense of what both daily life and the more "exiting" parts were like.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 8:05 AM
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437: wasn't there a thought at some point that Nazi Germany and Zionists could make common cause? (Aha: yes indeed.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 8:08 AM
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438: while meanwhile, in Madagascar, the British fought the French to keep it out of the hands of the Japanese.

WWII SURE WAS WEIRD.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 8:11 AM
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There's probably a nice counterfactual history novel where a terrorist organization uses lemur bombs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 8:19 AM
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wanted to ally with Nazi Germany since they were clearly less of a threat than England

A mistake made by a lot of people, most notably, of course, Stalin. But, yes, the Stern Gang, what a bunch of morons.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 8:20 AM
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There's probably a nice counterfactual history novel where a terrorist organization uses lemur bombs.

The Red-tailed Sportive Lemur Brigade.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 8:26 AM
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Inspired by the song Wir lagen vor Madagaskar no doubt.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 8:32 AM
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There's probably a nice counterfactual history novel where a terrorist organization uses lemur bombs.

Or a Madagascar 4: Martyr's Brigade


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 8:33 AM
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Random factoid from the RAF wikipedia page: Horst Mahler, a founding RAF member, is now a vocal Neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 9:45 AM
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447 is about the least surprising RAF fact ever.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 10:01 AM
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Speaking of mixed-up interwar politics, you know what doesn't seem so bad? The 1919 Fascist Manifesto


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 10:20 AM
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449. Yes, it's up there with the original Soviet constitution among things that were better in the abstract than in the concrete.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 10:34 AM
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423 and 446 were both awesome.

Britta, you should read The Flamethrowers, generally a very good novel but also one set in the Red Brigades in Italy era.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-23-14 10:54 AM
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